Currently ranked number eight in the world and two-time Surfest champion, Sally Fitzgibbons, drew Teralba-based spatial data company Anditi as the 2017 Surfest Women’s Pro naming-rights sponsor.
Anditi was officially waved in at the home of Surfest on Monday with a luncheon at Merewether Surfhouse, where representatives from around 85 businesses threw support behind the women’s event and crossed their fingers in the hope they too could have been drawn as naming-rights sponsor.
The crowd-funding campaign saw 85 x $1650+GST shares snapped up by businesses eager to support the iconic Newcastle event, which will retain its QS 6000 status, resulting in more prize money, larger audiences and stronger competition for surfing’s elite.
Defending champion Sally Fitzgibbons confirmed she will return to the water at Merewether in 2017.
“We’re in a world class setting here at one of my favourite beaches in the world and I can’t wait to be back in February,” Sally said.
Contest director Warren Smith said he was excited to have last year’s winner in town to attend the luncheon and congratulate Anditi as naming-rights sponsor.
“Sally is a huge supporter of the crowd-funding campaign and having her here in Newcastle for the draw is great for all the businesses who got behind us this year,” Warren said. “We’re really excited for 2017. Last year’s event was by many measures the best Surfest event in our 31-year history and with the support we’ve received this year, 2017 is shaping up to be even better!”
The barrel draw luncheon also played host to Newcastle’s very own Phillipa Anderson, a promising young female surfer who will continue her run on the World Qualifying Series next year.
The crowd-funding effort has received international recognition and will result in the top athletes making their way through the local crowd and down the sand at Merewether Beach to compete for the coveted Surfest title. It places Newcastle on the world stage and broadcasts the region to an audience of more than 442,000 globally.
The field for the 2017 Surfest Women’s Pro has grown from 72 to 84 surfers and the new and-improved crowd-funding effort includes additional perks not offered in the 2016 model. These included a $10,000 marketing budget for the naming-rights sponsor, increased prize pool for the Surfer Draw, surfer meet-and-greets and business workshops.
Anditi combines 20 years of environmental consulting with 10 years of spatial data solutions to create a high performance software platform that drives industry solutions into the future. Anditi offers standard spatial data services, but also provides a studio to build and customize solutions more complex or unique in nature.
Image | Anditi and Surfest – Past Surfest champions Philippa Anderson and Sally Fitzgibbons, Anditi managing director Peter Jamieson and head of strategy and business development Stephen Craig, Surfest chief Warren Smith and crowd-funding driving force Colin Law.
Photo courtesy of Grant Sproule