The sixth annual Rip Curl MP Classic will be kicking off on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia this weekend.

The next generation of Aussie young guns will be unleashed in the 2007 Rip Curl MP Classic with the country’s rising surf stars vying for its prestigious title this weekend. The absence of inaugural champion Shane Bevan (’02, Kingscliff), three-time event winner Shaun Gossmann (’03-’05, Snapper Rocks) and reigning champion Dave Reardon Smith (’06, Yaroomba) leaves the door wide open in the race for its crown.

In its sixth year, the Rip Curl MP Classic honours legendary ‘Cooly Kid’ Michael ‘MP’ Peterson (pictured left), who was without doubt the greatest competitive surfer of the 1970’s. Growing up near Kirra Point, MP swiftly became a key player in the exploding Coolangatta surfing scene, where he set the standard in performance surfing. Like previous years, the contest will take place in MP’s old stomping ground.

Adding to the already high stakes is a $5000 prize purse along with a personally signed surfboard by MP himself for the contest winner. Surfing Australia’s Team Australia Selection Camp will utilise the tournament as the perfect battleground for selecting the Australian Team to compete at the ISA World Junior Championships in Portugal in May, 2007.

14 squad members, who are the most promising junior surfers in the country, will attempt to bring down Queensland’s most experienced competitors in the pursuit of glory. Team Australia’s High Performance coach Sasha Stocker is fully aware of how crucial the event is for selecting the team stating, “These kids are the next generation of professional surfers and I can’t wait to see how they go against older and more experienced competitors."

Burleigh surfing sensation Jay Thompson will line up for his first crack at the title this weekend. Thompson, who is Queensland’s highest ranked World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfer, is usually competing overseas in the opening events of the arduous ‘QS.

The coast’s biggest title hopefuls; Samba Mann (Tweed Heads), Scott Wildin (Tweed Heads South), Will Lewis (Coolangatta) and Luke Dorrington (Coolangatta) will all don competition rash vests to pay tribute to the enduring surf icon. A host of surfers from Indonesia and South Africa will also line up.

The two day specialty tournament will run from Saturday 3rd February through to Sunday 4th February, 2007. The ‘07 Rip Curl MP Classic is mobile from Kirra through to Duranbah Beach.

www.ripcurl.com