Sol Partners Up with Surfing New Zealand
DB Breweries Ltd has today (15th October 2010) announced that its Mexican beer brand SOL will be a major sponsor of Surfing New Zealand this summer.
The news comes as Surfing New Zealand prepares for an exciting summer of events set to commence in early November.
Surfing New Zealand Executive Officer, Greg Townsend, was delighted with the announcement that SOL was partnering up with Surfing New Zealand.
"SOL is a great fit for surfing. SOL means sun in Spanish and the SOL Series is contested over the summer months so this is a perfect fit for the brand" added Townsend.
SOL is the naming rights sponsor for Surfing New Zealand's summer competition - newly named the Sol Series - a six-event series that sees the country's top surfers such as the Quinn brothers (Maz and Jay), Bobby Hansen, Richard Christie, Billy Stairmand and Luke Cederman visit surf locations throughout New Zealand.
SOL Brand Manager Jason Kennedy is looking forward to getting alongside surfing.
"It's great to bring the SOL brand to life through sponsoring New Zealand's key surfing activity for the summer of 2010/2011. The SOL Series will really showcase the brand in its element - there's nothing more refreshing than enjoying a cold SOL after having a surf with mates. We are looking forward to sharing the SOL experience with surfers and spectators this summer."
The SOL Series kicks off at Gisborne in November with the O'Neill Sequence Surf Shop Pro before heading south to Dunedin for the Hyundai National Championships in January. The Series then heads back up to Whangamata for the Billabong Pro presented by Sony, the new Power Balance Pro at Mount Maunganui and the Rip Curl Pro at Raglan to round out the qualification events.
The biggest changes to the 2010/11 Series come in the form of the SOL Super 16 going mobile with an altered qualification process and less surfers making the final event highly prestigious and a real target for New Zealand's top surfers.
"Going mobile for the final event will ensure that the surfers have the chance to ride the best waves on offer over the final weekend of the summer season instead of being pigeon holed into one location months out from the actual event" commented Contest Director Ben Kennings. "The new qualification system whereby surfers who win events throughout the year gain direct entry into the final event sees two key benefits. Firstly it rewards those that produce stellar performances at single events and secondly our top international surfers that may get the chance to compete in select events during summer due to international commitments have the ability to be part of the final event."
Defending three time series champion, Maz Quinn (Gis) was stoked to hear about the mobile nature of the final event. "It will be good to have a contest go mobile for once" said Quinn. "It will be pretty exciting at the same to not know where the comp will be until less than five days out. There is a chance to get real good waves - especially at that time of the year" he added.
The new Power Balance Pro at Mount Maunganui bolsters the tour with a sixth event. Mount Maunganui was left off the calendar this year but makes a return in 2011.
The Hyundai National Championships will be held in Dunedin for the first time since 2003. It is the fifth time in the events 49-year history that the event has been held at Dunedin (ninth time in the South Island).
The National Champs will return to its full complement of 22 divisions after being split up in 2010. Furthermore the event will include the North vs South Challenge and the Interclub Championship, both of which have been held alongside the Super 16 in recent years.
The winner of each of the first five SOL Series events will receive direct entry into the Super 16 as will the top rated surfer on the South Island Circuit. This will mean that the cut off point at the top of the ratings will float between 11th and 15th depending on who wins events throughout the summer.
The major investment by SOL will allow Surfing New Zealand to continue to work on years three and four of the organisation's strategic plan. "We have been making significant steps forward under the current plan and this sponsorship will allow us to continue the great work achieved by the organisation" commented Townsend.
The dates of the 2010/11 Sol Series events are as follows:
Sol Series Event 1 - 6-7 November - O'Neill Sequence Surf Shop Pro, Gisborne (4-star)
Sol Series Event 2 - 13-16 January - Hyundai National Championships, Dunedin (5-star)
Sol Series Event 3 - 29-31 January - Billabong Pro presented by Sony, Whangamata (6-star)
Sol Series Event 4 - 12-13 February - Power Balance Pro, Mount Maunganui (4-star)
Sol Series Event 5 - 11-13 March - Rip Curl Pro, Raglan (6-star)
Sol Series Event 6 - 2-3 April SOL Super 16, Mobile (6-star)
Previous Series Champions
2005 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
2006 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
2007 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
2008 - Maz Quinn (Gis)
2009 - Maz Quinn (Gis)
2010 - Maz Quinn (Gis)
2005 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2006 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2007 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2008 - Mischa Davis (Piha)
2009 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2010 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)
Sol Series at a Glance
- New Zealand's top surfers across three divisions - Open Men, Open Women, Under 20 Men
- Six events held throughout New Zealand
- One new event at Mount Maunganui
- $50,000 in prize money
- Winners of each event in the Open Men's Division receive direct entry into the final event
- One entry into the final event granted to the top rated surfer on the South Island Circuit
- Remainder of the entries will be the top rated surfers on the SOL Series
- Final event caters for 16 males and top 4 females from the SOL Series
- Final event is mobile across the top of the North Island
- North vs South Challenge and Interclub Championship to be held at National Championships
Source: Surfing New Zealand
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