World-class surfing will return to the Australian East Coast this summer with the fourth instalment of the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series, which will see three events being held at Maroubra, Boomerang Beach and Avoca through January, February and March.
The most noteworthy change to this year's series is the upgrade of the Vissla Central Coast Pro to a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 rated event. The elite six-day event will form the third and final stop of the series and will take place at Avoca Beach from the 27th February - 4th March 2019.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said across the three-year period, the NSW Pro Surf Series is anticipated to inject almost $3 million into the State's economy.
"Major sporting events such as the NSW Pro Surf Series play a huge role in turbocharging tourism in regional towns and it's great to have this event returning to beautiful Maroubra, Boomerang Beach and Avoca 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 the NSW Coast packed with competitors and spectators this Summer," Marshall continued.
Vissla team rider and perennial QS threat Jordan Lawler sees the first ever QS3,000 event on Australian shores as a massive opportunity for competitors to increase their seed early in the year and even find a result that could land them within range of Championship Tour qualification.
"This will be the first QS3,000 event in Australia which makes this a very exciting announcement," Lawler said. "These events are vital for surfers who are wishing to gain points to qualify for higher rated QS events and can even help surfers earn a spot on the Championship Tour. This event upgrade will really benefit competitors in this region and globally. I'm stoked that Vissla along with their constant environmental awareness, are also keen to support competitive surfers from around the world."
Vissla's John Mossop believes that upgrading the event to a QS3,000 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," Mossop said. "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 competitors."
Prior to the Vissla Central Coast Pro, the NSW Pro Surf Series will commence in January with the Carve Pro Men's and Women's QS1,000 event which will once again run at Maroubra Beach. Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden believes the growth of the Carve Pro is a solid reflection of the thriving relationship between all stakeholders. The event will run from January 23-26.
"Since making the jump from a Pro Junior event to a QS1,000 in 2016, the Carve Pro has continued to go from strength-to-strength thanks to the partnership between the NSW Government, Randwick City Council, Carve, WSL and Vissla. We can't wait to see it all kick off at Maroubra in January," Madden said.
The second stop of the series will see over 170 competitors return to the picturesque Boomerang Beach for the Mothernest Great Lakes Pro Men's and Women's QS1,000 event. WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith is looking forward to seeing the event return for the fourth year and run from February 20-24.
"WSL is extremely excited to return to the beautiful Boomerang Beach for the fourth annual Mothernest Great Lakes Pro," Hayden-Smith said. "Every year this competition has run, we have had exceptional waves and this has been reflected in the volume and quality of the field who attends each year. On behalf of the WSL and our membership base, we'd like to thank the NSW Government, Surfing NSW, the Mid Coast Council and community and Vissla for making this event possible."