Surfing Veterans to Rising Stars: Burleigh Heads Set to Host Some of The World’s Best Surfers

Published on 16/02/2023

Gold Coast, Queensland (Thursday 16 February, 2023) – Excitement is in the air as professional surfing returns to Queensland tomorrow at the iconic Burleigh Heads for the 2023 Gold Coast Open presented by Cocobella. Surfers from all over the country will go head-to-head for valuable World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) points.

43-year old and Championship Tour (CT) Veteran, Nathan Hedge, will be one to watch as he continues his pursuit to requalify for the WSL CT. Eight years after retiring, Hedge said he still has the competitive drive and is looking forward to competing at Burleigh Heads this weekend. 

“It’s always a privilege to put the competition rash vest on and compete at Burleigh,” said Hedge. “It’s such an iconic venue with so much history and paved the way for professional surfing. My main goal for 2023 is to qualify for the WSL Challenger Series. The Gold Coast Open always has a solid field of surfers, so I’m looking forward to going up against some of the best and showcasing the work I’ve been putting in over the off season.”

Another event hopeful and local Burleigh Boardrider, 18-year-old, Mia Huppatz (Bilinga, QLD), is excited to compete at her home break with the support of the local Burleigh Heads community. 

“The Gold Coast Open always has such a fun atmosphere with the live music on the hill and all the activities going on along the point,” said Huppatz. “I’m looking forward to competing at Burleigh. It’s a wave I enjoying surfing at regularly and especially appreciate having all the support from the Burleigh Boardriders.”

Surfing Queensland CEO, Adam Yates, is thrilled to again host the 2023 Gold Coast Open presented by Cocobella. 

“Burleigh Point is an exceptional wave, and we can’t wait to be hosting some of the world’s best surfers for the 2023 Gold Coast Open presented by Cocobella,” said Yates. “The event will see a high-calibre of surfing athletes, from up-and-coming junior stars to former CT surfers and veterans of the sport. We’re proud to include several other attractions such as sunrise yoga hosted by Blackroll, a pop-up beach bar stocked with Travla beer, Cocobella Chill-Out Zone, live music on the hill and much more. Burleigh Hill is the perfect natural amphitheatre for the event, and we expect to see crowds flock in bigger numbers than ever before for this weekend’s event.”

City of Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate,said he’s looking forward to seeing some of the best male and female talent in action at Burleigh.  

“The Gold Coast Open is back with some of the best male and female talent in action at Burleigh,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.“I encourage locals to get down to the Gold Coast Open and support these champion athletes and take the time to check out the foreshore exhibits and activities. It’s a three-day celebration of our surf culture and signals the return of pro surfing to the coast for 2023.’’

Previous winners of the Gold Coast Open presented by Cocobella (formerly Burleigh Pro) include names like Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Dimity Stoyle, Owen Wright, Sophie McCulloch, Mitch Crews and Isabella Nichols. The event is known for attracting surfers from all corners of the globe including Hawaii, Indonesia, North America, France, Brazil and Japan.

The 2023 Gold Coast Open presented by Cocobella is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

The 2023 Gold Coast Open Presented by Cocobella is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, Major Events Gold Coast, Cocobella, Blackroll, Travla, Southern Cross University, SeaFM, QMS Media, Dritimes, We Are Feel Good Inc and Jettech. 


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