Fitzgibbons expected to lead record field for Surfest

ALL CLASS: Sally Fitzgibbons carves it up at Merewether beach on her way to claiming Surfest's women's crown last year. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
ALL CLASS: Sally Fitzgibbons carves it up at Merewether beach on her way to claiming Surfest's women's crown last year. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Surfest’s women’s event is looking stronger than ever with record registrations already.

Surfest’s media spokesperson Paul Scott said entries do not close until January 23 for the World Surf League’s qualifying series event but already 100 entries had been received.

The women’s event at Surfest, to be known this year as the Anditi Women’s Pro, was restored to a top-rated 6000-point event last year and this year starts on February 20 at Merewether beach.

It can have a maximum field of 84 entrants.

Scott said it was likely a women’s trial would be held on the weekend before the women’s event began to finalise what is expected to be a strong field.

“We are definitely seeing more demand for this event,” Scott said.

“This is the most amount of entries we have seen for the women this early – we are still two weeks out from the cut-off date, so that is big.”

Scott could not confirm any names but said surfers were coming from 18 different countries.

Last year’s champion Sally Fitzgibbons is expected to return to defend her crown.

The men’s field is also filling fast with more than 140 entries, from 17 countries, submitted for the 6000-point Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Pro.