Byron Bay surfer Garrett Parkes has won the open division at the past three Ben King Memorial Surf Classics. The contest has been moved from Easter to the June long weekend for the first time.
Byron Bay surfer Garrett Parkes has won the open division at the past three Ben King Memorial Surf Classics. The contest has been moved from Easter to the June long weekend for the first time. Steve Robertson

Wills, Kennedy tipped for surf classic

A NEW champion will be crowned at the Ben King Memorial Surf Classic in Byron Bay next week.

Byron Bay surfer Garrett Parkes has won the open men's section for the past three years but hasn't entered this time.

Former professional Danny Wills and Lennox Head surfer Stu Kennedy are among the favourites.

The event is now in its 39th year and has moved from Easter to the June long weekend.

"There was some accommodation issues last year with Bluesfest and other things on at Easter," event spokesman Scott Harland said.

"We thought the event deserved a stand-alone weekend.

"It's always been popular and one that everyone wants to win."

The event is already at capacity with 230 surfers entered.

Formerly known as the Easter Surf Classic, the contest was renamed in 2006 when club stalwart Ben King died suddenly of a heart attack while competing at Yamba.

His wife Jenny is now president of the Byron Bay Boardriders club with over $10, 000 prize money at the event this year.

Competition will run for three days from Saturday.

A call will be made at 7am each day at the wreck carpark with the event likely to be held at Broken Head beach.

The presentation will be held at the Great Northern Hotel at 5pm on Monday.