Surfest: Matt Rawson carrying local hopes in inaugural longboard classic

BIG GUN: Two-time world champion Harley Ingleby will compete at the inaugural James Bros. Longboard Classic. Picture: WSL/Tim Hain
BIG GUN: Two-time world champion Harley Ingleby will compete at the inaugural James Bros. Longboard Classic. Picture: WSL/Tim Hain

REDHEAD’S Matt Rawson will take on some of the world’s best at Surfest’s inaugural James Bros. Longboard Classic at Merewether on Tuesday.

Rawson, who won the Lake Mac Festival of Surfing longboard title last year and was second last month, will carry local hopes in a field containing world champion Taylor Jensen, from America. Australia’s two-time world champion Harley Ingleby is also among the 22 entries in the men’s World Surf League longboard qualifying series event. The women’s event has eight competitors.

Originally a two-day contest, the new event will now be completed on Tuesday.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, because we do it at Lake Mac,” Surfest chief Warren Smith said.

“It’s well received there and what I’d liked to showcase is some guys like Harry Maskell and Matty Rawson, who we know locally and who are just ocean athletes and good at everything.”

Ingleby was excited to return to Newcastle

“It’s great to have a new event,” Ingleby said. “Having it attached to Surfest and the other WSL events is really cool as it should help it gain the attention it deserves. We used to have a longboard QS event in Newcastle back in the day and it always provided great waves.”

“I’m excited to be heading back there to compete, it is always a fun time. I hope the addition of this event is the start of something and we keep seeing LQS events pop up around Australia and the world.”