- WSL / Tom Bennett

Port Stephens continues to provide a perfect destination for professional surfing with the 2022 Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro returning to the region, Sunday 27 February - Tuesday 1 March 2022. The elite three-day World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event will bring more than 100 of Australia's top tier surfers to the region to take on rising talent and local wild cards.

The event will be the second in the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and will be live webcast via the World Surf League for surf fans globally to watch. Good results in this series gives athletes the pathway to qualify for the new format Challenger Series (CS) and then the World Championship Tour. The QS will run from February through to May 2022 and determine who has qualified for the CS, which will run from May through to December 2022. Each region will have an allocation of surfers that can qualify for the CS through their regional tour. Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden believes the Port Stephens area is perfectly suited for an event of this calibre.

"Over the years we have been extremely spoiled with quality waves in the Port Stephens region and it's an absolute joy to return to the area after a turbulent year in 2021. I would like to thank the local surfing community and event stakeholders for welcoming us back in 2022."

Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said the 2022 Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro would cement the region's position as a top destination for surf tourism in Australia.

"The 2022 Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro provides an opportunity for visitors to experience some of the best breaks in the country, together with the region's unique surfing culture," said Mr Ayres. "The competition will boost visitor expenditure in this coastal community at a time when tourism operators need it most, marking another important step forward in the recovery of the visitor economy in regional NSW."

Port Stephens Council Mayor, Ryan Palmer, said he was elated to see the NSW Pro Surf Series return to the region after a difficult period for the tourism and events industry.

"It is fantastic to be able to showcase our wonderful region to not just the best surfers in Australia, but to a global audience via the event webcast," Palmer said. "Port Stephens Council is proud to once again be able to support this event, which enhances our reputation as one of New South Wales' premier surf destinations."

WSL APAC Tour Manager Ty Sorati echoed Palmer's sentiments adding that Port Stephens and in particular Birubi Beach has become a staple on the WSL Qualifying Series over the last six years.

"Port Stephens is one of the most exciting locations on the Aussie Qualifying Series each year with super fun waves during every event window," said Sorati. "With setups that cater for all conditions, competitors love coming back to this area each year and we can't wait to return in 2022. We'd like to thank all of the event partners including Surfing NSW for continuing to bring professional surfing to this part of the world year in year out."

Gage Roads Brew Co. is supporting the event and National Partnership and Events Manager James Whelan says he can't wait to have the opportunity to witness pro surfing in Port Stephens.

"Gage Roads Brew Co is stoked to be onboard for the Port Stephens Pro. We have always been inspired by the coast and the good times it brings," said Whelan. "We can't wait to get down there and see the world-class surfing on offer, while enjoying a few Single Fins together as well."

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.

For more information or to watch the event live head to www.worldsurfleague.com or check the free WSL App.

2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series Event Schedule EVENT 1: C A R V E Great Lakes Pro - February 22nd - 25th WSL QS1000 EVENT 2: Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro - 27th - 1st March WSL QS1000 EVENT 3: Mad Mex Maroubra Pro Presented by. By N G Farah 4 - 6th March WSL QS1000 EVENT 4 Men: Vissla Central Coast Pro Presented by Mad Mex - WSL QS3000 14th - 19th March EVENT 4 Women: Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro Presented by Mad Mex WSL QS3000 14th - 19th March

The 2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The series will also be proudly supported by C A R V E , Mobys Beachside Retreat, Barrington Coast Council, World Surf League, Destination NSW, Surfing NSW and Vissla.

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