Surf’s up for Easter Classic

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By Kate Foreman

Robe’s Easter Classic is one of Australia’s longest running surf competitions – and a must event for the State’s top surfers.

The 2016 Classic is expected to attract up to 40 surfers and their families.

South Aussies have a good record in the event. The last time the winner’s prize travelled across the border was in 1993/94 when Victorian Geoff Tarr tamed the waves.

“At this stage Adelaide’s Khai Adams and Todd Goudie will be the surfers to watch this year,” said Sam Woolston, local surf shop owner and event organizer.

“We have mostly local Limestone Coast and South Australian entrants this year, but we often get a few from interstate and have had overseas entrants before.

“The comp brings a lot of tourism dollars to the town because people come to the comp, visit the shops, eat at the Cafe’s and restaurants and stay for the weekend, everyone benefits.”

Surfer Dion Atkinson – Photo Angus Sheridan

It’s not yet known whether last year’s winner WSL surfer Dion Atkinson of Seaford will be back to defend his title. Atkinson’s in great form having won the Australian Open Surfing title at Manly Beach on March 6. He posted great scores in all of his heats and final.

The Robe competition has seen a number of changes over its 48-year history.

“Notably the prize money increase to $1000 and a change in surf location,” Sam said.

“We used to hold the competition at Long Beach, but over the years conditions have changed and now Stoney Rise is the most popular spot.”

A professional score board and scoring system will also be used this year, with Surfing SA making the trip to the Limestone Coast.

The Easter Surf Classic is one of a number of events that help turn Robe into a tourism hot-spot over the long weekend.

“Easter is always busy for Robe and the surf competition definitely adds to the atmosphere around town.”

Robe’s Union Café owner, Hamish Stevenson says the comp adds to the boom local businesses receive over the long weekend.

“Easter is traditionally a family weekend in Robe making the school’s Fete a popular event, but the town always attracts a number of different interest groups,” he said

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