A loss in sponsorship has led to changes to the Surfest schedule for 2019 and the move of the pro junior events to Redhead.
The under-18 pro junior events had been held at Merewether the past two years with NIB as a sponsor creating equal prizemoney for the women’s contest.
The Lake Mac Festival of Surfing at Redhead consisted of Australia’s richest stand-up paddleboard contest as well as paddle battle competitions last year as part of Surfest but that event will not return.
However, Lake Macquarie City Council has stepped up to save the pro junior events and maintain that region’s connection to the Surfest carnival.
The Lake Mac City Pro Junior will be held on February 9-10. The 1000-point junior tour events will be the first World Surf League contests held in the Lake Macquarie area.
“This is exciting news for Surfest and it’s exciting news for Lake Macquarie,” Mayor of Lake Macquarie Kay Fraser said.
Redhead’s Connor Lee has gained the local wildcard into the boys’ contest.
Meanwhile, Jordan Liackman (Caves Beach) and Mike Clayton-Brown (Nelson Bay) won their round one heats and progressed directly to the quarter-finals of the under-16 boys’ division at the Australian junior surfing titles at Victor Harbour, South Australia.
Lambton’s Madison Poole was second in her under-18 girls’ round one heat to move straight into the quarters.