Australian Jessi Miley-Dyer will now oversee all WSL Tours including the Championship Tour, Challenger Series, Qualifying Series, Pro Junior Series, Big Wave, Longboard, and specialty events.
Filling the flip-flops of Pat O'Connell -- who has stepped down from this role to pursue other opportunities effective March 1st -- Miley-Dyer will run all competition for the World Surf League, and thanks to her abundant talents and experiences, is sure to push the sport of competitive surfing ever forward.
"Surfing has been a passion since I was very young, from competing professionally to now leading an incredible team to shape surfing's future," said Miley-Dyer. "I feel very fortunate to have made a career doing something that I love, and something that has given me so much after retiring from professional competition. I am excited to lead the sport into a new era."
Born and raised in the wave-rich Sydney surf scene, by eight years old she was already a dedicated, hardcore surfer.
Quickly progressing through the ranks of Australia's fierce junior scene, in 2000 and 2001 she claimed the Australian National Under 16 Surfing Titles, and by 2003, she not only won the Australian National Under 18 Surfing Titles, but was also crowned ISA World Junior Champion.
Hardly content there, Miley-Dyer is also a National Scholastic Snowboarding champion, a competitive swimmer, and in 2000, she served as an Olympic Torch bearer at the Sydney Games, carrying the sacred flame on a surf boat into Bondi Beach. Additionally, she holds a Masters Degree in Business from the University of New South Wales.
"I'm very excited to have Jessi lead Tours and Competition," seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore says. "She has a holistic view of the tour since she was a CT athlete and a Surfer's Representative, and has worked at WSL in different capacities. It's also very important for future generations to have women in leadership positions, so Jessi's appointment is transformative and inspiring."
In 2006, Miley-Dyer won the WSL Qualifying Series, as well as the Championship Tour's Billabong Pro at Honolua Bay and finished fourth in the world that year.
A competitor on the Championship Tour through 2011, after her run came to a close she joined the WSL staff where she dutifully served as the Women's Championship Tour Manager. In 2018, she was an integral part of the team that made history by ushering in equal prize money for men and women surfers at the highest level of sport.
"Pat played a very important role in taking us in the right direction," said Italo Ferreira, 2019 WSL Champion. "I'm looking forward to seeing where Jessi will take us next. I can see a bright future ahead of us."
The 2021 WSL Championship Tour will start back up again in April with the Australian leg, which gets underway at the historic surf town of Newcastle, New South Wales.
We wish all the best to O'Connell as he starts this next chapter of his career … see ya in the lineup, Pat!