Kicking off the competitive season in South Africa, the inaugural WSL Specialty Event for the Northern Cape region, the Experience Northern Cape Namakwa Challenge presented by Billabong Adventure Division will take place at Groenrivier from August 23-31, 2021.
This WSL Specialty Event is an invitation-only event, including the highest ranked surfers on the WSL Africa Qualifying Series (QS). South Africa's top performing youngsters like Joshe Faulkner, Angelo Faulkner, Luke Thompson and Simo Mkhize will line up against performance wildcards like big wave charger Matthew Bromley, Chad Du Toit and Koby Oberholzer.
The competition format will see all the surfers compete in two, four-man heats. The top eight surfers with the highest two-wave total will advance to the Semifinals. The waiting period will allow organisers to run the event in the best possible conditions at Groenriviermond.
"We are very proud to kick off our events with a WSL Specialty Event. After the halting of contests due to COVID-19, this is a wonderful opportunity for some of our top surfers to compete for an impressive prize purse. The competition will be the first ever, professional surfing event in the Northern Cape and will do much to help grow surf tourism in the area and to develop surfing as a sport and lifestyle along the Northern Cape coast," said Kai Linder, Amandla Surf Foundation General Manager.
The Northern Cape Provincial Government MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, said they are looking at this event to encourage and inspire the youth.
"There is no doubt that the power of sport has often been used to drive positive change and with the help of some of South Africa's leading sports icons across various disciplines, we are able to do just this - while giving each and every citizen of the province and country an opportunity to join in and support the cause. We hope that the presence and interaction with the surfing icons in the small communities will motivate the young athletes to take up this sporting discipline and excel at it," said Vosloo.
"In the spirit of the original Billabong Challenge series in the Western Australia, we cannot wait to see Africa's best surfers compete in the beautiful Northern Cape! This event aligns with the Billabong Adventure Division perfectly," said Billabong's Chris Hefnfner.
Namakwaland is renowned for the annual spring wild flower phenomenon. The season usually begins mid-August until early September, which means the surfers at this event will get to experience one of the most breathtaking natural wonders of the South African landscape.