Iconic australian event came to an end this weekend.
The 30th Anniversary of Surfest wrapped up with Alejo Muniz (BRA) taking out the Burton Automotive Pro and Ellie Brooks (AUS) taking top honors in the Burton Automotive Women's Classic. The World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) men's and women's divisions are the blue ribbon events at the Surfest -- the men's being a 6,000-point event and the women's a 1,000-point event -- and hundreds of Newcastle's surf fans braved the rain, wind and weather to watch the competition.
Muniz celebrated his 25th birthday by defeating Jack Freestone (AUS) in the 35-minute Final. A pulsing swell provided the perfect stage for these two exciting surfers to show what they're capable of. Muniz started slow, waiting for the biggest and best waves and unloading explosive and exciting turns to take home the prestigious Mark Richard trophy.
"It's my birthday today so this feels extra special," Muniz said. "It also feels amazing because two years ago I finished second to Parko (Joel Parkinson) here and now I was able to win. Before the Final I wrote a message on my board to my friend Ricardo Dos Santos -- he was an amazing surfer and he passed away one month ago. This is a very special day for me to dedicate this win to him."
Brooks started the Burton Automotive Women's Classic as the underdog, matching up against former event champion and Newcastle localPhilippa Anderson (AUS). But Brooks used her powerful backhand hooks and carves to post the biggest scores and take her maiden QS win.
"When the siren sounded I was wondering if this was really happening," Brooks said. "I packed the car a couple days ago thinking I'd be going home early so to now be the winner feels so good. This is going to give me confidence to know I can compete at this level and I'm excited for the next event in NZ in a few weeks."