- WSL / Wolf Photographe

A historic competition awaits at the Cabarete Pro QS 1,000 powered by Carambola Surf House beginning March 3 - 6. This marks the first time WSL will help bring the beauty and splendor of Dominican Republic's island nation to the world.

Nestled in the northern coastline, Encuentro Beach sits within the Puerto Plata province of the island and is open to array of swell conditions. Prominently northerly, ENE swells are ideal to activate the reef-sand break of Encuentro which is predominantly a lefthander. But, the island is already a destination for travelers and other watersports.

Encuentro Beach Encuentro Beach will welcome some of North America's top-tier competitors at the lefthand reefbreak. - WSL / The Search DR

"The local surf community is immensely stoked about hosting the WSL for the first time ever," said Event Director Brian Mejia. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to watch elite surfing in our backyard. Cabarete, Puerto Plata known as Surf and Wind City is the capital of Watersports here, hosting the World Cup of Kite and Wind-surfing in years past."

The surf culture started in the early 70's in the Dominican Republic and it was composed of a small group of people from the capital city of Santo Domingo and foreigners who came searching for waves. By the mid 80's-90's surfing was growing and the culture was as popular as Rock n' Roll. Slowly but surely boards started making their way to local kids at different surf spots around the country. Since that time, surfing has evolved immensely, there are many surf schools offering lessons, there are local shapers, major surf brands have a presence at retail and some of the top surfers in the worldhave visited the island on surf trips.

"The Dominican Republic hosts more than 6 million tourists a year, making it the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. It's been long overdue to expose our waves to the world via WSL, placing us on the map as a true surf destination."

Dominican Staff The Cabarete Pro staff at the local press conference announcing the event. - WSL / Brian Mejia

"The presence of the WSL will motivate our local surfers to take their surfing to another level, as well as giving them the opportunity to compete against some of the best surfers in the world," added Mejia. "That experience alone is priceless, especially for those surfers that haven't had the opportunity to travel outside of the country."

An ambassador of the sport and the event, Chile's Manuel Selman returns to the QS jersey to celebrate Dominican Republic's maiden endeavor into the world of professional surfing. A former QS elite threat, Selman found himself just outside the Top 100 multiple years and now is working to bring the sport to a new country - and demographic.

Manuel Selman at Encuentro Beach. The wave of Encuentro Beach is capable of beautiful things. Exhibit A featuring Manuel Selman. - WSL / Wolf Photographe

"I think the WSL's collaboration with the Carambola Surf House to bring the first QS event to the island will make a positive impact to surfing in the Dominican Republic," said Selman. "Local authorities will see a big change after the event, surf specific tourism will grow and local surfers will learn and have a new motivation to get better and prepare for the next year's event."

Mayor Freddy Cruz & Former Anaheim Angel Embrace Surfing's Recognition at Home

This marks a momentous occasion for the island of Dominican Republic and none know moreso than the Mayor of Cabarete, Freddy Cruz.

"I encourage these types of events in our home town and want to welcome the WSL and international surfers to Cabarete in efforts to promote our accommodations, culture and Waves," said Cruz. "Cabarete is the Dominican Republic's main attraction when it comes to watersports. I'm excited to host some of the best surfers in the world and show them what Cabarete is all about."

Even former Anaheim Angels player Vladimir Guerrero got wind of the event and hopes to spread the joy his home nation embodies.

"California's received me with open arms and made me feel at home when I played in Anaheim," said Guerrero. "Those were some of the best years in my career. I'd like to return my gratitude to all WSL athletes and staff and welcome them to my country. I'm excited to hear that the Dominican Republic will host this event for the first time ever and local surfers will have an opportunity to push their limits and compete at the highest stage."

Watch the Cabarete Pro powered by Carambola Surf House QS 1,000 LIVE beginning March 3 - 6.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.