- WSL / Tom Bennett

Pro surfing in NSW is back this week with the start of the 2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and the first event, the C A R V E Great Lakes Pro at Boomerang Beach on Tuesday 22 February.

The four NSW events are part of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualification Series (QS) 1,000 and 3,000 points and qualifications pathway. Each play a critical role for the surfers aiming to qualify for the WSL Challenger Series and then the World Championship Tour.

The C A R V E Great Lakes Pro will kick off the NSW road trip series with the first heats starting from approx. 7am. The event will run across four days and will be live webcast on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 February via Kayo Sports and the World Surf League.

Local wildcard entries Zeb Watts and Leila Salt from Boomerang Beach Boardriders Club will be tested at their home break as they come up against the top seeds and former WSL World Championship surfers.

Zeb will surf against Matt Banting (Port Macquarie) and Leila will meet Macy Callaghan (Gold Coast), both determined to requalify for the elite tour in 2023. For 15-year-old Leila, this is her very first QS event in a big year for her after being selected for the NSW Junior Team. Leila was stoked to receive the local wildcard entry.

"I just saw I am against Macy in my first heat which is pretty special for me," said Leila. "I'm just going to go out and surf against myself because I have nothing to lose. Macy is such a good surfer and one of the top athletes for Billabong, she's an inspiration for me so it's pretty exciting to surf against her in my first QS event. If I go alright I might go in a couple more QS events. So many things have already happened for me this year.

Defending Great Lakes Pro Champion Reef Heazlewood (Sunshine Coast) will use the Great Lakes Pro to maximise his qualification points and is thankful for the opportunity to have these events back on the calendar.

"I want to get some good results here and be really consistent with my surfing across the NSW Pro Surf Series. I'm so glad Surfing NSW and WSL can put these events on to help us get back into competition-mode and Boomerang is a great place to start the year.

"The Great Lakes Pro and Boomerang Beach is such a special place for me, I've been coming here for years. It's so beautiful, the waves are awesome and the local community is so friendly.

And on the conditions Heazlewood who has been in the area for a week says "the waves are a little smaller today but some fun left and right options at north Boomerang. By Friday we should see some good size with waves potential wave height reaching over-head combined with northerly winds so the north pocket of the beach will be great. Expect to see good surfing and conditions," he said.

All events will be webcast through worldsurfleague.com and the WSL App.

For more information on these events head to worldsurfleague.com or check the free WSL App.

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