Girl surfers brighten up outlook

DESPITE a gloomy weather forecast, entries are still flowing in for the 2011 All Girls Surf Showdown at Lennox Head and its surrounding beaches this weekend.

Event director Max Perrot is confident they can fit a full day of surfing in on Saturday.

“There is a low pressure system building in North Queensland and that might cause storms and hail here during the weekend,” he said.

“We might have to hold the finals on Saturday afternoon. It will be the first time in a long while that's happened.

“We don't want the girls out in dangerous conditions, so we'll have to make the call early on Saturday.”

Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce president Louise Owen is thrilled to have the event back for another year.

“It brings in $30,000 to $40,000 and its one of the larger sporting events in Lennox Head,” Ms Owen said.

“Even if it only goes for the one day this year, the long weekend will be a good opportunity for visitors to stick around and spend a bit of money.”

The iconic event will run for the 19th time and remains Australia's largest women's surfing contest.

“People were doubtful when we first came up with the concept in 1993,” Mr Perrot said.

“We wanted to find a balance between amateur and professional surfing competitions.

“It kicked off strongly and we've been able to maintain the popularity of it ever since.”

The open division of the showdown has been a who's who of women's surfing in the past, with four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore and ASP tour surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Laura Enever and boom Lennox Head rookie Tyler Wright all competing at the event in recent years.

There are eight divisions, with cash prizes up for grabs in five of them.

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