The recently announced Port Stephens Toyota NSW Pro Women's QS 6,000 just got bigger with the addition of several more divisions. While some of the world's best female surfers joust for a spot on the 2018 CT, a group of Australia's top male competitors will be going to battle just down the beach in the inaugural Port Stephens Toyota NSW Pro Men's QS 1,000 presented by Newcastle Airport.
The event will comprise of mostly Australian surfers with a handful of internationals, all vying for a top spot on the WSL Australia / Oceania Qualifying Series Rankings. The no. 1 spot will gain entry into the higher rated QS events in 2018. Event partners Destination NSW, Port Stephens Toyota and Newcastle Airport all committed additional sponsorship to confirm the men's QS 1,000 division that will see at least 64 QS competitors hit the water at Birubi.
Southern New South Wales big wave charger Dean Bowen has had one of his quieter years on the QS in 2017, currently sitting at 27th on the Australia / Oceania QS rankings. With only a few events remaining on the regional calendar, Bowen is ready to make a late charge. The powerful goofy-footer will pull on his past experience at Birubi Beach when competition gets underway later this month.
"Port Stephens has a great coastline for waves," Bowen said. "We had a junior event there a while ago and the waves were really fun, I'm looking forward to getting back up there. It's been amazing to have all of these QS events in NSW this year. Traveling to compete is so expensive so to have all of these events close to home is awesome."
Helping to connect surfers and spectators with the waves and the action, Newcastle Airport is on board as a presenting sponsor for this inaugural event. "Flying into our region is the smarter way to travel," Newcastle Airport CEO, Peter Cock, said.
"It maximizes your time to relax, connect with friends and family, or do business. And, as the proud gateway to some of the best surfing spots on Australia's East Coast, it made sense for the Newcastle Airport to get behind this event and showcase the greater Hunter's strengths."
The Port Stephens Toyota NSW Pro presented by Newcastle Airport Men's QS 1,000 along with the women's QS 6,000 will be the final QS events to run in Australia for the season. Conveniently for competitors this event will commence directly after the completion of the Phillip Island Pro giving surfers a great opportunity to amass points leasing into 2018.
"WSL is thrilled to be able to have the Phillip Island Pro and the Port Stephen Toyota NSW Pro back-to-back as a way to finish of the 2017 season for our WSL Australia/Oceania QS campaigners. This will allow surfers to compete for the 2017 WSL Australia/Oceania regional championship and also to improve their seedings for the start of the 2018 season," said Will Hayden-Smith, WSL Australia / Oceania Regional Manager.
Joining the QS 1,000 and QS 6,000 components of the event will be the Port Stephens Women's Challenge and the PRD and Kaos Surf Cadet Cup. Both events will give amateur women and promising junior stars the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in women's surfing. Divisions in the PRD and Kaos Surf Cadet Cup comprise of Under 16 Boys and Girls, Under 14 Boys and Girls, Under 12 Boys and Girls and Under 10 Boys and Girls. These events will run simultaneously to the professional events on separate sections of the beach.
The 2017 Port Stephens Toyota NSW Pro couldn't happen without the support of the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will run from November 2 - 5.