The Breaka Noosa Festival brought the world tandem surfing championships to town in '99, and ever since has attracted the cream of the world's longboarding fraternity.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Australian event management company USM Events will assume management responsibilities of the Noosa Festival of Surfing from 2008, ushering in a bold new era for the world-renowned carnival, now in its seventeenth year.

USM Managing Director, Garth Prowd, said in Noosa this week that the company had reached a licensing agreement with festival founders the Noosa Malibu Club that will enable the company to build on the successful core event and create a broad-ranging celebration of the surfing lifestyle. "The Noosa Malibu Club created this event, nurtured it through some tough years and often managed it with just a handful of over-worked volunteers," Mr Prowd said. "They've done a fantastic job over the years and we're looking to build on their success, not reinvent the wheel. Most of the key people from previous festivals will be back on the job running the surfing events in 2008, while our team at USM looks at leveraging this great event into a major lifestyle festival."

"We are very interested in exploring the other relationships between surfing, music and in particular, trying to encourage some of the big name musicians who surf, such as Jack Johnson, Xavier Rudd and Donavon Frankenreiter, to be part of the Festival as it develops.  We will also look to introduce a surf expo that the surf industry can showcase their products and services in Noosa, while the Festival is in full swing."

Originally a weekend amateur get-together created by the Noosa Malibu Club so that they could invite their mates up to Noosa to go surfing at the best time of year for waves, the Noosa Malibu Classic incorporated a professional division in 1996 and changed its name to the Noosa Festival of Surfing in 1998, when the club teamed with Shore Thing Promotions and Pauls Ltd to expand the horizons of the event. The Breaka Noosa Festival brought the world tandem surfing championships to town in '99, and ever since has attracted the cream of the world's longboarding fraternity, as well as some of the biggest names in contemporary pro surfing and the sport's most revered legends.

In 2008 tennis legend Pat Rafter will be involved with Australia's first CEO 'Surf Summit' at Noosa. The summit will be aimed at providing a forum for discussion and awareness of worldwide environmental conditions affecting the surf industry and the opportunities to increase awareness and action throughout the surf community. The CEO's will also be able to bid at auction to buy celebrities for their corporate surf team and to purchase surf memorabilia items with, the proceeds going to Pat's commitment to 'Cherish the Children' and environmental charities.

Surf journalist and marketer Phil Jarratt, who headed the Shore Thing management of the event from 1998 to 2001, has been brought back by USM to co-ordinate the surfing components. "Everywhere you go in the world of surfing, people talk about the Noosa Festival. It's that combination of a beautiful destination, great waves and a fantastically friendly vibe that gets them all excited. This year the Noosa Malibu Club pulled off the biggest and best event in years, some of it thanks to the surf god Huey, but a lot of it down to hard work and good management. You couldn't wish for a better platform from which to build the event under the guidance of people who know Noosa and know events. All of us who have been associated with the festival over the years are thrilled to have USM at the helm," said Jarratt.

Noosa Malibu Club president Norm Innis said, "Our objective in 2007 was not just to produce a great festival, but to set things up for the future. The club will always be an integral part of it, but the truth is the festival has grown too big for us to manage, and I'm delighted to hand those responsibilities to event professionals like the team at USM."

The 2008 Noosa Festival of Surfing will be held from March 3 to 9.



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