visas DENIED and flights cancelled on the eve of the qld’s biggest body-surfing event
After huge success in 2019, QLD’s biggest body-surfing event is set to take stage on the Gold Coast’s Narrowneck beach this weekend. The event is organised by Travis Davies the owner of Slyde handboards Australia and it’s Australia’s premier event where body-surfers must use a hand-plane (hand-board) to compete. Last year the competition attracted body-surfers of all ages from around Australia. This year with the major sponsors Dafin Hawaii some big international names were expected to make an appearance.
However, with International travel banned it was left to the Australian crowd to make the most of it. Many New South Welshmen that competed last year have already given up their hopes of travelling, with ever changing government rules and limited and expensive flights.
Yet, the brave bunch of Sydney body-surfers from the Budgy Boys Body-surfing club waited till the very last minute to book their tickets to the comp. It all seemed clear and with their border declaration accepted, they booked their flights and accommodation. Some as we find out even opted to drive.
Yet, 12 hours later their flights got cancelled and the ”visas” revoked.
Slydefest was our big ticket item for the year. Everyone was so keen! With COVID looming we decided to wait until the last minute to book our flights… except for Bondi who chose to drive. Not even 24 hours later our dreams were crushed by a closed border. Jetstar cancelled our flights and the government tore up our visas. Apparently “body-surfing” isn’t classified as essential travel for some unknown reason. Bondi got as far as Taree before he got the word to turn around. A nice day trip and perfect time to catch up on “The Body-surf Podcast”Captain of budgy boys and co-founder of ”The body-surf podcast”
While it is unfortunate that many outside of QLD will not be able to compete, it will give a unique opportunity to the local pool of super talented individual to test their skills in the water against each other.
Body-surfing competition are rare. They are difficult to organise and are mostly run for little to no profit. Organizing such event during COVID-19 is an extraordinary task and one must say that Travis who recently pulled out of a shoulder surgery has completed an impossible task for which the body-surfing community is very grateful. With more than 50 QLD body-surfers signed up it is still set to be a show to remember.