Manly, NSW/Australia (Wednesday, July 03, 2013) - ASP Australasia, Hurley, IMG and Destination NSW on behalf of the New South Wales Government in partnership with the support of Manly Council, today officially announced the return of the Australian Open of Surfing to Sydney's iconic Manly Beach. The event, taking place from 8th-16th February 2014, will see Hurley become the title sponsor, marking a two-year deal with the event being rebranded as the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing.

Owned and produced by IMG Australia, the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is a global, multifaceted, youth and sporting event that will showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art. The event is expected to attract an audience of in excess of 175,000 people over the nine-day event.

The inaugural event held in February 2012 which included surfing, skateboarding, art and concerts attracted crowds of more than 166,000 people to Manly Beach and showcased both Manly and Sydney to a global Audience. NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said: "The NSW Government is proud to be a partner in bringing this global event, the Australian Open of Surfing presented by Hurley and IMG, back to Manly for the next two years. It was always a dream to bring a world surfing title back to Manly - the birthplace of Australian surfing - and last year's event was a success for locals, visitors and audiences across the world. This event brings the best of surf, skate and music to our city, embracing youth culture and promoting the unique energy of Manly's outdoor lifestyle."

Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase, said: "Partnering with global brand Hurley has allowed us to look far beyond the traditional boundaries of a surfing event to create a significant visitor experience in Manly. We are leveraging the event to the benefit of NSW by developing travel packages and promoting the event to key markets, notably the West Coast of the USA and New Zealand. We thank Manly Council for its support and we look forward to working in partnership with them and other partners to continue to make this event a global success."

Tyler Wright (NSW/AUS), current ASP Women's World Championship Tour No. 1 ranked surfer is on track to claim her maiden ASP World Title, is also looking forward to seeing world-class surfing return to Australia's biggest city.

"I love having an event like this so close to Sydney," Wright said. "I also love how the Australian Open of Surfing incorporates skating, music fashion and art into a surfing event. They all work so well together and I'm already looking forward to next year's event."

Sally Fitzgibbons (NSW/AUS), last year's ASP Women's World Title runner-up and current ASP WCT No. 3 ranked surfer won the inaugural Australian Open of Surfing in 2012. The South Coast NSW surfer put her success at the Australian Open of Surfing down to the hometown support from her family and fans.

"Winning the Australian Open of Surfing in 2012 will always be one of my most special wins," Fitzgibbons said. "I had just come off a big injury where I broke my wrist surfing Cloudbreak in Fiji and I'd been out of the water for 6 weeks. I had so much support from family and friends and I went on to win the event and I will always remember how special that was."

The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is an extension of the world's largest action sports festival, the US Open of Surfing. The annual event owned and produced by IMG is held at Huntington Beach, California, celebrates inclusion and creativity, while inspiring the next generation of athletes and artists.

The Australian Open of Surfing in 2012 set a new benchmark for an action sports festival in Australia and won the support of the fans and competitors. To help further build on this success, the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will return as part of the ASP global calendar.

"We are excited to see the return of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing to the ASP World Tour," said ASP Australasia General Manager Dane Jordan. "The inaugural event was a huge success and welcomed the world's best surfers back to Manly, along with record crowds. We have no doubt that with the backing of IMG and Hurley that the 2014 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will be even bigger and better in every way."

The Australian Open of Surfing is inspired by the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. It will celebrate and showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art for nine days at one of Australia's most iconic beaches. These disciplines are strengthened when they're united under one event. The event will include Association of Surfing Professionals, six-star events for men and women and Junior Pros for boys and girls.

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