Sport

Girls only at surf showdown

Suffolk Park surfer Kirstin Ogden won last year.
Suffolk Park surfer Kirstin Ogden won last year.

EVENT organiser Max Perrot believes his job is done ahead of the 20th and final All Girls Surf Showdown at Lennox Head in July.

All Girls is the longest-running female surf competition in Australia and aims to promote female participation in the sport.

"Female opportunities have improved greatly over the years and the event has fulfilled its need," Perrot said.

"Times have changed in the industry and it's probably not as relevant as what it used to be."

All Girls was the first event to cater for 16 years and 14 years and under-age divisions.

The World Championship Tour top four surfers - four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and Laura Enever - have all won the open pro division in the past.

Suffolk Park surfer Kirstin Ogden won the 16 years and under and junior pro division last year.

Perrot admits the event has been a victim of its own success.

"There are a lot of contests around now that are brand events.

"So that makes it harder to get sponsorship and it's a tough economic time in the sport."

The Rusty Gromfest won't be held this year with Rusty deciding to revamp the contest and bring it back to Lennox Head next year.

It has been running for 16 years and has become Australia's premier under-16 surfing event.

"They (Rusty) like to be on the cutting edge and it will be interesting to see what they have in mind," Perrot said.

"Hopefully over the years we've demonstrated that some fantastic surfers come from the Northern Rivers.

"I'm sure everyone (in the industry) will keep an eye on our surfers and I hope the kids coming through now get the same opportunities that others have had."

Rusty marketing manager Damon Hayes is confident Gromest will continue to be a success.

"We love the Rusty Gromfest, however the format is starting to feel somewhat dated," he said on the Rusty website.

"We really want to make sure we're presenting something special for the kids that captures their youthful spirit.

"We're taking some time to give us a chance to talk with competitors and come back with something exciting to breathe new life into the grommet scene."

Topics:  surfing



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