Voting to close for 50 Year Storm

April 11, 2024 BY

Angela Ball was a standout performer in 2021's 50 Year Storm. Photo: SUPPLIED

VOTING for the 50 Year Storm, an exclusive surfing event at Bells Beach that only occurs when conditions produce exceptionally large waves, is closing shortly.

The event has only gone ahead once, in 2021, in the event’s seven-year history due to unfavourable conditions.

50 Year Storm committee member and an alternate athlete named in last year’s event, Carlo Lowdon, says local residents are encouraged to nominate the best surfers from Bells Beach, Winkipop, and all over the Surf Coast.

“It’s about the best local surfers around the state too, with only 30 surfers to be named on the invitee list as nominations to close at the end of this week on April 14, but [this might be extended to] next week on April 20, if the committee decides,” Mr Lowdon said.

“We’re always looking out for new surfers to make their way onto the invite list, but we’re also looking for the best 30 surfers here in Victoria too.

“It’s all in the hopes that we have the top local and out-of-town talent riding the best and biggest waves at

Bells Beach on the best and biggest day of the year.”

Hopes are again in the air that this year’s 50 Year Storm at Bells Beach will go-ahead.

There are two waiting periods slated for this year’s 50 Year Storm, but the total event window has been shortened compared to previous years, due to this year’s WSL Bells Beach Longboard Classic returning to the Surf Coast in late-July.

Windows for the 50 Year Storm will be held from June 7 to July 7 and August 1 and August 20.

The event was first formed in 2017 in honour of local legend and big wave lover, Shaun Brooks, who passed away in 2012 after a long mental health battle.

Mr Lowdon, a close friend to Shaun, says all the surfers who attend the 50 Year Storm do so for message, to break down barriers to talking about mental health.

“We all surf for mental health and we all want to see the best surfers out there competing, so all we can do as a committee is urge people to head to our website and nominate their favourite surfers as quickly as possible.”

An opening ceremony to officially mark the beginning of the event window will be held at Bells Beach in late-May, directly after the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles.

To nominate for your favourite surfer to compete in this year’s 50 Year Storm, head to 50yearstorm.com.au.

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