Rosie Smart in action. Photo: Ethan Smith
Rosie Smart in action. Photo: Ethan Smith

Coffs Coast to play host to best and brightest

SOME of the country's best and brightest surfers will be competing right here in Coffs Harbour after a new national competition was announced yesterday.

The Australian Open of Surfing will visit Coffs Harbour on November 29 as part of a minimum seven-leg tour of the east coast and provide professional and aspiring surfers with the opportunity to win prize money.

Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden said the domestic tour has been tailored to help foster and nurture Australian talent and the vision was to recreate a national tour akin to past competitions.

"The 2020 Australian Open of Surfing Tour is the perfect platform for professional and grassroots surfers to come together in Australia to compete in a series of events in decent locations," he said.

"We really hope we can build this series each year into a prestigious title and tour similar to the national series events we used to see in the 80s and 90s."

The announcement of the new tour coincides with the recent news that professional surfing would not recommence until the end of 2020.

Local hope Rosie Smart was looking forward to the opportunity to compete in what would be the biggest surfing event to come to Coffs Harbour, on breaks she was very familiar with.

"I am really excited because Coffs is such a good place to hold a comp and there are a lot of fun waves," she said.

"I would love to surf at Park Beach because the waves really suit my surfing and it is similar to the waves at Sawtell, so I would to compete there."

Without the usual competitions, the 15-year-old has spent the last few months working on improving her technique on her home break at Sawtell.

But that has only just changed with Coffs Harbour Boardriders starting up again, meaning she can get in some more practice in a more competitive setting.

It is the second major sport to commit to the region in recent weeks following Cricket Australia's announcement a Big Bash League match between the Sydney Sixers and the Brisbane Heat.