Thumping swells bombarded Avoca Beach today for the high seeded rounds of both the Vissla Central Coast Pro and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro. With rouge six-to-eight foot sets rolling through, the event moved south along the beach to take advantage of an excellent lefthand peeling bank that handled the solid swells.
Local Central Coast surfer Molly Picklum continued to build on the upward trajectory that she’d built over the course of her earlier Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro heats, taking out her quarterfinal. In the relatively slow battle, the young natural-footer found a handful of punchy left handers – and one spectacular wipeout – to eliminate 2020 event champion Sarah Baum from competition. A semi-final appearance here at Avoca means Picklum will jump current APAC QS rankings leader Bronte Macauley on the year’s rankings. Molly will meet current world number three Sally Fitzgibbons in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
“The waves out there were definitely tricky,” said Picklum. “The backwash was super hard to negotiate and you had to really time your turns before the waves closed out. It was easy to see how you could get lost out there with those sets. Thankfully, I found those few heats and got through.”
Fellow local and Championship Tour surfer Macy Callaghan showed her knowledge of maxing Central Coast conditions, eliminating recent Mad Mex Maroubra Pro Champion India Robinson from the event. Callaghan will meet Merimbula’s Freya Prumm in the semi-finals.
Reigning Vissla Central Coast Pro Champion Matt Banting made it clear he was eager to claim back-to-back titles here at Avoca, cementing his spot into the semi-finals. Banting smashed out an eclectic mix of backside snaps and carves to earn his spot into the final day of the event.
“Avoca Beach is a happy place for me, I’ve made the finals here the last two years and I’m through to the semis now, so it feels great” said Banting. “The surf today is fantastic and I’m so glad they made the call to keep running on the peak of this swell.”
Other men’s semi-finalists include Kyuss King, Jacob Willcox and Reef Heazlewood (the latter surfer, nailing a near-perfect 9.50 in the final heat of the day).
With finals day tomorrow, the waves are forecasted to continue with action beginning early at 8am and finals expected to be completed by around 10am.
The live broadcast of the Vissla Central Coast Pro and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro will begin on Thursday, 4 March 2021 and will be streamed live on Surfing NSW website and Facebook.
The elite six-day World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 rated event formed the final of four stops on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and will take place in Avoca from Tuesday, 2 March 2021 until Sunday, 7 March 2021.
The four-event series will see three QS1000 rated events (Maroubra, Great Lakes and Port Stephens) and one men’s and women’s QS3000 (Central Coast).
In 2020, the WSL revealed a new format for 2021, which included creating distinct seasons between the QS (the regionalised development tier), the Challenger Series (the global battleground for Championship Tour qualification) and the Championship Tour (the world’s best surfers competing for the World Title).
The new tour structure will provide a more streamlined and affordable career pathway for WSL athletes by allowing up-and-coming surfers to develop closer to home without financially overleveraging themselves. Athletes will compete on their regional QS tour in hopes of qualifying for the Challenger Series (CS), and ultimately the Championship Tour, which will reduce the economic pressure on surfers and their sponsors, as well as provide increased opportunities to celebrate local stars.
The QS will run from January through to July 2021 and determine who has qualified for the CS, which will run from August through to December 2021. Each region will have an allocation of surfers that can qualify for the CS through their regional tour. Athletes will be able to roll over points from 2020 QS events into the current season. Australia/Oceania will receive an allocation of ten men’s and eight women’s spots onto the Challenger Series based on the regional QS rankings.
All events will be webcast through worldsurfleague.com, surfingnsw.com.au and the WSL App.
For more information on these events head to worldsurfleague.com or check the free WSL App.
2021 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series Event Schedule
Event 1: Great Lakes Pro, Boomerang Beach, Tuesday 16 – Friday 19 February 2021.
Event 2: Port Stephens Pro, Birubi Beach, Sunday 21 – Tuesday 23 February 2021.
Event 3: Mad Mex Maroubra Pro, Maroubra Beach, Friday 26 – Sunday 28 February 2021.
Event 4: Vissla Central Coast Pro, Avoca Beach, Tuesday 2 – Sunday 7 March 2021.
The 2021 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series will be proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The series will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Randwick City Council, Central Coast Council, Mid Coast Council, Port Stephens Council, Mad Mex, Sisstrevolution, Middle Rock Holiday Park, Moby’s Beachside Retreat, Avoca Beach Hotel, WSL and Surfing NSW.