Margaret River Pro presented by O'Neill Australia

25 Jan 2006 0 Share

Western Australia is set to retain its position on the international surfing calendar following an additional funding boost from EventsCorp for the newly-named Margaret River Pro, announced today by the WA Minister for Tourism, Mark McGowan MLA.

Formerly known as the Margaret River Masters, the ‘Margaret River Pro presented by O’Neill Australia’ will attract around 200 of some of the world’s best male surfers to Surfers Point in Margaret River, from March 27 to April 2, 2006.

The increased investment of $80,000 by the State Government takes EventsCorp’s total investment in the event to $200,000. That sponsorship, together with major support from new presenting sponsor O’Neill Australia, has guaranteed its return in 2006.

The four-star-rated WQS (World Qualifying Series) event, as part of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour, will see competitors battle it out for valuable WQS rating points and prize money of around $100,000 AUD.

Expected among the world-class field will be Western Australia’s own Jake Paterson and Taj Burrow, competing alongside top Australian and international names from the WQS and WCT (World Championship Tour).

According to Event Director Tim Thirsk, the increased investment by EventsCorp has enabled Margaret River to maintain its position as a premier location on the international surfing circuit.

“In the absence of a naming rights sponsor this year, additional funding from EventsCorp was vital to ensure Western Australia could retain the event and its position on the ASP surfing calendar,” Mr Thirsk said.

“We are extremely grateful to the Minister and the board of EventsCorp for the special consideration given this year.”

Mr Thirsk said the event’s future was looking bright, with several new sponsorship options to be explored and expressions of interest already received from high-profile national and international sponsors.

“I am confident the event will secure a major sponsor in future years, given its profile in Australia and overseas, and the uniqueness of the location and the wave,” he said.

Tourism Minister Mark McGowan said EventsCorp and the event organisers would work together on innovative marketing techniques, such as web streaming, to help grow the event and increase its appeal to future commercial partners.

“Marine is one of the five iconic experiences Western Australia offers its visitors, making the Margaret River Pro is a good fit with the rest of the State’s marketing activities,” Mr McGowan said.

In announcing its involvement as presenting sponsor of the Margaret River Pro, original surf brand O’Neill Australia applauded the increased involvement of the WA Government.

“We are encouraged to see the support of the WA Government for this event, and their support of the Margaret River region and Australian surfing,” said Rob Bain, National Sales and Marketing Manager for O’Neill.

O’Neill is the world’s leading wetsuit supplier and a major supporter of Australian surfing and ASP events worldwide.

Also confirmed today, by local concert promoter Paul Sloan, was the ninth annual ‘Mainbreak’ concert, to be held in conjunction with the Margaret River Pro, on Saturday, April 1 at Margaret River Oval.

“Mainbreak is one of the most important contemporary youth concert events in regional WA and the State Government’s support of the Margaret River Pro is integral to its overall success and longevity.”

Mr Sloan said plans for the concert were well underway, with an exciting line-up of local, interstate and possibly international bands expected, as well as the addition of a new surf film festival.

The 2006 Margaret River Pro presented by O’Neill marks the 22nd year of the event. Last year, 16 nations were represented, with Queenslander Troy Brooks reigning victorious against the surfing superpowers of Hawaii, mainland USA, Brazil, South Africa, France, Spain, Portugal and Australia.

Further information will be available clos

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