Hunter business are joining forces in a crowdfunding movement to ensure Surfest’s 2016 Women’s event is once again a QS 6000 event.
Warren Smith and former Surfest champion Philippa Anderson last week launched the crowdfunding concept at Merewether Beach.
Home grown surfer Philippa said the opportunity to have another QS 6000 event on home soil was an exciting prospect.
“Surfest brings some many positives to our city and having the top female surfers here will be awesome,” Philippa said.
“I know the Aussie girls will be super stoked to compete at home as they won’t have to travel as far, and the idea of the business community rallying together to support women’s surfing is also really cool.”
The project is being driven by a group of passionate businesspeople keen to see the cream of women’s surfing talent return Newcastle.
Project coordinator Colin Law said by adopting a crowdfunding model there is a greater chance of raising the required funds needed to host a QS 6000 event.
“Our goal is to secure 73 business who will each contribute $1,500 to purchase a sponsorship share, with one business winning the opportunity to become the naming rights sponsor in 2016,” Colin said.
“Already in conversations with business owners we have secured a significant level of commitment to the crowdfunding model.”
To secure a QS 6000 Event the prize money on offer needs to be $40,000 U.S.
The team behind the project are very confident that their goal can be achieved.
Surfest organiser Warren Smith said the idea having a large number of local business unite to help boast the calibre of the women’s event is a fantastic initiative.
“I know Philippa is excited about the prospect of having a QS 6000 event and I’m delighted that the business community has taken lead in making it happen, Warren said.
“By offering a high value prize purse we will attract at least the top 13 of the 17 best female surfers.”
Businesses that invest in the crowdfunding project will not only have the chance to be the naming rights sponsor but also receive unique networking opportunities, the chance of other prizes and the privilege of helping to promote women’s surfing.
The naming rights winner will be announced at a business breakfast in mid September.
Surfest originated in 1985 when Newcastle's movers and shakers were desperately trying to banish the city's grime-ridden industrial image and showcase the unheralded beauty of Newcastle beaches and surf breaks, Those visionaries developed the BHP Steel International Surfest's first incarnation and the richest professional surfing event in the world at that time.
Surfest has since become Australia's largest surfing festival.