FCS Manufacturers Cup shapes up at Cronulla

27 Jan 2011 0 Share



The FCS Manufacturers Cup is something of an institution in the Australian surfing industry. Each year, our top shapers, glassers, sanders and salesmen join forces with their top team riders to battle it out on beaches around the country.
 
With the New South Wales finals kicking off at Cronulla this Saturday, we caught up with FCS’s Global Brand Ambassador, Richie Lovett, to find out a bit more about the event…
 
So Richie, tell us a bit about the history of the Cup…
 
There is a bit of history. The Cup has been running for a number of years now and I guess  the idea of it is to create a  fun and exciting competition that  utilizes a tag-team format. It’s open to all the board manufacturers in Australia.  It basically gets them out of the factory for a couple of days and gets them in the water doing what they love to do – surfing.  These guys that work in the factory are the heart and sole of the surfing industry so it’s nice to provide this platform  for them to have some fun and ultimately win some prizes.
 
The last few years we’ve partnered up with Global Surf Tag. The whole Surf Tag format works really well in these types of competitions. It gets everyone in and out of the water really quickly. You’re under the pump to get three waves in a certain amount of time.
 
What’s the deal with this format?
 
In standard competition, guys head out into the water in a two or four man heat.  They’re out in the water for between 20 minutes and half and hour. Each surfer can ride between ten and 15 waves and they’re scored on every wave.
 
In a tag-team format you’ve got five surfers in your team. You’ve got an hour long heat and each surfer has to go out and catch three waves.  The second wave that they catch is the “power wave” and that scores double points.  It’s imperative that each surfer gets three good rides, and that middle wave is really important. 
 
Once they’ve caught their three waves they come back to the beach, tag the next surfer, and there are bonus points awarded if you can get all the surfers through before the hour is up.
 
How many manufacturers are involved?
 
This year we’ve got over twenty different manufacturers competing. We have preliminary rounds for each state.  So we get all the manufacturers from each state competing then the winners and high place-getters go into the national final which is due to be held at Avalon on the fourth and fifth of February.  It’s going to be an exciting finish. We’ve got some big-name manufacturers already qualified.
 
Traditionally we get a lot of professional surfers in the event as well, as they’re really keen to represent their shaper and the board manufacturers that they ride for.  It’s a good chance for the pros to mix it up with the guys who are actually working in the trenches.
 
The four man teams are made up of two team riders and two people who work within the factory.  It’s an even mix. It’s exciting because the guys who are working don’t get to surf against these guys very often, if at all. 
 
The final state round will be held in Cronulla this Saturday. What can punters expect?
 
Yeah, the New South Wales final is on this Saturday. Warner Surfboards, who have traditionally placed really well will be out there, along with Aloha surfboards, Chilli, Lee Stacey, ex-professional surfers Jarrad Howse,  Matt Bembrose, Zahn Foxton,  some really good local surfers, as well as guys like Beau Mitchell who was on tour and is now working for Warner surfboards.  The calibre of surfing is going to be really high.
 
Heats will be kicking off around midday down at Cronulla so come on down and be part of the action.
 
Are you surfing in it yourself?
 
I will be. I’m surfing for the Aloha team. I’ll be out there with Dan Karen, Davey Vlug and a yet-to-be-revealed fourth surfer. We actually won the New South Wales event Last year so we’ll be hoping to defend the title. 
 
And the Finals are scheduled for Avalon in February?
 
The top three place-getters from each region go through to the national final. It’s not a winner-take-all. It keeps the competition open until the final.
 
And the prizes?
 
There’s a bunch of prizes and three grand in cash for the winners. 
 
Who’s the current champs?
 
Emery Surfboards. They won last year’s Manufacturers Cup so I guess they’re odds-on favourite to take it out again. They’ve got a pretty strong team. So everyone will be looking to knock those guys off for the bragging rights that come along with the title.
 
For more information on the FCS Manufacturs Cup head to www.surffcs.com…
 
Get on down to Cronulla Beach this Saturday, January 29,, to check out the New South Wales State final…

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