The Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic at North Narrabeen has seen a successful return of world surfing to the Northern Beaches.
The World Surf League (WSL) event was scheduled to run over a ten day window from 16-26 April with competition days determined by favourable surf conditions.
The competition was held over five days from Friday – Tuesday (16-20 April) in generally cool and overcast conditions but a favourable, clean wave break. The event was won by American Caroline Marks for the women and Brazilian Gabriel Medina for the men’s division.
Crowds easily reached the COVID-19 restricted capacity limit of 5,000 people per day, with most of those estimated to be Northern Beaches locals. Traffic along Ocean Street, Narrabeen was slow during the event, with parking difficult in the vicinity. Locals reported Council Rangers out in force booking illegally parked vehicles.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes and Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan presented the winners with their trophies and expressed pride at the successful hosting of a global event at one of the spiritual homes of world surfing.
“Congratulations to Narrabeen Classic winners Caroline Marks (USA) and Gabriel Medina (Brazil). There’s a real buzz throughout our community. Thousands of people have been out and about enjoying a world-class sporting event and spectacular athleticism.
“It’s been particularly exciting to meet first-time visitors to Pittwater and to see the surfers popping up at different locations throughout our community to say g’day. The event has been broadcast around the world and our community and its natural beauty has certainly put on a show.
“Thanks to the competitors, organisers and the thousands of spectators who made this such a fantastic event for our community,” said Minister Stokes.
“We are so proud to have partnered with the State Government to have hosted such a terrifically successful event. Congratulations to the winners for outstanding, consistent performance that thrilled spectators.
“From the business owners and spectators I have spoken to these last few days, the Surf Classic was a massive shot in the arm our community so urgently needed. Not only has the event given the area a much-needed economic boost, but has also lifted the morale of the whole community coming out of a long period of uncertainty,” said Mayor Regan.
Competitors reportedly spread themselves along the length of the Northern Beaches, with many being seen in the days leading up to and during the event at Manly, Dee Why and as far north as Avalon. AirBNB hosts reported receiving enquiries from people specifically interested in staying for the duration of the WSL event.Former world surf tour competitor, Australian Luke Egan said the return of world surfing to North Narrabeen had proven very successful from a competitive standpoint.
“North Narrabeen has really given everything. There has been long winding walls of the lefts and then the shore break with the beautiful ramps. It’s been a fantastic week,” Mr Egan told a global audience during WSL commentary.
Images: Rob Stokes MP, Northern Beaches Advocate