World-class surfing will return to Avoca Beach in 2019 with the announcement that the Vissla Central Coast Pro will be upgraded to a World Surf League QS 3,000 rated event. The first of it's kind to be hosted in Australia.
The elite six-day event will form the third and final stop on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and will take place in Avoca Beach from the 27th February - 4th March 2019.
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the Vissla Central Coast Pro will continue as a highlight on the summer surfing calendar.
"Following three successful years, I'm delighted the NSW Pro Surf Series will be returning to the Central Coast for another three years from 2019 until 2021," Mr Crouch said. "The Vissla Central Coast Pro will showcase our region and local world-class surfers to the rest of the world, with hundreds of competitors expected to be in town. This will provide a significant boost for local businesses, accommodation, restaurants and retail."
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said across the three-year period, the NSW Pro Surf Series was anticipated to inject almost $3 million into the State's economy.
"Major sporting events such the NSW Pro Surf Series play a huge role in turbocharging tourism in regional towns and it's great to have an event in this series returning to beautiful Avoca Beach for another three years," Mr Marshall said.
"The NSW Government will continue to do all it can to support these types of events. They are great for the economy, inspire our next generation of surfers and help us to reach our goal of tripling overnight visitor expenditure by 2030. We look forward to seeing Avoca Beach packed with competitors and spectators next summer."
Vissla's John Mossop believes that upgrading the event to a 3,000 rated competition will provide Qualifying Series surfers with an even greater opportunity to qualify for the WSL Championship Tour.
"Over the last three years, we've seen some incredible surfers springboard closer to the Championship Tour, thanks to the events on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series. We feel that upgrading the Vissla Central Coast Pro to a QS3,000 will give Australian surfers an even better chance to qualify and also attract an array of international surfers."
Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden said that the Central Coast was the ideal region to place a 3,000 rated competition.
"With its proximity to major cities like Sydney and Newcastle and boasting a wave-rich coastline, the Central Coast was the logical choice to upgrade to a 3,000 event. We thank Destination NSW, Adam Crouch, Central Coast Council, Vissla and WSL for all their work in getting this event off the ground."
WSL Australia / Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith highlighted the importance of having a QS3,000 rated event in the region for the career path of local aspiring professional surfers.
"This will be the first QS3,000 event in Australia which makes this a very exciting announcement," said Hayden-Smith. "These events are vital for surfers who are wishing to gain points to qualify for higher rates QS events and can even help surfers earn a spot on the Championship Tour. On behalf of the WSL and our membership base, we'd like to thank Surfing NSW, Destination NSW, the Central Coast Council and community and Vissla for making this event possible."