WE’VE got the World Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Superbikes and the V8s.
But they’ve got one of the world’s biggest surfing events, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach every Easter.
Phillip Island is still the major events capital of regional Victoria, however, and we could soon have our own major surfing event if Surfing Victoria can attract the support of the Bass Coast Shire Council and surfing authorities.
The plan is to stage a second tier World Qualifying Surfing event here every year, prior to or over the Melbourne Cup Weekend.
And at next Wednesday’s council meeting, there’ll be a pitch made for the shire to weigh in.
The council will be asked to:
1. Support in principle the Phillip Island Pro QS 1000 proposal submitted by Surfing Victoria with the preferred date for the inaugural event coinciding with Melbourne Cup Weekend 2017 and, subject to further negotiation with Surfing Victoria, the event includes junior categories, and,
2. Authorises officers to continue to work with relevant stakeholders to finalise a budget up to a maximum of $40,000 in keeping with the resolution and identify event partners and possible sponsors.
While a tentative date of November 16-19, 2017 has been suggested by Surfing Victoria, council officers have been in discussions with Phillip Island Business and Tourism Association who support having the event coinciding with the Melbourne Cup weekend to take advantage of the additional visitors expected in the region at that time.
The contribution by council is expected to generate significant income for the local economy.