Wave of talent in Classic battle

TASMANIA'S premier surf event, the annual West Coast Classic, is shaping up as a battle between an emerging crew of under-21 surfers and established stars.

Reigning champion James Eaves and previous winners Ethan Wilson, Ben Richardson and Jye Johannesen will be joined by other high profile challengers in Luke Bugg and local Zeb Critchlow in an effort to control the snapping pack of Hobart's Kyle Cooper and Scamander surfers Tom Gray and the Bramich brothers, Gerome and Ned.

Younger brother Ned stole an exciting win over Bugg and Richardson and fellow young gun Cooper in the dying minutes of the open final of the recent Australia Day Bruny Island Classic, indicating their outstanding ability and enthusiasm.

All surfers are chasing points and ratings in what will be the second of six events in the Surfing Tasmania championship series which culminates in June on the East Coast. 

A senior and junior state team will be selected from the series to compete at the national championships in Western Australia and Coffs Harbour in August and November.

With good weather and a small-to-medium swell forecast for the long weekend, contest director Glen Saltmarsh has indicated that likely locations include Mount Cameron, Nettleys Bay, Lighthouse Beach and Kelpies, where sand banks are more favourable.

The popular long-running event is offering a $12,000 prize pool.

Events for male and female surfers aged from 14 to 55-plus are scheduled for the weekend. 

Action gets under way about 8.30am on Saturday. Spectators can check at the Marrawah store for signs indicating the location.

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