The 2021 Mad Mex Maroubra Pro will see some of Australia's best and most promising surfers land on the Eastern Sydney beach at the end of February. The elite three-day World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 rated event will form the third of four stops on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and will take place in Maroubra from the 26 February - 28 February 2021.
The four-event series will see three QS1000 rated events (Maroubra, Great Lakes and Port Stephens) and one men's and women's QS3000 (Central Coast).
In 2020, the WSL revealed a new format for 2021, which included creating distinct seasons between the QS (the regionalised development tier), the Challenger Series (the global battleground for Championship Tour qualification) and the Championship Tour (the world's best surfers competing for the World Title).
The new tour structure will provide a more streamlined and affordable career pathway for WSL athletes by allowing up-and-coming surfers to develop closer to home without financially overleveraging themselves. Athletes will compete on their regional QS tour in hopes of qualifying for the Challenger Series (CS), and ultimately the Championship Tour, which will reduce the economic pressure on surfers and their sponsors, as well as provide increased opportunities to celebrate local stars.
The QS will run from January through to July 2021 and determine who has qualified for the CS, which will run from August through to December 2021. Each region will have an allocation of surfers that can qualify for the CS through their regional tour. Athletes will be able to roll over points from 2020 QS events into the current season. Australia/Oceania will receive an allocation of ten men's and eight women's spots onto the Challenger Series based on the regional QS rankings.
NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Government was proud to support the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro, which forms part of the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series.
"Last year took an enormous toll on local communities so it's great to host events like this which not only provide an economic boost, but send a clear message to the rest of Australia, and the world, that NSW is wide open and ready for visitors to enjoy in a COVID-safe way," Mr Ayres said. "We look forward to welcoming competitors and visitors to Maroubra Beach later this month for another standout surfing event that will place our incredible NSW beaches front and centre."
Mad Mex founder Clovis Young is elated to see the partnership with Surfing NSW grow through events like the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro and their Fresh Fuel for Life Program.
"We're proud to support Surfing NSW for the second year running, now extending to the upcoming NSW Pro Surf Series. We're excited to be aligned with the NSW PSS and the naming rights partner of the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro. The partnership aligns with our "Fresh Fuel for Life" Sponsorship Program, our commitment to youth sports and our passion for healthy Mexican food. The Fresh Fuel for Life sponsorship program now supports some of Australia's best up-and-coming athletes across both surfing, skateboarding and motocross."
Randwick City Council Mayor Danny Said stated that the elite event at Maroubra Beach is one of the highlights on the summer calendar.
"The Mad Mex Maroubra Pro has been a staple competition on the Randwick City Council calendar for over five years and we can't wait to see it return in 2021. The event regularly sees some of Australia's best surfers in action at one of Sydney's most iconic beaches and provides up-and-coming local surfers with plenty of inspiration as they venture down a competitive surfing path."
Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden said he was blown away by the growth of the Qualifying Series event at Maroubra over the years.
"The Mad Mex Maroubra Pro has grown exponentially over the years and we've seen some of the most exciting names in surfing earn a spot in the final. Surfers like Connor O'Leary, Macy Callaghan, Philippa Anderson, Molly Picklum, Cam Richards, Dakoda Walters and Kalani Ball have all made the final of this event over the years and we can't wait to see who earns their spot on top of the dais in 2021."
WSL APAC Tour Manager Will Hayden-Smith expressed his excitement at seeing a top-tier event return to Sydney's Eastern Beaches.
"Maroubra is a Sydney beach with a really deep professional surfing lineage," Hayden-Smith said. "The WSL is proud to continue this lineage with Surfing NSW through the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro QS1,000. We're stoked to be returning to such an iconic Australian beach and can't wait to see some of Australia and New Zealand's best surfers take to the fun beach break peaks once again in 2021."
The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was developed for Australian and International surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. The series also creates a NSW coastal road trip for all to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and enjoy NSW surfing culture.
The Mad Mex Maroubra Pro, stop 3 on the 2021 Australian Qualifying Series leg will run from February 26 to 29.