Some of the world's most promising male surfers will join some of the world's best females as part of the upcoming 2018 Port Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Pro. The elite WSL Qualifying Series (QS) competitions - which will run from the 8 - 13 November - will comprise of Women's 6,000 and Men's 1,000 rated divisions and provide the women with a healthy boost of points to finish their 2018 QS campaigns.
Local favourite Morgan Cibilic will be hoping to better his result from last year's Port Stephens Toyota Pro as he sets his sights on the WSL Australia/ Oceania QS regional title in 2018. Hailing from just down the road in Merewether, Cibilc will endeavour to continue his form from the recent WA Pro Surf Series and take out the regional title on home turf. This honour will gift him a seed into the top-rated QS6,000 and 10,000 for the opening half of 2019.
"Sleeping in my own bed and surfing in familiar surroundings definitely has its advantages," Cibilic said. "But I'm totally aware that we have such an epic field so it's going to be a challenge. I'm hoping to improve on last year's result and I definitely think I can with the way I have been surfing recently. This event is so good for the Port Stephens and Newcastle area. It gives all of the locals such a good insight into professional surfing particularly with the women's 6,000 as some of the sports biggest names will be present. All of the surfing world will be interested in this event which makes it really cool."
Despite not competing in the event this year, 2017 Port Stephens Toyota Pro QS1,000 winnerLiam O'Brien believes the win gave him the momentum to go onto stellar results in the recent Mandurah Pro QS event and put him in the box seat to gain entry into higher ranked QS events.
"It felt amazing to take out the Port Stephens Toyota QS1,000 last year," O'Brien said. "That was my first win on the Qualifying Series as well which made it so much sweeter. It was also a huge benefit to my 2018 campaign as it boosted me high enough on the rankings to be eligible for the 6,000 rated events. On top of that, it was in an epic location that I wouldn't have otherwise known about and the waves were cooking."
The 2018 Port Stephens Toyota Pro will run from November 8 - 13