Entries open for 2018 King of the Box, set to run in Shoal Bay early September

Anna Bay surfer Josh Stretton hoisted up after winning the juniors section of the 2017 Burton Automotive King of the Box. Picture: Harry Royal
Anna Bay surfer Josh Stretton hoisted up after winning the juniors section of the 2017 Burton Automotive King of the Box. Picture: Harry Royal

Entries for the annual King of the Box surfing are now open.

The one day surfing competition will be staged at Box Beach in Shoal Bay on either September 1-2 or September 8-9. 

The date will be announced closer to the event, picked once the weather and surf conditions are assessed.

The categories for the 2018 event are: open men shortboard, legends (40 and older) shortboard, junior men shortboard and open women shortboard.

“It’s really established itself as one of the best ‘little’ one-day events on the Australian circuit, and the wedging nature of the wave draws in surfers from right around the country” event director Teza McKenna said.

“Last year’s event was mind blowing.

“The waves on the final day were about as good as it gets. More than 300 spectators braved the cold to watch South coast local Nick Squires snatch a last-minute victory form local hero Mitch Dawkings.”

This year the women’s division winners will walk away with more prize money thanks to major sponsor Kim Burton Toyota. It will be the second year King of the Box runs a women’s division.

Kira-Belle Olson won the women’s division last year while Nick Squires, Josh Stretton (Anna Bay) and Brent Symes took out the open men, juniors and legends sections respectively.

Earlier story, from 2017 King of the Box:

For the first time, Box Beach has a queen – Kira-Belle Olson.

Olson, from Avoca, won the inaugural women’s division of the 2017 Burton Automotive King of the Box surfing competition, held at Box Beach in Shoal Bay on August 19-20.

Abbey Paxton, from Byron Bay, placed second while Jasmine Sampson, from Anna Bay, and Elle Clayton-Brown, from Corlette, came in third and fourth.Nic Squires, Josh Stretton and Brent Symes took out the open men, juniors and legends sections respectively.

King of the Box finished on Sunday with “perfect” four to six feet of surf.

A big crowd braved the cold to witness the “best semis and finals ever seen in the history of the event”, organiser Terry McKenna said.

Squires, from Scarborough (near Wollongong) and Mitch Dawkings, from Nelson Bay, went blow for blow in the open men’s division.

Kira-Belle Olson, left, took out the first ever Queen of the Box title on Saturday. Runner up was Abbey Paxton. Jasmine Sampson and Elle Clayton-Brown, from Port Stephens, placed third and fourth.

Kira-Belle Olson, left, took out the first ever Queen of the Box title on Saturday. Runner up was Abbey Paxton. Jasmine Sampson and Elle Clayton-Brown, from Port Stephens, placed third and fourth.

Squires squeaked past Mitch by 0.10 point to claim the title.

“I have a long history with the wave,” Squires said. “My nan used to live up here when I was young so I used to sneak down and get tubed as a kid. So I feel like I have an affinity with the wave.”

Dawkings wooed the crowd with his positioning and deep tube rides, but Squires’ “ballistic backhand” was just too strong in the end.

Kurtis Herman, from Nelson Bay, and Rohan Watts from Belmont placed third and fourth respectively.

The junior finals was a see-saw affair with Stretton, from Anna Bay, winning his first crown.

Ross Cadden, from Forster, Joel Buxton, from Norah Head, and Eddy Hamaty, from Bulli, placed second, third and fourth behind Stretton.

Symes won the legends division.

McKenna said the 2017 King of the Box was “another resounding success”.

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