The Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro presented by Mad Mex returns to Avoca Beach on Monday 13 March. A solid lineup of elite surfers and locals ready to hit the waves for six days of competition including four days of live webcast Wed-Sat.
The World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event will raise the stakes for surfers with increased points available in their quest to qualify for the Challenger Series (CS) and then Championship Tour (CT). *
Some of the competitors have already spent time on the dream tour but for most it is what they’re dreaming of.
2022 WCT Rookie Molly Picklum (North Shelly) is dual Australian Junior Champion and this year qualified for the WSL Championship Tour she knows just how crucial these events are. She has made a quick trip home from a bumper start to the year competing in the first ever women’s Pipeline Masters and the third event in Portugal just this week.
In 2021 Molly won three of the four NSW Pro Surf Series events and is the defending champion of the Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro.
“When I knew I’d make it home in time for the Central Coast Pro I was stoked,” said Picklum. “It’s such a great feeling to compete at home with my family, friends and my club North Shelly, behind me. We’ve had great conditions the last few years at Avoca. Hopefully the Central Coast will turn it on for another year so we can show the world how good it is.
“Your position on the Championship Tour (CT) is never set in stone with rankings changing after every event so competing in these QS events is really important and to have one at home is a bonus. I’ll definitely be aiming to defend my 2021 results,” she said.
Picklum will come up against in-form Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head) who has gone back-to-back with the Great Lakes and Port Stephens Pro so far and is the current Australian / Oceania Regionals QS Rankings leader.
And in the Men’s division the home advantage could also boost the prosperity of fellow North Shelly surfer and current Australian / Oceania Regional QS Rankings leader Joel Vaughan. Vaughan will look to increase his points at Avoca ahead of the QS 5000 events starting later this month.
Vaughan could come up against world super coach Glenn ‘Micro’ Hall (Umina) who also likes to make a celebrity comeback at this home event. Hall has coached surfers through to World Champions and is currently also working with Picklum. He will look at home as always at the Avoca beach break and could come up against old WCT rival Nathan ‘Hog’ Hedge (North Narrabeen) who has rejoined the QS regional tours after spending five years on the CT.
Koda Killorn (Maroubra) has been awarded the Vissla wildcard into the event and Jade Wheatley (Gold Coast) the Sisstrevolution wildcard. While locals Sandon Whittaker and Tahlia Hirst are the Avoca Beach wildcards.
Molly Picklum at 2021 Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro, photo by Ethan Smith
PRO JUNIOR EVENT TO JOIN CENTRAL COAST PRO
Returning to the Central Coast in 2022 will be the WSL Pro Junior event that will see Australia’s best surfers 20 years and under vying for a spot at this year’s World Junior Championships. The pro junior component of the event will run from March 17 – 19 in conjunction with the QS3,000. The event means the Pro Junior Series
The Central Coast Pro Junior gives the local community the chance to see future WCT surfers and potential World Champions before they hit the world stage.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said he was proud to continue his support of Surfing NSW and the WSL with the delivery of a pro event in the region.
“The Central Coast is the perfect location for this event and I look forward to seeing our beaches and incredible local Central Coast talent featured on the world stage once again.
“Having hundreds of competitors and spectators descend on Avoca Beach not only showcases our beautiful region to the world but injects significant tourism dollars into local businesses, accommodation providers, restaurants and retail,” Mr Crouch said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Regional Events Acceleration Fund is supporting the growth of existing regional events and attracting new major domestic and international events to regional NSW.
“Since its inception, the Regional Events Acceleration Fund has supported the delivery and development of 85 events, estimated to result in over 1.1 million visitors travelling to the regional areas where these events are held.”
Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden says support from NSW Regional for a fourth Pro Junior event in the Central Coast would help boost the junior surfing pathway but also bring hundreds of people to the region.
“It’s really exciting that the rising stars of our sport now have the chance to compete in a Pro Junior event on the Central Coast. It will complete the NSW road trip-style series that’s the launch pad for Australia’s best junior athletes to become confident in an elite competition format. It gives them the experience they need to do well in the WSL QS and many World Champions won these events on their path to the top,” said Madden
*The QS runs from February through to May in 2022 and determines qualification into the Challenger Series (CS), which has eight events that run from May through to December 2022. Each regional tour has an allocation of nine men and seven women plus a regional wildcard for each that can qualify for the Challenger Series. (Read more about the WSL qualification pathway)
The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was developed to support Australian and International surfers in gaining ranking points and prize money on the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series. Additionally, the month-long series provides an opportunity for surfers and visitors alike to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and everything the NSW coast has to offer.
2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series Event Schedule
EVENT 3: Mad Mex Maroubra Pro POSTPONED WSL QS1000
EVENT 4 Men: Vissla Central Coast Pro – WSL QS3000 14th – 19th March
EVENT 4 Women: Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro – WSL QS3000 14th – 19th March
The 2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
The series will also be proudly supported by Avoca Beach Hotel, Central Coast Council, World Surf League, Kayo Sports, Volkswagen, Mad Mex, Destination NSW, Surfing NSW and Vissla.