Lane back to defend title
RAINBOW Beach surfing product Noah Lane is set to defend his Queensland title this weekend in the first round of the Chiko Queensland Championship.
Gold Coast surfing legend Michael Peterson's death will feature prominently in the thoughts of everyone involved in the first round this weekend, as the 11th MP Classic is named after Peterson.
Surfing Queensland chief executive Scott Gillies said the MP Classic would kick off the four-event Chiko Queensland Championship Circuit.
"Running for over a decade, the MP Classic is one of the most prestigious events on the Australian surfing calendar," Mr Gillies said.
"The event has always been run as a tribute to Michael Peterson and his achievements in surfing, particularly his contributions to the sport here in Queensland and on the southern Gold Coast.
"Obviously, this year's MP Classic will take on a special significance."
Mr Gillies said the event would run at Kirra, Coolangatta or Duranbah, depending on conditions.
"At the wishes of the Peterson family, the 2012 MP Classic will pay tribute to Michael the way it has always done and that is through honouring his name and now his memory through this iconic event."
The $10,000 event attracts some of the world's best surfers to the Gold Coast's wave-rich southern shores.
Past winners include local Josh Kerr and Adam Melling from Lennox Head.
The 2012 circuit will also boast a $30,000 prize-pool, with an extra $500 randomly awarded to four competitors who compete in all four events.
Based on competitors' best three-of-four results, the series' top two athletes will also get the chance to compete against the world's best surfers at the 2013 ASP World Tour Quiksilver Pro Trials.
Competitors and spectators can phone the Surfing Queensland Events Hotline each morning of the event for details on 3030 6388.
Officials confirmed a paddle out for MP, 59, who died of a heart attack last month, will also take place this Saturday from 10am at Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta.