Close to 80 surfers are expected to turn out to Birubi Beach during the Australia Day weekend, each with the aim of winning a coveted wildcard into Surfest 2020.
The first Surfest event for 2020, the Port Stephens Toyota Wildcard Trials will be held at the popular Anna Bay beach on Saturday, January 25.
The unique event will decide the male and female wildcards into the WSL Men's QS5000 Surfest Newcastle Pro, the WSL QS5000 Doyle Partners Women's Pro and the WSL JQS1000 Lake Mac Pro Junior.
"The Surfest trials each year are a very important event for male and female surfers who are trying to make their mark on the WSL World Qualifying Tour. Past winners of the trials have always surfed exceptionally well in the main events, at times surpassing their wildest expectations," Surfest organiser Warren Smith said.
"We are extremely grateful to Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota, who are a long time sponsor and supporter of this event. The 2020 wildcard trials are expected to include a high calibre of both male and female professional and emerging surfers from around the country."
Trials will also be held for surfers to earn free entry into the Sanbah Cadet Cup for under-14 boys and under-16 boys and girls.
The Bay Area Boardriders club will be running a barbecue during the trials and have membership information available.
Last year 76 surfers contested the wildcard trials at Birubi Beach. Liam Mortenson from Avalon won the coveted wildcard into the men's pro while Corlette siblings Elle and Mike Clayton-Brown won the wildcards for the women's and Lake Mac junior pro events.
The next Surfest event to be held after the Port Stephens trials will be the ORICA Teams Challenge at Stockton Beach on February 1-2 followed by the Lake Mac Pro Junior at Redhead Beach on February 8 and 9.
Most of the remaining Surfest events will be staged at Merewether Beach in March.
Entries for the Port Stephens Toyota Wildcard Trials men and women events are still open.
Port Stephens Toyota Wildcard Trial prizes:
- Open Men winner earns Wild Card in the QS5000 Surfest Newcastle Pro presented by Burton Automotive Pro
- Open Women winner earns Wild Card entry in the QS5000 Doyle Partners Women's Pro
- Pro Junior Men's winner earns Wild Card entry in the WSL JQS1000 Lake Mac Pro Junior
- Pro Junior Girls winner earns free entry in the WSL JQS1000 Lake Mac Pro Junior
- 16 years Boys receives free entry and No. 1 seed into Sanbah Cadet Boy 16 years
- 16 years Girls receives free entry and No. 1 seed into Sanbah Cadet Girls 16 years
- 14 years Boys receives free entry and No. 1 seed into Sanbah Cadet Boys 14 years