Gold Coast Surfing Wrap Up With Tappa Teece
BK Classic for the Whole Family on Queens Birthday Weekend
Currently celebrating its 41st year at Byron Bay, the Byron Bay BK Classic is such a fun event to watch or compete in. The greatest aspects of the event are that it is held over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend from 11- 13 June and that there are divisions from the under 10s to the over 60s, with boys, girls, men and women’s divisions. In many cases, mum, dad and the kids are all competing, maybe even up to 3 generations.
The event (originally named the Byron Easter Classic) was renamed 10 years ago after the passing of Byron Bay Boardriders legend Ben King, the man who brought back the club’s seahorse emblem and made it the strong surfing force it is today. Ben’s children Kurt and Maddy King will compete in the event as always.
The open division has a $5000 first prize this year, so you will expect to see the best surfers from all over the east coast of Australia going in to get the cash. There is a total of $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. There is also prize money in the open and junior women’s events, and the junior men.
Former world number two Danny Wills is the defending champion and will be out to claim his fourth BK title this year. It always seems to be a battle between the Byron and Lennox / Ballina tribes, but Byron has had the upper hand at the event for the last five years, with Luke Stickley winning in 2014 and Garrett Parkes winning 3 in a row from 2011 to 2013.
It is a much-valued prize just to get on that famous winners list, and the 41st winner will also get the greatest amount of prize money offered in the event’s history. The event is traditionally held in the Byron area, mobile from Broken to the Wreck at Byron Bay. Better get in ASAP to get your spot.
Entries are on the Byron Bay Boardriders website, and filling up fast. Visit byronbayboardriders.com to get an entry!
Fiji Next For the Pros
After the small and average beach breaks of Rio, with many of the pros finding “personal reasons” why they could not compete, the next stop is Fiji, and I am sure that none will pull out from this pacific island perfection. You could not find two more different venues. This time there will be huge numbers on the sand watching, and friends and officials on boats. The waves will be a bit different as well. It won’t be backflips and chop-hops, but big barrels and power surfing.
The argument is coming forth that as the surfers are on the tour they should not be able to pick and choose events, and must compete in all events unless injured. Kelly Slater has been picking and choosing for years, and who is going to tell King Kelly what to do? I reckon he would rather be surfing his pumping wave pool in Florida. I reckon if surfers want to give an event a miss for any reason, say they are too scared to surf Teaupoo or they are worried about pollution or whatever the case may be, well they have qualified and earned their spot. If they choose to miss an event and do not re-qualify – well bad luck – that is the price you pay. As for injuries, I think Parko’s knee has healed quickly, and he will be back for Fiji. Last time Kelly pulled out of Rio injured he had a bad cut in his foot, but still surfed pumping Sharkies at Burleigh during the event window. Mmmm…. Next time they may need doctors certificates?
No pollution, no Zika virus. Just perfect weather and waves on a tropical island…. I know where I would rather be… It rhymes: Fiji.
PHOTO CREDIT : WSL