It seems today is a day for some of the biggest surfing news since Rolf Harris got barreled in Woolacombe. Today’s competition at Jeffrey’s Bay is being hailed as the greatest day in world surfing, and Hurley have announced the biggest purse in pro surfing history. Check out the press release and check back for more from today’s Billabong Pro…
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Tuesday, July 14, 2009) – Hurley has just made the unprecedented announcement that first place in the upcoming Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star U.S. Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach will now be US$100,000, the biggest prize purse in professional surfing’s history.
“Huntington Beach is ground zero for competitive surfing in mainland America, and on the 50th anniversary of major events at the Pier, we’re excited and honored to help bring surfing back to center stage at the U.S. Open,” Evan Slater, Hurley Digital Marketing Manager, said. “This includes attracting the world’s best surfers and making it the significant event it deserves to be.”
The event, which runs at the historic Huntington Beach Pier from July 20 – 26, 2009, has attracted a bevy of the world’s best surfers from the prestigious ASP Dream Tour as well as the top ASP WQS seeds looking to gain valuable qualification points in their respective campaigns for an ASP World Tour berth in 2010.
“Going back to the Op Pro days in the early to mid 80s, the event here at Huntington always seemed larger than life,” Slater said. “Where your heroes performed the unimaginable right in front of you. The waves weren’t the key factor; it was the atmosphere. At Rob Machado’s suggestion, who remembers those days clearly as a kid, he felt a first-place incentive like this would help rekindle that electric atmosphere.”
Hurley’s unparalleled financial incentive has caught the global attention of surfers, fans, industry powerbrokers and the ASP.
“Hurley already has a reputation with Hurley Pro Trestles in San Clemente, providing one of the best events on the planet for both surfers and fans,” Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. “This year, we have started early with Hurley’s $100k 1st place prize purse at the upcoming U.S. Open – the biggest winner’s prize in surfing history!”
Hurley is no stranger to financial contributions to the world’s best surfers; Bob Hurley, Founder and Chairman of Hurley International, famously upped first prize at last season’s inaugural Hurley Pro Trestles (an ASP World Tour event) from US$30,000 to US$75,000 moments before the Final. When asked if their prize money incentive at the upcoming ASP WQS meant the potential for an even bigger gesture at this year’s Hurley Pro Trestles in September, the industry power player remained guarded.
“We can’t comment on that now,” Slater said. “But let’s just say that we like surprises.”
The ASP WQS 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing will be held at California’s famed Huntington Beach Pier from July 20 – 26, 2009.
The event will be webcast LIVE at www.usopenofsurfing.com