With only days until the Carve Pro Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 gets underway at Maroubra, opening the 2016 WSL Australasia QS, competitors ready themselves for what will no doubt be a testing season of competition.
After a slow start to his 2015 QS campaign, Perth Standlick (AUS) was able to turn things around with a win at the final contest of the year, the Taiwan Open of Surfing. This win late in the year has given Standlick a renewed sense of confidence in 2016.
"Coming off a win always gives you confidence," Standlick said. "Backing up a win is the most difficult thing to accomplish in sport so I'm excited for the challenge and the opportunity to try achieve that at home."
Standlick was born and raised in Maroubra's neighbouring suburb of Bondi, and is looking forward to competing in an event of this level so close to home.
"It's so nice to be sleeping in my own bed and being around my family during a event, although there is always the added pressure and expectation to do well. The forecast is looking like it will be tough conditions so it's going to be anyone's game."
2015 being one of her standout years on the QS, Newcastle's Philippa Anderson (AUS) is eager to start her 2016 campaign strong, aiming for a solid enough placing for CT qualification next year.
"I've come close a few times to reaching my dream for the CT," Anderson said. "It's hard to cop when it was so close last year but it's fired me up again. I've been working over the summer to get that bank account up so I can try doing a full year and giving it my best shot."
The Carve Pro Maroubra is a new QS1000 EVENT added to the 2016 WSL Australasia schedule, also making up the first stop on the NSW Pro Surf Series. These new event mean competitors from all over this region will have greater opportunity at accumulating all important qualifying points.
"I think it's really awesome that surfing NSW and WSL has put on a QS surf series. The Australian QS surfers like myself get to surf a few heats before the big 6000 events kick off. To have sponsors put on a series like this is epic. Everyone benefits from it."
Although it may have been a few years since she has surfed at Maroubra, Anderson is confident with her past experience and her equipment coming into the event.
"I haven't surfed in Maroubra for a few years but as a kid I remember surfing a lot of state and junior events there so I am familiar with the beach and its surroundings. My boards are feeling good and I'm excited to put the contest jersey back on to kick off the year, and what a good place to do it at."
The NSW Pro Surf Series was developed for Australian and international surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. The Series also creates a NSW coastal road trip for all to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and enjoy NSW surfing culture.
The 2016 NSW Pro Surf Series is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The series is also proudly supported by Randwick City Council, Gosford City Council, Destination Tweed, Great Lakes Council & Tourism, NBN, GoGet, Lost Surfboards, World Surf League and Surfing NSW.