HOMETOWN HEROICS: Yamba's Troy Urquhart surfed his way into the semi-finals of the Pippie Beach Classic in 2017 and will be back again his year.
HOMETOWN HEROICS: Yamba's Troy Urquhart surfed his way into the semi-finals of the Pippie Beach Classic in 2017 and will be back again his year. Adam Hourigan

Title up for grabs as Pippie Classic returns to shore

SURFING: With reigning Pippie Beach Classic champion Dakoda Walters starting his journey on the World Surf League qualifying series, the door has been thrown wide open for a new champion of the annual Australia Day event.

Angourie Boardriders will once again host the event as a major club competition on January 26-27 this year and have expanded the event to include five categories.

Competition will be held for girls, under-14s, under- 18s, opens, over-35s and over-50s with a surfboard shaped by one of several local shapers up for grabs as in each division.

Angourie Boardriders club president Ben Churton said the event would once again be used as a drive for more boardriders members with all entries including a year-long membership to the Angourie club.

Entry forms can be found and returned at major sponsors The Pacific Hotel and Leche Cafe with directions on how to pay and finalise registration online.

Despite losing 2017 Open champion Walters to higher surfing duties, Churton said the competition was looking to grow again in 2018.

"I think last year was a good starting block to get it off the ground,” he said.

"This year there is a lot more interest in it than there was at the same time last year which means we are encouraging people to get their entries in quickly to ensure their spot in the competition.”

As well as a surfboard, there will be $1000 in prize money up for grabs in the open division provided by sponsors Pacific Hotel and Coopers Brewery.

In addition to Leche Cafe, local businesses Brgr Spot, The Mexican and Fishing Haven Holiday Parks have come on board to support the annual classic.

Churton said entry was available for all surfers in the Lower Clarence region as they attempt to keep the competition a local event.

Early favourites for the open division include Jeames Young and Zayne Byrne who were both finalists in 2017, while former world tour surfers Nav Fox and Jeremy Walters are set to tear up the over-35s.