Surfest will shift back three weeks for the 2019 edition in a move organiser Warren Smith hopes will bring with it better waves.
The schedule for Surfest was released on Monday and included the finale to the main events, the 6000-point men’s and women’s World Surf League qualifying series contests, set down for March 17. Finals day in 2018 was February 25.
Surfest’s men’s and women’s events remain the first 6000-point events of the QS calendars and will be followed again by the Manly Pro and championship tour stops at Snapper Rocks, Bells Beach and Margaret River.
Smith said Surfest was to be held earlier than last year under proposed changes to the schedule but the WSL had reverted to the traditional order of events. The timing of Easter, which is later, on April 21, next year, has influenced the Bells Beach Pro dates and subsequently all those on the Australian leg.
Smith hoped the later date would equate to better swell.
“What you find is we get more offshore conditions instead of the onshore nor-easters, so it works out a little bit better for us,” Smith said.
“And it’s a nice time of the year. It’s still warm and we’ve still got daylight savings to get time during the day to run all the events.”
The Surfest carnival starts on February 2 with wildcard trials at Birubi Point.
Meanwhile, Merewether’s Philippa Anderson made a winning start for Team Australia at the ISA World Surfing Games in Japan on Monday. Anderson won her round-one contest as five of the six Australians advanced with heat victories.
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