- WSL / Thomas Bennett

Australia and Oceania's best up and coming surfers have arrived at Merewether Beach for the City of Newcastle Pro and AAP Consulting Women's Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 5000 event. The events run in conjunction with the iconic Newcastle Surfest and It will be the first time QS points have been earned on this stretch of beach since 2020 and will play as a major decider for the 2022 Challenger Series representatives from the Australia / Oceania region.

"It's been a fantastic season so far on the regional QS here in Australia and it's all going to come to a climax here at one of the most iconic events in world surfing," said WSL APAC Tour Manager Ty Sorati. "With 5000 points on offer for men and women, the Challenger Series qualification scenarios at the moment are endless. It's bound to be a really exciting week of competition, particularly as we draw closer to the pointy end and get a look at who will make the cut."

The event has attracted over 150 of Australia and New Zealand's best up and coming surfers all vying for important QS points and a spot on the 2022 WSL Challenger Series, the ultimate battleground for surfers to showcase their talents for the chance to qualify for the elite Championship Tour (CT). From the Australia / Oceania region there are nine men's spots and five women's spots up for grabs along with a men's and a women's regional wildcard.

Along with the usual QS competitors, the 2022 Newcastle Surfest has attracted a few of surfing's biggest names and Elite CT talent including local favourites Jackson Baker, Ryan Callinan and Merewether transplant Julian Wilson. It will also play as a Bells warmup for Italy's Leonardo Fioravanti and Portuguese star Frederico Morais.

With the forecast showing a mixture of wind and swell conditions, competitors and surf fans alike can expect a mixture of conditions and breaks over the next week in the Merewether area.

Event directors will convene at Merewether Beach tomorrow morning at 7:30 am to make a call on competition. The event will be live broadcast at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the Free WSL App.

The 2022 City of Newcastle Pro and AAP Consulting Women's Pro as part of Newcastle Surfest will run from March 28 - April 3.

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