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.”

Commenting on the partnership, Martin Jolly, Senior Vice President Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand IMG, said: “ Hurley had laid the foundations for a great event in 2012 and with IMG’s experience with the US Open of Surfing it felt like a natural progression for IMG to take over the ownership and production of the event. Utilising our experience and connections within the surf community we will work alongside Hurley to create a bigger and better event for 2014 and beyond.”

Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, Hurley and Ed Miles IMG, spoke about their collective vision for the future of the event. They were joined by Manly Native and surfing legend Barton Lynch, current World Number 1 female surfer Tyler Wright and current AOS champion Sally Fitzgibbons, who all welcomed the return of the event to Manly.

Jason Haynes, General Manager Hurley Australia and New Zealand said: “Hurley is honoured to partner with IMG and Destination NSW to create another groundbreaking event in Australia at the iconic Manly Beach Sydney. Hurley is born from water and we are inspired by creativity and the vision of the next generation. The Australian Open is the perfect venue for all of this to come together during one big moment.  The integration of surf, skate, music, art, seamlessly drafting and feeding off each other, add up to something much larger. The Open concept is truly “open.” We’re excited to partner with all the brands including NikeSB that share our vision for an all-inclusive, multi-dimensional event.”

Nike SB is committed to growing skateboarding in Australia and will deliver the skate event at the Australian Open of Surfing. “Nike SB is excited to be a part of this grassroots event bringing skateboarding and surfing together at this iconic Australian location,” said Paul Faulkner, Nike Pacific General Manager. “Nike SB is looking forward to working with all partners to create a pinnacle moment for Action Sports in Australia. This event will inspire and challenge local skate athletes to perform at their best and show all Australians what they can do.”

Manly Mayor Jean Hay, recounted the huge enjoyment of Manly in February 2012 “We experienced the excitement and energy brought to Manly with the inaugural “Australian Open of Surfing” for our community and visitors, this was an incredible event. The days of competition, with great athletes, perfect weather, amazing crowds, music concerts and a fun family Manly Vibe, were enjoyed at this perfect location, Manly Beach. Manly Council as a major supporter, welcomes this fantastic event for February 2014. We are looking forward to great success again, engaging people with fun activities, reaching out to community, visitors and to businesses to showcase the Manly Vibe at the Australian Open of Surfing 2014.”

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.