An Aussie surfer has called out a Sydney competition for offering more prize money to men.
Lucy Small won the women's division of the Curly Maljam on Sydney's Northern Beaches last weekend and walked away with $1,500 for her efforts.
However, you can imagine her shock when she discovered the male winner was gifted $4,000.
Not one to shy away from the controversy, Small used her acceptance speech to call out the organisers, the Curl Curl Longboarders Club, and sponsors for perpetuating the gender pay gap.
"Thank you to the sponsors for the money that they've put into the event, but I would say that it is a bittersweet victory knowing that our surfing is worth half of the men's prize money," Small said in her victory speech.
"It took the same amount to drive here, flights were the same cost to fly here, accommodation cost the same and our surfing is worth half as much.
"So maybe we can think about that for next time?"
She has uploaded footage of her speech to social media to ensure her call out would extend to other local surf competitions.
But interestingly, the head of the Curl Curl Longboarders Club said the difference in prize money was a marketing strategy that was designed to get bigger names in the men's division.
Club secretary Phil Nicol believes the larger the cash, the more prestigious surfers might want to apply.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald: "Did we do anything illegal? No. This is a more, this is a moral issue ... we've done nothing illegal.
"We asked the question why aren't the over 50 men jumping up and down because they didn't get the same money as the men? That's ageism, the ageism card could have been pulled out."
Club president Tim Reilly added that the prize money has been different for men and women since the competition was launched 10 years ago.
"I just feel bad for the guys who ran it for the whole day and put hundreds of hours into it. She should have come and seen me. It was an easy thing that could have been fixed," he said via the Sydney Morning Herald.
While the Curl Curl competition was not a World Surf League (WSL) sponsored event, the WSL has committed since 2018 to make sure prize money in both categories are equal.
Featured Image Credit: Lucy Small/Instagram
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