WCT for Margaret River
Photos by Russell Ord
Q & A with Mark Lane, CEO Surfing WA.
You have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into making this happen, who else is behind the scenes making the WCT event a reality.
There have been numerous people involved, all having valuable input. Jake Paterson has been a massive help along with Tim Thirsk and a guy Glenn Hamilton from Eventscorp. There have also been some other people who would prefer to remain nameless – that have been really influential and supportive of what we set out to achieve – offering advice, experience and contacts to help make it happen.
There has been mixed emotions in the local line-ups about the transition mostly about future crowds, any words of advice for the recreational surfer.
That is certainly an understandable response about the crowds – although having surfed down in the South West for over 35 years myself, even without the event things have become pretty crowded at various times of the year historically – its more about picking your times if possible (daily & seasonally). I have had plenty of surfs at key locations with only a handful of crew. I think any good wave spot gets crowded on a great day, or at a specific time of day – so managing your surfs to avoid those times has worked for me. I also think that the “wave hunger” magnifies when or if there haven’t been many good waves around for a few weeks. So when the surf pumps for days on end – crowds are rarely a factor cause every one is a bit more chilled.
I can’t imagine a WCT license and running of the event to be cheap, are the major sponsors all surf related companies or does the backing coming from other sources.
Financially WCT events are a step in a budget sense up from The Prime / 6 Star WQS event we have been running. Most of the extra $$ go in prize money upgrades and sanction / license fees. Fortunately we have created a unique formula that works really well for our situation and have been lucky to have the same partners/sponsors involved for the past few years. We discussed initially with all partners about the prospect and what it would mean financially to step it up to a WCT – all agreed to back us in. Funding this event comes from a variety of sources – both Government and Corporate partners including surf-based companies.
How’s the next generation of WA surfers looking, it’s a big call and very difficult to achieve but is there any WCT potentials to take over from locals Taj Burrow and Yadin Nicol.
Its looking awesome in fact. There is this crop of grommets aged 12 – 16, mostly from the regional areas in WA, many from the South West – who are really turning heads at a National and International level. Jacob Wilcox, Shaun Manners, Jack Robinson, Kael Walsh, Duke Nagtzaam, are a couple that have big futures, whilst a few of the older girls Felicity Palmateer, Mikeala Green, Bronte and Laura MacAuley are all knocking on the door on the Women’s tour.
Any last words, feel free to get it off your chest.
Good luck with your new website – it has some great pics – Obviously !!