RED-HOT fields are set to contest the 35th annual Ben King Surfing Classic at Byron Bay over Easter.
Run from tomorrow to Sunday, the family classic is spread over 11 divisions from Under-13s through to seniors, masters and legends.
Byron Bay Boardriders will again host the event and club president Bryce Cameron is glad to see so many previous competitors returning.
“There are some great surfers coming to the classic this year,” Cameron said.
“The seniors division is almost as strong as the open division, which makes for some interesting viewing.”
Mark Richardson, Dean Hall and Yerin Brown will surf in the Over-30s seniors – all three are past winners of the open division.
Brown is one of the favourites in the seniors and also when he surfs in the opens.
“It’s great to see so many competitors return to surf this event time after time,” Cameron said.
Byron Bay’s favourite son of surfing and former world No 3 Danny Wills will again surf in the open division, looking to regain the title that he collected in 2000.
Other competitors of note are 2008 winner Jarrad Sullivan and WQS surfer James Wood of Lennox Head, who last week surfed into the round of 16 at the WQS Cold Water Classic in Tasmania.
The winner of the Cold Water Classic was Stuart Kennedy, who took out the Ben King Classic in 2009.
“Stu obviously won’t make it this year as he is surfing in the pro at Bells Beach but he is an example of how this event can be a stepping stone for future champions,” Cameron said.
Shane Bevan and WCT surfer Kieren Perrow are also on the Ben King Classic past winners’ list.
The Easter Classic – the longest running amateur surfing contest in Australia – was renamed in memory of the former Byron Bay Boardriders Club president, who died during a surfing contest at Yamba.