For the third consecutive year, Mar del Plata will host the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500-point event, the Rip Curl Pro Argentina in Playa Grande. The contest holds a waiting period from March 31 to April 5. The Rip Curl Pro Junior Series Mar del Plata will run concurrently with the main event.
The Rip Curl Pro Argentina marks the beginning of the 2015 WSL Men's South America Series, which was won by Alex Ribeiro (BRA) in 2014 after his initial success in Argentina.
The majority of the 100-plus athletes participating at the Rip Curl Pro Argentina originate from Brazil, with a total of 55 participants joining the defending champ Ribeiro. The host country of Argentina has the second largest group of participants (17), followed by Peru (10), Chile (5), Hawaii (3), the USA (2), France (2), Spain (1), South Africa (1), Ecuador (1), Costa Rica (1), the Reunion Islands (1) and St. Bart's (1).
The winner of the QS1500 Rip Curl Pro Argentina will receive $50,000 in prize money, 1,500 points toward individual QS standings, and an additional 1,000 WSL South America ranking points.
In the two-year history of the Rip Curl Pro Argentina, surfers from Brazil have dominated the event and both years have seen an all-Brazilian Final. Jihad Kohdr (BRA) took out the inaugural event in 2013 over countrymen Matheus Navarro, David do Carmo and Marco Fernandez. In 2014, Ribeiro defeated Brazilians Messias Felix, Hizunome Bettero and Franklin Serpa in the Final.
Leandro Usuna (ARG) will enter the event the local favorite. Usuna hails from Mar del Plata, but has lived for over 10 years in California. His most notable performance includes the 2014 International Surfing Association (ISA) world title he claimed in Punta Rocas, Peru. After starting off the year by training in Hawaii with his coach, John Baldino, Usuna is set to fight for a top spot on the QS.
Watch the Rip Curl Pro Argentina LIVE at wslsouthamerica.com March 31-April 5.