NSW will host four World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) events that will form the brand new Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series in the early stages of 2021.
Once again Surfing NSW has joined forces with the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vissla and World Surf League to bring four QS events back to Boomerang Beach, Port Stephens, Maroubra and Avoca.
The four-event series will see two QS1000 rated events (Maroubra and Great Lakes), one men’s and women’s QS3000 (Central Coast) and one women’s QS3000 (Port Stephens).
Earlier this year 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.
The 2021 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was launched today at Avoca by Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch who was joined by local Central Coast surfers Molly Picklum, Sandon Whittaker, Joel Vaughan and World Championship Tour coach and local Glenn “Micro” Hall.
“This QS3000 ranked event provides an even greater opportunity for professional surfers to earn points and is the only event of its kind in Australia,” Mr Crouch said. “With hundreds of competitors and spectators expected to descend on Avoca, this six-day event will boost our local businesses, accommodation, restaurants and retail following what has been a really difficult year.”
Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden said the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series will continue to play a vital role for surfers as they aspire to qualify for the Challenger Series and the Championship Tour.
“Surfing NSW’s intention of launching the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series back in 2016 was to give Australian surfers the opportunity to get closer to qualifying for the Championship Tour,” said Madden. “Now with the inclusion of the Challenger Series events and each region having an allocation of people who qualify, we’re overjoyed to see a regional pathway for Australian competitors.”
Vissla’s John Mossop echoed Madden’s sentiments and looks forward to seeing the series grow on the legacy it’s already built.
“Over the years the series has created a tremendous building block for surfers who are aspiring to qualify for the Championship Tour,” said Mossop. “People like Morgan Cibilic, Macy Callaghan, Connor O’Leary and Ethan Ewing have all used some stellar results on this series to propel them onto the world stage and it’s something we want to see continue in the forthcoming years.”
WSL Asia Pacific Tour Manager Will Hayden-Smith expressed his excitement at seeing the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series take place along the NSW coastline again in 2021.
“This will be the sixth year of WSL’s involvement with the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and we couldn’t be happier to see it all kick-off again in 2021,” Hayden-Smith said. “With the new look regional Qualifying Series giving competitors a new path to the Challenger Series and Championship Tour, this series will play a more pivotal role in the career pathway for this regions surfers than ever before. WSL would like to thank all of the series partners that continue to support and develop these fantastic events.”
Central Coast Council Administrator, Mr Dick Persson AM said the Central Coast is thrilled to be one of the host locations for this prestigious series.
“These are world-class events and I encourage locals and visitors to head to Avoca Beach, and all of the host locations, to witness these incredible athletes in action in a beautiful setting,” Mr Persson said.
The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was developed for Australian surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. The series also creates an NSW coastal road trip for all to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and enjoy NSW surfing culture.
All events will be webcast through worldsurfleague.com and the WSL App.
All event news, images and highlight clips will be housed at nswprosurfseries.com in the coming weeks.
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.