A late push in funding has ensured the world's best female surfers will return to the region again in April.
TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Festival director Craig Williamson praised the region's support for the 10-day event which will commence at Easter.
''It's really, really tough to find sponsorship funds in this financial climate so we are very fortunate that a range of both large and small companies and organisations are keen to support us,'' Mr Williamson said.
That sentiment was echoed by editor of Curl magazine Lynne Dickinson, who said surf events were dropping like flies.
''The girls' tour is losing events year after year, it seems almost unbelievable that the small Taranaki community can do what major surf companies cannot.''
The festival will start with the Corona Easter Masters on March 29 followed by the New Zealand Grom Series, Powerco Micro Groms, ITL New Zealand Women's Open and finally the Dow AgroSciences Pro.
As in previous years the winner of the ITL New Zealand Women's Open will compete as a wildcard in the Dream Tour event, Mr Williamson said.
''The wildcard entry is a huge opportunity to compete at an international level.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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