Bonga Perkins.
Bonga Perkins. Che Chapman

Hottest field for Noosa's GSI surfing festival

TWO generations of surfing legends and world champions, plus the hottest international longboarding contingent in years head the line-up at the 2009 Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing next month.

Two times and reigning world longboard champion Bonga Perkins of Hawaii will not contest the professional events but will be an “ambassador of aloha” over the eight-day festival.

Event director Phil Jarratt said Bonga was the best ambassador for Noosa the sport had seen.

“We're stoked to welcome him back to his Australian home to celebrate his 2008 world title,” Jarratt said.

World number two in 2008, French sensation Antoine Delpero will be making his Noosa debut and is expected to turn heads after his stylish performances at both world championship events last year.

An excellent noserider and classic old school stylist, Antoine is expected to do well in Noosa's small but perfectly-formed point break waves.

Delpero heads a major British and European contingent which also features British longboard champion Ben Skinner, Jersey's Joe Davies and French women's sensation Coline Menard.

Noosa crowd-pleasers and former world champions Rabbit Bartholomew, Peter “PT” Townend, Tom Carroll, Pam Burridge, Mark Richards and former world longboard champs Josh Constable, current Coolum sensation and former world pro junior champ Julian Wilson, and 2007 world longboard champ Jen Smith from California are among the many champions slated for a charity teams event over the opening weekend, and Jarratt said there were likely to be a few last minute surprise starters.

“But the best thing about the competitor list this year is that it includes so many family groups from around the world,” Jarratt said.

“Not big names, just people who love surfing and who have heard about how much fun we have in Noosa. We have a very large group coming from New Caledonia, where surfing and stand up paddling is becoming huge, and we have many entries from Japan, Reunion, France and California.

“It's always great to see the legends in Noosa, but I get just as big a buzz out of seeing people you never heard of coming for the spirit of the event, people who've realised that life really is better when you surf.”

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Film to screen at GSI Noosa Festival of Surfing

The 2009 GSI Noosa Festival of Surfing



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