BOX Beach at Shoal Bay has long been a testing ground for the watermen of Port Stephens and this weekend will be no different with the annual Burton Toyota King of the Box surfing competition set to run.
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This year the event has special significance with the recent passing of one of Box Beach’s original locals in Andrew ‘Tubeseeker’ Lilly who helped pioneer the heavy left-hand wedge.
Competition will be set to run on Saturday and Sunday with a paddle out on Saturday morning at 6:45am that all locals and competitors are welcomed to attend to farewell Andrew.
Event director Terry McKenna, who shared a warm friendship and many waves with Andrew, said that the event was about showcasing grassroots surfing and the uniqueness of Box Beach to the community.
“The wave itself is a real spectacle,” said Mr McKenna.
“It breaks close to shore with tons of power that allows for heavy tube rides and high performance surfing,”
“Andrew was a master tuberider out there and we have really lost a legend of this area.”
There will be four divisions in open men, open women, junior men and legends.
The event will culminate with an exhibition by photographer Robbie O’Brien of local surfing over the decades on Saturday night at the Shoal Bay Country Club.
The Port Stephens community is encouraged to attend both the exhibition and surfing event with forecasts looking favourable for some epic conditions.
“It looks like some classic Boxy conditions could be on it’s way for this weekend,” said Mr McKenna.
“It would be a fitting send-off to celebrate Andrew’s life and his contribution to surfing.”
All event information and running times can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TheKINGoftheBOX.
By Mitch LEES