The world’s top 48 bodyboarders will make their way to the Kiama at the end of the month for the inaugural Kiama Bodyboard King Pro.
The elite World Grand Slam event will run from July 30 to August 9 and be mobile between Cronulla’s Shark Island and the far south coast, however, will utilise Kiama as its main hub for competition days.
Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) CEO Alex Leon said he was pleased to finally have Australia play host to the World Tour.
“We have worked extremely hard for years to bring the tour back to Australia and with the great support of Surfing NSW, Kiama Council, Destination Kiama and Destination NSW we can finally showcase our sport to the Australian community and hope it helps the development and participation of the sport of bodyboarding in Australia,” he said.
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said that the Kiama Bodyboard King Pro from was great news for the region.
“This 11-day bodyboarding competition to be held in Kiama will see the top 32 men and top 16 women of the world compete in various beaches of the Kiama region to become the champion of the Australian Grand Slam,” he said.
“I’m pleased to see the local wildcards getting a crack.
“I’m proud to be supporting this event. It’s a terrific drawcard for our region and will provide a real boost for local tourism and the hospitality industry in Kiama and surrounding suburbs during this event.”
Kiama Mayor Mark Honey said hosting the world’s best bodyboarders was an “amazing opportunity” for Kiama.
“Surf Beach is the perfect location for a world-class bodyboarding competition, with its ideal bodyboarding conditions for the athletes and many vantage points for fans to watch the action at close range,” he said.
“The Kiama area is proud of its reputation as a nursery for bodyboarding talent, with Surf Beach a hotspot for our youngsters to develop their skills for competing around Australia and overseas.”
Wildcards for the event include local Jase Finlay, 2016 Shark Island Challenge Champion Mitch Rawlins, six-times Australian Champion Lilly Pollard, World Title runner-up David Winchester and Bodyboard King wildcard and former World Champion Ben Player.
Kiama’s Surf Beach will host an array of different happenings on August 4 and 5 with a Pro Junior Series event, coaching clinics with nine-times World Champion Mike Stewart and the Australian Women’s professional – Lilly Pollard . There will also be the “Fling 4 Bling” tow out air show pending wave size.