Bay Brawlers win KO Classic, to host again next year

FUNDRAISERS: Pictured at the cheque presentation are (l-r) John Sullivan (club president), Dr Mark Mather (director of Palliative Care), David Voyzey (event organiser) Jess Scaffe and Vicky Voyzey (event coordinator).
FUNDRAISERS: Pictured at the cheque presentation are (l-r) John Sullivan (club president), Dr Mark Mather (director of Palliative Care), David Voyzey (event organiser) Jess Scaffe and Vicky Voyzey (event coordinator).

The Calvary-Mater Hospital is more than $21,000 better off courtesy of the Bay Area Boardriders, who hosted a successful charity surf carnival in Newcastle last weekend.

The KO Classic has been running at Newcastle Beach for the last 15 years in memory of two people that died young - Darren Kokin (K) and Louise O'Mara (O).

The event was started by a group of surfers that go by the name of the Ugly Brothers Boardriders Club who compete in the event every year while raising funds for the Calvary-Mater at Newcastle's Mercy Hospice.

One of the organisers of the event, Bay Area Boardriders member Dave Voyzey said that the Port Stephens-based club had been competing every year for the past five years, going by the name of the Bay Brawlers.

In the club's first year the Bay Brawlers finished fourth.

"Having won the event in 2018 meant that the Bay Brawlers were responsible for the organising and running of the event in 2019. We managed to win it again last weekend against all Newcastle clubs so we will be hosting the event in 2020," Voyzey said.

"The KO Classic this year consisted of 14 teams, 10 surfers per team and 140 competitors. The theme for the event was '70s Retro and only original single fin and twin fin boards are allowed. To add to the fun, there was a strong '70s retro dress-up theme as well."

Voyvey said that fundraising activities carried out by the Brawlers included a monster raffle, barbecue and a charity auction of custom surfboards, memorabilia and merchandise sales.

"The support and generously from the Port Stephens and greater Newcastle business community was unbelievable, as was the generosity from competitors and the public.

"Our major sponsor Burton's Automotive came on board from the outset ... without them it would have been difficult to get the momentum required to host such a successful event. We were also supported by four-time world champion and Newcastle great Mark Richards

Club president John Sullivan said that the bar has been lifted to a new level that would be hard to match in 2020.

"This was a major undertaking for a small club like the Bay Boardriders. The recognition from the Mater was amazing and not only did the entire staff of the hospice come out to greet us when we handed over the cheque, but they also gave us a guided tour of the facility to show firsthand what all the hard work goes to," he said.

"They plan to use the money to improve facilities and buy new specialist chairs for patients."

The Bay Area Boardriders run friendly surfing competitions on a monthly basis at either One Mile, Samurai or Birubi beach depending on the conditions.

They welcome boardriders of all ages ranging from junior boys and girls and grommets the masters (over 50s).

Comments