All the latest news and photos


Thousands attended what organisers are calling the “one of the best Surfest events – ever”

They told us it was going to rain, and not just rain, but storm all weekend. In fact it was a 95% certainty on Sunday, but did that stop the crowds from heading to Surfest? Hell no!

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NSW junior Zahli Kelly claims victory over Hawaiian rival at nib Pro Junior

We want to call it a local victory and in many ways it was.

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North Narrabeen come up trumps again at Orica Team Challenge

It could have finally been a local victory, but in the end North Narabeen defended their Orica title defeating Merewether Boardriders to take first place at Stockton Beach last weekend.

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Locals rise to the challenge at Lake Mac Festival of Surfing

Local Redhead surfer Justin Lee takes out the Overs 30s Shortboard comp.

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Did we snap you at Surfest?

Did we take your photo during Surfest? Maybe you grabbed a hat or a temporary tattoo... Check out the gallery.

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The local line-up for Surfest 2017 has been announced!

Here’s your who’s-who of local surfing talent, all vying for a piece of Surfest history right here on their local break.

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Newcastle Live & Surfest 2017!

As the Official Online Media Partner of Surfest, Newcastle Live will be in the loop

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Surfer Profiles


 
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Matt Wilkinson


The Central Coast native has had a stellar 2016 with wins at the 2016 Quicksilver Gold Coast Pro, 2016 Ripcurl Bells Beach Pro and inevitably the 2016 WSL Championship Tour.

But it was at his Surfest, Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Men’s Pro appearance that the magic really started happening.
 
The Men’s No.1 Seed came up against young Italian sensation Leonardo Fioravanti in the Final and while both surfers had been standouts during the whole event, it was Wilkinson who had been building serious momentum through the finals posting huge score in the Quarters and Semis.
 
The Final was no different with Wilkinson demolishing the right hand walls with massive vertical backhand re-entries to post two excellent range scores, an 8.83 and a 9.00 to take a victory that would begin a 2016 winning streak for the 28 year-old from Avoca, NSW.
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Sally Fitzgibbons


After a successful 2016 Surfest campaign, it is hoped that Taggart Women’s Pro winner Sally Fitzgibbons will return to Newcastle this year to defend her title.

The 25 year-old Female No. 1 Seed took the title last year after a close final that saw her go head to head with six-time world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore.
 
A favourite among crowds, Sally is a major drawcard for any surfing comp and her anticipated presence at Surfest is a great indication of the popularity of the event.
 
With a current WSL CT ranking of 8, Sally has reached a number of professional surfing achievements throughout her career including a ASP World # 2 ranking three years running from 2010 to 2012.
 
She has also enjoyed World Tour wins at the Ripcurl Pro Bells Beach, Fiji Pro Roxy Pro France, Rio Pro Brazil, NZ Pro and was named ISA World Junior Champion and ASP World Junior Champion.
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Leonardo Fioravanti


Young Italian surfing sensation Leonardo Fioravanti will hopefully back in 2017 after hotly contesting the Surfest, Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Men’s Pro title last year.

In the Final, Fioravanti was in a combination situation (needing two scores) for the entire heat against eventual winner Matt Wilkinson, but never gave up until the final siren.
 
Audiences can expect to the see the same grit and determination in 2017 if he returns to the Merewether break.
 
Crowned the ASP European Junior Champion 2013, Leonardo is a bright colourful surfer with a true European heritage.  He rode his first wave surfed aged just 6 in Anglet, on the Cote Basque in France.  Since then he has only had one desire, to become a pro surfer.
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Stephanie Gilmore


Born and raised in northern NSW, six-time Australian WSL world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore’s return to Surfest 2017 after narrowly missing out on the 2016 crown is much anticipated.

Gilmore surfed an amazing contest on the Merewether break in 2016 posting a near perfect heat score of 19.50 in her 2016 semi-final, but was unable to find the waves she was after in the final against Sally Fitzgibbons.

Stephanie has dominated women’s professional surfing since she entered the scene in 2007 – winning her first world title as a rookie, followed by three consecutive world titles – an accomplishment no other surfer has achieved in the history of men’s or women’s surfing.
 
Beyond her 6 ASP World Titles, Stephanie has 24 Elite World Tour victories and for her triumphs, has also been awarded both the Laureus World Sports Award in 2010, considered the most prestigious award in action sports worldwide, and the ESPN ESPY for Best Female Action Sports Athlete in 2011 and 2013.

EVENTS


LAKE MAC FESTIVAL

WHERE: Redhead Beach
WHEN: Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January 2017

Running across the entire weekend, the Lake Mac Festival of Surfing has once again partnered with Lake Macquarie City Council and will provide a variation on traditional surfing comps with competitive heats for shortboards, longboards and stand-up paddleboards (SUP).

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ORICA TEAMS CHALLENGE

WHERE: Stockton Beach
WHEN: Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February 2017.

The Orica Team Challenge attracts board-rider clubs from up and down the east coast of Australia all competing for $10,000 in prize money.

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NIB PRO JUNIOR

WHERE: Merewether Beach
WHEN: Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February 2017

Newcastle has long been known for its rich surf culture and the nib Pro Junior was created to support the next wave of surfing greats.

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WANDIYALI ATSI INDIGENOUS CLASSIC

WHERE: Merewether Beach
WHEN: Thursday 16th and Friday 17th February 2017

Celebrating our country’s heritage, the Wandiyali ATSI Indigenous Classic is the richest indigenous surf contest in the world offering a total prize pool of $20,000.

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2017 ANDITI WOMEN’S PRO

WHERE: Merewether Beach
WHEN: Monday 20th to Sunday 26th February 2017

Surfest created professional surfing history in 2016 by giving local businesses the chance to win naming rights for a World Surfing League QS 6000 women’s event via a crowd funding campaign.

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MAITLAND AND PORT STEPHENS TOYOTA MEN’S PRO

WHERE: Merewether Beach
WHEN: Monday 20th to Sunday 26th February 2017

It’s the must-see event of Surfest, the 2017 Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Men’s Pro is a World Surf League (WSL) 6000 event with prize money of US$150,000.

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Surfest Gallery


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Official Surfest Online Media Partners


In 2017, we can look forward to seeing a stellar line up of international surfing stars for the Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Men’s Pro and Anditi Women’s Pro, as well as plenty of action across our breaks with an array of other exciting competition categories held at Redhead, Stockton and Merewether beaches.

Surfest kicks off on Saturday, 27th January at Redhead Beach with the Lake Mac Festival of Surfing and is followed up by events like the Orica Teams Challenge at Stockton, then back to Merewether for the nib Pro Junior, Wandiyali ATSI Indigenous Classic, Anditi Women’s Pro, Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Men’s Pro and a host of other events, markets, music and fun.

As the Official Online Media Partner of Surfest, Newcastle Live will be in the loop and will be keeping you up to date with everything from news and photos, to market and music listings, social media coverage, give- aways, interviews with some of the world’s best surfers and everything in between!

When it comes to Surfest we’ve got you covered – Newcastle Live is in the loop!

PHOTO CREDITS

All Surfest photography used on Newcastle Live is proudly provided by Throwing Buckets – Australia’s premier surf, skate & lifestyle digital magazine.

If you want to know what’s going on in the world of surfing, especially in the Hunter, it’s the only magazine you need – take it wherever you go on your handheld devices.

With over 180-pages in each edition, Throwing Buckets is a must have surfing and lifestyle mag.

For more information go to http://throwingbuckets.com.au/