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Event Breakdown: Pismo Beach Open

Last year Central California surfers rejoiced with an opportunity from Andy McKay's dream becoming a realization in the form of the Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 pres. by Dignity Heath. McKay and his team's drive to bring this event back, along with ambitions of a California leg, with a newly added women's event spoke volumes and the opportunity for 1,000 points will be back on October 11 - 14 with a live webcast once more.

First light revealed fun conditions to begin the inaugural Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 presented by Dignity Health. The more frigid part of North America's QS schedule is ready and waiting. WSL / Andrew Nichols

Some of North America's upcoming threats hail from California's central coastline and has also produced such competitors as Championship Tour (CT) veteran Sage Erickson of Ojai, California.

With plenty of talent ready to strike in just two days, here's a quick look at this year's Pismo Beach Open.

What to Expect

Kilian Garland (USA) 2016 North America QS Champ Kilian Garland will be back in QS action this week at Pismo Beach. WSL / Jon Reis

Swell. Competitors will have fun pulses of swell coming into Pismo Beach Pier's lineup with a slight drop to start weekend action before another pulse to end competition, according to surf forecasters. Similar to the recent Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro, the beachbreak changes with varying tides and winds, but with swell on tap surfers will hopefully compete in back-to-back events with rippable conditions on offer.

Spectators tuning in from around the world and those on the beach will also get to witness some of North America's finest vying for 1,000 points toward helping their last breath of 2018. For the women, this marks an all-important finale to a great season that featured three new events including the opportunity on hand. But, it's also a key factor in the men's North America QS Regional Title race as new No. 1 Lucca Mesinas can solidify his place there over now contender Kevin Schulz with another big result.

Joel Bishop (USA) earning runner-up in his Round One heat at the Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 presented by Dignity Health. For a competitor like Joel Bishop who's in need of points to begin diggin into a QS run, these events are everything. WSL / Brian Salce

Mesinas will be in great company as last year's event champion Cory Arrambide is back to defend his win alongside fellow Central Coasters, 2016 North America QS Champ Kilian Garland, Austin Neumann, Joel Bishop, and more. Women such as 2018 breakout talent Makena Burke will hope for a great showing in front of their home crowds hailing from just down the highway in Ventura.

Opportunity on Offer

Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 presented by Dignity Health winner Cory Arrambide (USA). It was a long-awaited win for Arrambide as he now looks to defend that title. WSL / Jon Reis

For competitors such as QS veteran Arrambide and its newest additions like Burke, this event offers more than just points in their eyes.

Burke's incredible performance at the WRV Outer Banks Pro put her on the map as a new threat and with this opportunity in front her, she can only show more of her potential within the comfort of home.

Makena Burke (USA) advances to the Semifinals of the 2918 Junior Women's VANS US Open of Surfing after winning Quarterfinal Heat 3 of Round 1 at Huntington Beach, CA, USA. Burke's looking to continue her breakout year. WSL / Kenneth Morris

"It is a dream come true to be able to showcase my surfing in Pismo, a place not far from home and having that extra support can make all the difference when competing," Burke said. "Not many people have experienced surfing Pismo, so I think this will be a great opportunity for all the girls. I'm so excited for this week and can't wait to have a shot at earning some more points!"

A Dream Continued

Austin Neumann (USA) earning runner-up in his Round One heat at the Florida Pro pres. by Sunshine State Florida Lager QS1,500. Neumann helped plant the seed of an event idea in his uncle's, Andy McKay, head and the rest was history with another Pismo Beach Open ready. WSL / John Ferguson

For McKay, the vision of bringing a string of events to California for competitors to earn valuable points for upcoming surfers without the expense of traveling around the world came to life with last year's Pismo Beach Open. But, after the mass flooding and fires Central California endured to end 2017, as well as start 2018, left the city tourism boards in a scramble to pull their communities back together financially it also put those dreams of a California leg on hold.

However, the dream is far from dead for McKay and his ambitions are still on the rise to continue supporting competitive surfing at the grassroots level.

"My goal when I first started getting this event in order was to bring multiple events together along the California coast to give surfers that chance of making their goal of earning points and getting experience possible," McKay said. "We were devastated with the natural disasters that hit places like Ventura and Santa Barbara so hard. It hit really close to home for us and it's been a tough road back for those areas. We're hoping that next year we can bring this event and more to California."

The Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 pres. by Dignity Health will run October 11 - 14 at Pismo Beach Pier, California.

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