The hugely popular King of the Box surfing competition, now in its sixth season, will be staged at Box Beach in Shoal Bay on the weekend of August 3-4 or August 10-11.
Around 100 competitors are expected to do battle for the 2019 crown in four categories: open men, legends (40 and older), junior men and open women.
One of the favourites for this year's junior tournament is Anna Bay's Josh Stretton, who will be aiming for his third consecutive victory in the event. Stretton has gone back-to-back over the last two years and has high hopes of completing the hat-trick.
The open men's is expected to be a tight contest with Kurtis Herman, also from Anna Bay, emerging as a key competitor. The King of the Box will be crowned on the Sunday night.
Event organisers will give the competition weekend the go ahead once forecasts are available, and the weather conditions are determined to be suitable.
Competitor Adam Dawkings said this year's event would be dedicated to a previous winner, Shane 'Chilli' Compton, a recently widowed father of five from Shoal Bay.
"The financial toll on 'Chilli' and the five kids has been extremely hard so we have sourced a beautifully painted surfboard as a raffle prize to be drawn at the Shoal Bay Country Club at the presentation night," he said.
"This amazing board featuring the Box Beach landscape and famous wedge is worth at least $2,500. Tickets are $50 each and are available at the Fingal Bomboras league matches, the Anna Bay surf shop, King of the Box Facebook page or through the event organisers."
Event director Teza McKenna expects that surfers from near and far will converge on Box Beach to compete for the $5000 in prize money.
"The event started six years ago as a Port contest that has now grown to be one of the country's favourite one-day events. Many of the competitors are world class surfers on the WSL and they come for one reason only, to ride the infamous Box beach wedge."
Previous winners include Jackson Baker (Merewether), Ryan Callinan (Merewether), Jesse Adam (Merewether), Mitch Dawkings (Box Beach), Nic Squires (Scarborough) and Elle Clayton Brown (One Mile).
The tournament has incredible support from Kim Burton and Port Stephens Toyota, the Country Club hotel and Port businesses.
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