- WSL / Pablo Jimenez

The top-ranked surfer for each of the seven World Surf League Regional Offices earns the right to enter all of the major WSL Qualifying Series Events in 2016

Florianopolis, Santa Catarina / Brazil (July 30, 2015) - Over sixty surfers from ten different countries will be headed to Chile for the most challenging event on the South American calendar. The World Surf League QS 1500 Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour will be held from August 4-9 at El Gringo, where cold water and heavy barrels will determine the 2015 WSL South America Title.

Alvaro Malpartida (PER) - Photo: Pablo Jimenez Alvaro Malpartida (PER) - Photo: Pablo Jimenez - WSL / Pablo Jimenez

Surfers on the Qualifying Series now have added incentive to compete in Regional Events. The WSL Commissioner's Office recently implemented a rule stating that the top-ranked surfer from each of the seven World Surf League Regional Offices earns the right to enter all of the WSL Qualifying Series QS 6000 and QS 10000 Events in 2016.

Results from the regional rankings are only valid for Regional Events with QS 1000, QS 1500 and QS 3000 status. (Events with higher status like a QS 6000 or QS 10000 are considered International Events.) It is important to note that this spot will only be given to the Regional champion. If the athlete is already positioned within the first 100 surfers on the QS standings, this event invitation will not be passed on to the 2nd ranked regional athlete.

Upon conclusion of the Surfing Season, only the Top 22 ranked surfers on the QS will earn the right to compete with the upper echelon on the WSL Championship Tour.

The 2015 WSL South America circuit has two Regional Events on its calendar. The first was held in Mar del Plata and occurred as the QS 1500 Rip Curl Pro Argentina. Robson Santos (BRA) was victorious and currently leads the standings within the continent. Last year at the Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour, Santos displayed his prowess by earning a 10-point ride for an amazing barrel over the treacherous reef at El Gringo.

Robson Santos (BRA) - Photo: Rommel Gonzales Robson Santos (BRA) - Photo: Rommel Gonzales - WSL / Rommel Gonzales

The only surfer who can mathematically overtake Santos, is another young charger from Brazil, Lucas Silveira, who sits in 2nd place on the regional rankings. Hizunome Bettero (BRA) is tied with Silveira in the standings, but did not confirm his participation in the event in Chile.

Other notable surfers with past 1st place results at the Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour in Chile are: Gabriel Villaran (PER), a veteran big wave surfer who won the first edition of the event in 2009; Anthony Walsh (AUS), winner in 2012 with his impeccable tuberiding ability; Jesse Mendes (BRA), the only Brazilian to win the event. Guillermo Satt (CHI) who won in 2011 is set to defend his title, as is Alvaro Malpartida (PER), who was victorious in 2013.

Brazil has the largest number of representatives at the Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour with 15 athletes, followed closely by Chile with 12. Peru is right behind with 10 surfers, then the Hawaiian delegation with 9. Australia has 4 athletes, Argentina has 3, France has 2 and finally, Venezuela and St. Bart's both have 1 athlete in the competition.

Watch all the action LIVE: WSL South America

Text: Gabriel Gontijo - WSL South America

João Carvalho
WSL South America Media Manager
(55) (48) 9988-2986 - jcarvalho@worldsurfleague.com

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