- WSL / Tom Bennett
- WSL / Tom Bennett

Local surfer Winter Vincent (Manly), Vissla Sydney Surf Pro wildcard Cole Houshmand (San Clemente, California), local competitor Jordy Lawler (North Narrabeen) and Vissla Sydney Surf Pro top seed Keanu Asing (Hawaii) met at Manly Beach today to launch the 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro, which kicks off tomorrow.

Jordan Lawler progresses thtough Round 1 at the 2018 Burton Automotive Pro Jordan Lawler - WSL / Tom Bennett

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro is set to kick off today with the Key Sun Zinke Sydney Pro Junior opening up the first weekend of competition.

With 6,000 QS points up for grabs, over 200 of the world's best surfers will be in attendance as they look to kick off their 2018 campaign in style.

The Key Sun Zinke Sydney Pro Junior will see just under 100 of Australia's and the world's most promising junior surfers partaking in the action with the finals presentation set to take place on Sunday, 25 February.

All the action in the QS6,000 event will begin on Monday, 26 February.

Event top seed and 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) surfer Keanu Asing (Hawaii) is excited to get a solid result under his belt prior to the start of the 2018 Championship Tour and build on his momentum ahead of the 2018 Quiksilver Pro.

"It's great to be back in Manly for the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro," said Asing. "The Northern Beaches have always been a favourite stop for me and being Hawaiian, I feel some ties to the place thanks to Duke Kahanamoku first surfing here over 100 years ago. Hopefully, the waves turn it on over the course of the next week and we see some exciting surfing from the world's best."

Nikki Van Dijk winning Girls Heat 2 of Round 1 at the 2018 VIssla Great Lakes Pro pres. by DBlanc. Nikki Van Dijk is the women's top seed at Manly. - WSL / Ethan Smith

2017 WSL Championship Tour Rookie of the Year and Sydney local Connor O'Leary echoed Asing's sentiments.

"It's amazing for me to have an event like this in Sydney," said O'Leary. "To have it at the start of the year is awesome, especially just before the Championship Tour (CT) begins as it really helps me to get some momentum for competition. It gives you a huge confidence boost going into the year. Manly is the surfing hub of Sydney. Obviously, Layne (Beachley), Midget (Farrelly) and Barton (Lynch) and people like that have all come from Manly, so it has a lot of significance."

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