World Surfing is returning down under once again, and we’re about to see a series of events across the country, including the new CT Qualifying format which will see surfing return to Port Stephens.
In 2020 during the cancellation of surfing the WSL announced a new format for 2021 which included creating a separate season for 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.
Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden believes the Port Stephens area is perfectly suited for an event of this calibre.
“Over the years we have been extremely spoilt with awesome wave quality in the Port Stephens region, and it’s an absolute joy to return to the area after a turbulent year in 2020. I would like to thank the local surfing contingent and the other event stakeholders for welcoming us back in 2021.”
The Port Stephens Pro pres. By Mad Mex, stop two on the 2021 Australian Qualifying Series leg will run from February 21 to 23. Head to www.worldsurfleague.com or the free WSL App for more information and to watch the event LIVE.