The iconic Burleigh Heads break will once again play host to one of surfing’s most anticipated events, the Gold Coast open which kicks off on the 30th of April to the 2nd of May.
The Gold Coast Open will see the World Surf League Qualifying Series return for a QS 1000 rated event, providing one of the first opportunities for competitors to grab points and qualify for the 2023 WSL Challenger Series.
This event is a welcome site after the cancellation of the Championship Tour events in 20,21 and the Gold Coast being left off the CT in 22 over Bells Beach and Margaret River.
One of those hoping to earn some critical qualifying point is WSL Championship Tour hopeful Sophie McCulloch of the Sunshine Coast, who’s already managed to secure a QS1000 win earlier this year.
“I won my first QS in February (2022) at the Phillip Island Pro, which I’ve gained a lot of confidence out of, mainly in my own ability and preparation,” said McCulloch. “I’m looking forward to competing at home in Queensland in waves I’m familiar with. Burleigh is not only an excellent wave to surf but always has an exciting energy and atmosphere that’s both enjoyable for competitors and spectators. The 2022 Gold Coast Open will also provide the opportunity to make a solid start to qualify for the 2023 WSL Challenger Series.”
The three-day event will offer much more than just surfing, spectators can enjoy live music, cinema, sunrise yoga and of course all the offshore action, Surfing Queensland CEO, Adam Yates, is excited to see some of surfing’s brightest male and female talent vie for a share of the $20,000 prize pool on offer.
“With both state and international borders opening and easing of restrictions, we’re looking forward to see pro surfing events make a return to the Gold Coast in a somewhat pre-covid ‘normal’ landscape in 2022,” said Yates. “Burleigh Heads is one of surfing’s most iconic locations, rich in history and provides spectators the perfect natural amphitheatre set-up. Surfing Queensland has been growing the Gold Coast Open year on year, and we can’t wait for the event to showcase both homegrown and international talent.”
Previous winners of the Burleigh-based Gold Coast Open include Queenslanders Mick Fanning, Julian Wilson and Isabella Nichols, as well as other World Championship Tour surfers Sally Fitzgibbons, Taj Burrow and Owen Wright.