Narrabeen snatches the Snapper Rocks CT event
Overnight, the NSW State Government announced it would be hosting a second CT event, this time at Narrabeen.
The event, which will be held in April and is as yet unnamed, was poached from Queensland when the Palaszczuk State Government couldn't guarantee the World Surf League (WSL) of cross border travel, according to WSL Asia-Pacific general manager Andrew Stark.
Stark said the WSL had made the decision to cancel the Snapper Rocks event and stay in NSW after Queensland refused to guarantee quarantine-free access to the state.
Yesterday, the QLD Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe argued the decision to ditch Snapper Rocks hinged on the government paying for hotel quarantine. However, Stark told Nine Media the WSL was paying for the hotel quarantine in NSW.
“This is not a financial decision, this is a decision around how we run events,” he said. “It’s too risky to just gamble whether the border is open or not ... we had to de-risk our sport.”
Late last year, the WSL reportedly approached Northern Beaches Council to run an event at Narrabeen, though the plans were shelved when a COVID outbreak threw the region into a five-day lockdown.
It's now the second ad hoc CT planned for NSW, and follows the Newcastle Pro which will run from the 1st to 11th April. Nine Media is reporting the combined events "would generate $15 million for NSW under pre-COVID circumstances." Though with unknown sponsors and limited crowd numbers the expected return will be well down on those estimations.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro put a parochial spin on the announcement stating, "once again, NSW has come out on top. In 2021, NSW will be known as the surfing state and sporting capital of Australia.”
If it runs, it'll be the first time a CT event has been held at Narrabeen since 1997 when Kelly Slater beat Sunny Garcia in the Coke Classic.