Matthew King
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New Zealand Surfing Event highlights

This week

Just some fun in the sun I suppose. With that in mind, there was an interesting undertone to the event.

The women surfers competing on our shores are renowned for their beauty, grace and athleticism. But Taranaki's first ASP event, three years ago, was not welcomed by all. Matt Rilkoff finds out even those once against it now see a silver lining.

For the last seven days New Plymouth's Fitzroy Beach has been a centre of signs.

Left, right, up, down - there is nowhere to look without seeing one sponsor's logo or another at the TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Festival.

Now in its fourth year, widespread community support for the event is reflected in the 68 sponsors on board. But in 2010 the success of the festival and its drawcard ASP international women's event was not so assured.

In the months leading up the inaugural festival a group identifying itself as the Coastal Boardriders Club expressed fears via numerous headlines in this paper that the competition would bring unwanted international attention to Taranaki.

Legendary coastal surf breaks would become crowded with foreign tourists. The environment would be damaged. The beauty of the coast would be lost.

Ah, the hipster first of surfing. The CBC may claim it's about the environment, but I think we all know what is really going on here. They have a surf spot -Taranki- and they don't wanna' share. Too bad for them the even turned out to be a great success. Read more about the story here.

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