Nearly two years ago to the day, Noah Schweizer and Zoe Benedetto claimed a Floridian sweep of the WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico. Now, both return to defend their titles as the event is back to kickstart the 2021/'22 North America Regional Qualifying Series (QS) season at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, September 1 - 5. The men's and women's QS 1,000 will be broadcast live once more throughout the event window.
This marks the eighth edition of this long-standing event on the iconic coastline of North Carolina's Outer Banks with competition set to run at Jennette's Pier once again. WRV Operations Manager LG Shaw and his team, now including Dane Jefferys at the helm as event director, continue to bring back this opportunity for surfers to compete near home
"We at WRV are super excited to get the Outer Banks Pro back underway this year with the returning presenting support of Pacifico," expressed Shaw. "It's epic that we will kick off the new WSL Regional QS season with their new format at one of the East Coast's best surfing destinations. It'll be great to once again show the entire surfing world what makes the Outer Banks so special."
The women made their Outer Banks debut in 2018 and now return for a third installment. Benedetto, 16, took down her maiden QS victory at this event in 2019 and comes back as defending event victor two years later. The Palm Beach, Florida, competitor stayed sharp throughout the last year and a half since her last WSL appearance in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and is ready for her shot at back-to-back event wins.
"I'm really excited to put the WSL Jersey back on," said Benedetto. "I've been doing any competitions I could to stay in a competitive mode, but nothing feels quite like putting on the WSL jersey. It's a really unique feeling to know I was the last champion of this event! It's so exciting and of course adds a little pressure, but in a good way. I know there are a lot of good girls coming from all over to surf this contest, which is great because it will push me and my surfing."
Fellow Floridian and defending men's event victor Schweizer, 25, finished off 2019 as the North America Regional QS Champion before events were canceled following the Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro in March of 2020. Now, the New Smyrna Beach surfer hopes to get his year started off well after shaking the nerves off at the Jack's Surfboards Pro nearly a month ago.
"It's a contest I look forward to every year and it looks like we should have some waves so I'm excited," said Schweizer. "The Outer Banks always has that second home feel to it and I really enjoy spending time up there. It was good to get the contest jitters out at Huntington a few weeks ago and it's crazy to think I won this event two years ago. It was super fun last time, the waves were good, and it's a place that can be six-to-eight foot offshore or fun two-foot, onshore, with a lot of opportunities."
The WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico will run September 1 - 5 at Jennette's Pier, Nags Head, North Carolina and feature a live webcast throughout the entirety of the event.
The health and safety of athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe. These plans are unique to each event.