Wini Paul & Nick Squiers © Jim Beam
JIM BEAM’S ‘BREAK OF A LIFETIME’ PRESS RELEASE
Wini Paul and Nick Squiers Win ‘Break of a Lifetime’
AUSTRALIA, January 20, 2011 – Wollongong’s Nick Squiers and Coolangatta’s Wini Paul are the inaugural winners of Jim Beam’s innovative competition The Break and will now launch all out assaults on surfing’s World Qualifying Series tour.
Squires, a 28-year-old full-time courier and 21-year-old Paul were announced as the winners following two days of intense competition on North Stradbroke Island, the pair defeating some of the country’s hottest surfing prospects.
Both took home rich sponsorship packages – Squiers $50,000 and Paul $25,000 – to attack this year’s World Qualifying Series (WQS). Former World Championship Tour veteran Dayyan Neve, a judge for The Break, said Squiers and Paul now had the chance to make their marks on the tour. The day after the announcement Squiers was still coming to terms with his win.
“I was blown away when my name was announced and I still haven’t quite comprehended what it means to me,” Squiers said. “I’ve aimed at the WQS for six years but haven’t made it. I moved to the Gold Coast six years ago to train and compete and have a shot. I trained hard but then my girlfriend fell pregnant and we had a son who is now four and I felt it was the responsible thing to do to reprioritise my surfing dream. I never gave up the dream and I never will either. I just love competition and this is just amazing.”
Paul was so nervous before the announcement she was almost physically ill. “It was absolutely mind blowing,” Paul said. “I could hear my heartbeat, I was shaking and when they said my name I didn’t even hear it. I was so nervous I thought I might throw up and then when people started hugging me I just burst into tears.”
Paul said the sponsorship would allow her to do something she had wanted to do for so long and had been preparing to do for years. “I’ve surfed every day, I’ve trained to get better, done a lot of travelling and learnt a lot from all my mistakes,” an overwhelmed Paul said. “This means I can live my dream, I can be a pro surfer which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little. I’m so happy that Jim Beam are allowing me to do that.”
Neve, who spent years on the WQS before finally qualifying for the WCT said both deserved their wins. “Nick will smash it up on the WQS,” Neve said. “I hadn’t heard much about Nick before this competition began but I’ve been in awe of how good he is. “He is powerful, has speed and flow and to be honest he blew everyone away while Wini’s so consistent in everything she does and is such a little legend.”
Neve even went as far as saying he thought Squiers could win a few events this year. “The way the seedings work Nick’s going to have to do a lot of four and five star events this year but I reckon he’ll win one, if not a couple.”
Lisa Spencer, Jim Beam Brand Manager, is excited to see Jim Beam sponsor two amazing, talented surfers, “Nick & Wini we’re a complete package and the stand out surfers over the past two days, Jim Beam are very excited to have two very keen Ambassadors for their brand on the WQS in 2011, the next step in our support of grassroots surfing in Australia”
To enter the competition, surfers (over the age of 18) unsigned to a major endorsement were required to register online at jimbeamthebreak.com.au and submit a 60 second highlight package of their best waves as well as a short insight into their character out of the surf.
All 53 entrants were announced and voted on by the public in week long heats over two months. The public chose the 12 finalists, 8 males and 4 females, whilst the judges deliberated and found the best surfers for the 3 wild card invites.
The boot camp style final featured a variety of challenges including surf, swell, fun and media sessions before the overall winners were selected and awarded The Break of a lifetime. All thanks to Jim Beam – The Spirit of Surfing and their partners Rip Curl, Sanyo, Swellnet and Tracks.