Press Room

Sydney Surf Pro to Kick-Start WSL Challenger Series

Historic event to be the biggest professional surfing contest held in NSW and is secured through Destination NSW through to 2022.

The World Surf League (WSL) is excited to announce that Sydney will stage the first-ever WSL Challenger Series event next March.

The Sydney Surf Pro will be the biggest professional surfing event to run in New South Wales with over 200 of the world's best men's and women's surfers competing at Manly from March 8-14, 2020.

11 time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) advances directly to Round 3 of the 2019 Vissla Manly Surf Pro after winning Heat 9 of Round 2 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia. The Sydney Surf annually brings tens of thousands of fans to the iconic beach of Manly. WSL / Matt Dunbar

The event kicks off WSL's newly-announced Challenger Series and marks a new partnership between the WSL and Destination NSW, the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency. The event is secured for Sydney from 2020 - 2022.

WSL Asia / Pacific General Manager Andrew Stark is thrilled that the first-ever Challenger Series event will be hosted at the iconic Manly Beach.

"Manly has such a rich history in Australian and International surfing so holding the inaugural WSL Challenger Series event here will continue this lineage of historical surfing moments which WSL is really excited about.

"The event is sure to attract some of surfing's biggest stars, will shine the surfing spotlight on Sydney and will provide a pathway for our athletes onto the elite Championship Tour.

"We're thrilled that Destination NSW and the other key partners have come on board to ensure Australia will have the opening stop on the newly announced Challenger Series. We look forward to returning to Manly and delivering a fantastic event in Sydney."

Lineup at the Sydney Womens Pro Pres. by SisstRevolution at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia. Pumping surf surfing the 2019 Sydney Surf Pro. WSL / Matt Dunbar

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said the event positioned NSW and Manly firmly on the map for the enthusiastic world surfing fraternity.

"The WSL Sydney Surf Pro will be the first event of the WSL Challenger Series, so fans and athletes worldwide will be sizing up the competition as the action unfolds at Manly," said Minister Ayres.

"We expect that over the next three years the Sydney Surf Pro will deliver $3.7 million in visitor spend for NSW from more than 4,000 visitors and over 25,000 visitor nights. NSW is loved by surfers and travellers alike for our unforgettable coastline, world-class hospitality and the State's incomparable calendar of sport, art, culture and lifestyle events. The Sydney Surf Pro will be right at home here in the Harbour City from next March."

Member for Manly James Griffin said Manly is Australia's home of surfing and has successfully hosted countless international, national and local surfing contests.

"Manly staged the first-ever world championships in May 1964, and in March this year our iconic four-kilometre beach attracted 11-time world champion Kelly Slater to compete," said Mr Griffin. "Where better to kick off the WSL Challenger Series than in the hub of surf culture that is Manly?"

Kelly Slater at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Member for Manly James Griffin passing Kelly Slater his jersey before his opening heat at Manly earlier this year. WSL / Thomas Bennett

The 2020 Sydney Surf Pro, which sees the world's best surfers chase important qualifying points as they vie for a spot on the elite Championship Tour, will be held from March 8 - 14 at Manly Beach.

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