Surfest 2021 has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, with organisers today pulling the pin on the annual competition.

Safety of the community, athletes and Surfest staff was the major factor driving the decision.

It would’ve been the 36th time the festival was held in Newcastle.

Surfest Coordinator Warren Smith said while the decision was tough, he has already begun planning the 2022 event.

“We are already planning now for Surfest 2022 and look forward to welcoming back the best surfers in the world to Newcastle once again. ”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says Council respects the decision.

“While it’s terribly disappointing that COVID-19 means Surfest will not be held in 2021, City of Newcastle respects the decision of organisers who have made this incredibly difficult decision to protect community safety.”

“Large-scale events that attract international visitors and competitors take months and months of careful preparation and planning, so it’s the right call to make this decision now.”