After a grueling year battling it out around the world, the women's Qualifying Series will culminate at Birubi Beach at the 2017 Port Stephens Toyota NSW Pro. With 6,000 points up for grabs, some of the world's best surfers will be on hand trying to secure themselves a spot on the 2018 elite Championship Tour (CT).
In 2016, the women's QS saw the addition of the Sydney International Women's Pro, which played as somewhat of a grand finale for the following year's CT hopefuls. It was the first time in a number of years an event of this size was run this late in the season, attracting huge attention from the surfing world, which waited to see who would step onto the Dream Tour.
This year, the season finale has moved a couple of hundred kilometres north of Cronulla to the beautiful Birubi Beach in Port Stephens. Having hosted a number of state and national level surfing events over the years, the area is no stranger to competition. The Port Stephens Toyota NSW Pro however, will be the biggest surfing event to date to be held in Port Stephens.
Novocastrian Philippa Anderson has been competing on the QS for a number of years now, with the dream of elevating herself to the CT. In 2016, this dream almost became reality, with Anderson only narrowly missing the qualification cutoff. The stylish naturalfooter's best result of 2016, came at the final QS6,000 of the year. In 2017, Anderson approaches the final event in a similar position and is hoping to go one better and take the win on home soil to achieve her life long goal of competing on the CT.
"This is the last QS6,000 event of the year so it is super important," Anderson said. "There are only six events of this size in the season so a solid result at a couple of them is essential. There are a handful of girls all needing a big result here, so it is sure to be exciting.
"Having the final event of the year in Australia is great, but the fact that it is so close to my home is amazing. I surf at Birubi a bit and it can get really good. It's a great setup for a contest and it will be awesome to see the world's best out there."
With surfing being such a rich part of the fabric of New South Wales, having one of the most important women's QS events move to another part of the state for the second consecutive year, is a testament of the efforts of all involved. The news of this event is welcomed with delight by the NSW State Government, Destination NSW, the Port Stephens Council and Surfing NSW, all of which have played a pivotal role along side WSL to ensure and secure the continuation of this exciting contest.