COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Monday, December 16, 2013) – One of Queensland’s most prestigious surfing events – the Chiko MP Classic, that honours one of Australia’s most iconic surfers – Michael Peterson (1952 – 2012), to be held at one of the world’s most famous waves – Kirra, has been upgraded to an ASP 1-Star rated event. This exciting announcement will see surfers in the event not only compete for Chiko Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC) points, but also ASP Qualifying Series points and prize-money. The ASP sanction also means that elite ASP Top 34 surfers the likes of Gold Coast locals Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Bede Durbidge will now be able to don an event rashie and compete in honour of one of their surfing heroes, MP.
Chiko have a been a huge supporter of surfing in Queensland and throughout Australia and Kieran Prestidge, Chiko spokesman was thrilled to renew and upgrade that support in 2014.
“We are very proud to continue our support of the Chiko Queensland Championship Circuit for the fourth consecutive year,” said Prestidge. “Surfing Queensland sets the benchmark for Australian surfing; offering male athletes the best possible platform to reach the highest levels in surfing. The QCC series continues to grow in stature, evident by the MP Classic becoming an ASP 1-star event in 2014.”
Bede Durbidge (AUS), current ASP WCT campaigner and Gold Coast resident is looking forward to having the opportunity to surf in such a special event in the lead up to his 10th year competing at the elite level.
“I think it’s unreal that the MP Classic is now going to be ASP event,” said Durbidge. “Michael Peterson is such an iconic surfer renowned around the world and it’s only fitting that his contest be ASP rated so the best surfers in the world can compete.”
Surfing Queensland CEO Scott Gillies is grateful for the continued support from Chiko and to see a sentimental favourite event get upgraded to an ASP 1-Star rating. The Chiko MP Classic is the first event on the respected and highly regarded Chiko Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC).
“Surfing Queensland is excited to announce this upgrade to the Chiko MP Classic,” Gillies said. “ASP sanctioning for the 2014 Chiko MP Classic will bolster opportunities for Queensland’s elite surfing talent to surf in Qualifying Series event in their backyard. The ASP ranking now also provides the option for some of the world’s best surfers who reside within the area to compete in an iconic event named after the late Michael Peterson.”
Emerging Gold Coast surfing talent and reigning Chiko MP Classic event champion Mitch Parkinson was thrilled to hear about the upgrade and is looking forward to the challenge of defending his event title in 2014.
“Winning the Chiko MP Classic is one of my favourite memories, my whole family was down there and I had so much support from my friends and also it was a lot of fun,” Parkinson said. “It’s going to be really cool being an ASP event next year, I’m really excited to go there and try to defend the title. The level of surfing at that competition is always really high so it will be tough.”
Dane Jordan, ASP Australasia General Manager is excited to see such a special event added to the ASP calendar, and is looking forward to seeing the ASP career pathway open up with another ASP 1-Star event in Australia.
“The Chiko MP Classic is an iconic event celebrating an iconic surfer and ASP is excited to have it as a 1-Star in 2014,” Jordan said. “This will allow all ASP surfers to participate, but also offer a great pathway to the WCT for aspiring Qld and Australian surfers as they strive to win one of the most sought after trophies in Australia.”
The 2014 Chiko MP Classic will run from Feb 1 – 2. For more information log on to ASPWorldTour.com and SurfingQueensland.com
The 2014 Chiko MP Classic is proudly supported by Surfing Queensland, ASP, Chiko, Be the Influence, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, World Surfaris, HIF, Coastalwatch Plus, Surfing Life Magazine, Absee Media and 5 and a half eyewear
About MP Michael Peterson is one of Coolangatta’s original ‘Coolie Kids’. He was on the forefront of the shortboard revolution in Australia in the 1970s and was one of the most successful professional surfers of his era, winning at Bells Beach three times, and claiming the first ever man-on-man surfing competition event win at the Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads, in classic conditions over Mark Richards. MP passed away last year and will forever be remembered as one of Australia’s favourite surfing sons because of his feats in competition and because of the way he dominated sessions at Kirra as featured in the cult surf film Morning of the Earth.