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World surfing champs honoured at Gold Coast gala event


Surfing’s elite, including Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore gathered at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) at the recent ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Surfing Awards, a gala event hosting the world’s best surfers in honour of the 2010 ASP World Championships on February 24.


Pro surfers Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore collect the ASP World Titles for 2010 before competing in the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro, kicking off the Australian leg of the ASP World Tour.
Image courtesy of ASP 2011, Kirstin Scholtz

Showcasing the cream of the surfing community, the professional surfers’ gala event was the precursor to the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro, kicking off the Australian leg of the ASP World Tour at Snapper Rocks, Coolangatta.

The Association of Surfing Professionals is the foremost governing body in professional surfing. Located in Coolangatta it boasts the sanctioning of six professional surfing circuits including the ASP World Tour.

Australia’s largest regional convention centre attracted more than 500 guests on the night, including pro-surfer Kelly Slater who accepted an unprecedented tenth ASP World Title, and Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore who collected her fourth consecutive ASP Women’s World Title before competing in the 2011 ASP World Title kickoff the following weekend. In addition to celebrating the champions we already know, the event shone the spotlight on new talent in the sport, awarding titles such as ‘Rookie of the Year’, ‘Breakthrough Performer’ and ‘Junior Champion’.


Mick and Karissa Fanning arrive on the blue carpet.
Image courtesy of ASP 2011, Kirstin Scholtz

Located between Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta, the home of the Roxy and Quicksilver Pro, the GCCEC held the event in one half of the Arena which was transformed from a 6,000 seat auditorium into a banquet room complete with a glowing stage-setup and live entertainment to host the surfing professionals and their partners.

The GCCEC worked with a new production company based in Sydney to stage an event unprecedented by previous years’ awards. Held at the Centre for the last three consecutive years, one of the biggest challenges was revamping the World Champions Crowning to create a ‘wow’ factor that would make it a stand out and keep it as the biggest night in World Surfing.

The GCCEC worked with Lampoon Productions to incorporate a special ‘Blue Carpet Show’ (media wall) in the porte-cochère where fans and media gathered to see their favourite surfers, and inside the Arena a bigger stage and special props including a neon lit screen. A decadent three course feast was served and Sydney-based band the Seabellies and Central Coast act Slow Down Honey added to the fun and festivities of the night, where formal proceedings ended with confetti blasts and an after-party for the surfers.
 


ASP World Tour CEO Brodie Carr.
Image courtesy of ASP 2011, Kirstin Scholtz

In a city where surfing is arguably the quintessential experience of local culture, the Gold Coast is synonymous with Australia’s beach lifestyle. More than 60km of sandy coastline makes the city a mecca for thousands of domestic and international tourists each year, many learning to surf, as well as home to a surfing community which dates back to before the bright lights of the tourist boom.

The Gold Coast City Council employs the largest professional Lifeguard Service in Australia which patrols 26 beaches year-round and 42 during the holiday season. Home to the international industry body for professional surfers, the ASP, the Gold Coast is the ideal place to stage the World Surfing Awards with the GCCEC providing all the facilities and flexibility to stage a reinvigorated event. As the black tie finale to the competitive surfing year, the event is not only attended by the world’s top surfers and up-and-coming talent, but also by industry leaders such as Billabong, Rip Curl, Quiksilver and a number of other affiliated businesses. A combination of new ideas and innovation from the ASP, the GCCEC and Lampoon Productions made for a spectacular evening of fine food, entertainment and atmosphere, celebrating a monumental year of surfing competition.

“As surfing’s night of nights, the ASP World Surfing Awards caters to the world’s very best surfers as well as a smattering of the industry’s heaviest hitters. The GCCEC provided the optimum venue for this momentous occasion, affording the evening an air of class as well as the ability to create a multimedia event,” said Association of Surfing Professionals International’s CFO, Chris Payne.

 

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