Strong Field Brings Heat to WSL Sydney Surf Pro

Three of Australia’s Tokyo Olympic qualified surf team will headline the inaugural WSL Sydney Surf Pro at Manly next month.

Owen Wright, Julian Wilson and Sally Fitzgibbons are among the 17 men’s and 11 women’s Championship Tour (CT) competitors registered for the first ever WSL Challenger Series event at the iconic beach from March 8-14.

Member for Manly James Griffin said the event, which is supported by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is shaping up to be a blockbuster battle between some of the world’s best surfers.

“With less than three weeks until the opening event of the 2020 WSL Challenger Series right here in Manly, anticipation is high and the community is ready for a brilliant show,” Mr Griffin said.

“Anyone who loves surfing, international sporting events or simply loves the spectacular backdrop of Manly beach should come along and enjoy what is going to be a tightly fought competition among the top surfers from around the globe.”

Reigning four-time WSL Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (US), two-time WSL Women’s World Champion Tyler Wright (Aus) and 2014 World Champion Adriano de Souza (Brazil) are among the line-up that also includes local surfers Jordy Lawler and Holly Wawn.

Carissa Moore said she would use Manly’s small wave, beach break surfing as sound preparation for similar conditions at Tokyo Olympics.

“My focus is to dust off the cobwebs, to stay sharp in the jersey, work on improving my competitive skillset and enjoying that part of Australia with my husband and friends.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the WSL Sydney Surf Pro was a prime example of a world class event meeting a world class destination.

“Over the next three years the Sydney Surf Pro will deliver $3.7 million in visitor spend for NSW from more than 4,000 visitors who stay over 25,000 visitor nights,” Minister Ayres said.

“Manly has a firm reputation as one of the best city surf beaches in the Asia Pacific region and this event will showcase Sydney as home to amazing events, a fantastic coastline and an enviable lifestyle.”

WSL Asia Pacific tour manager Will Hayden-Smith said the field for the inaugural Sydney Surf Pro is outstanding.

“We have the most Championship Tour athletes ever competing in Manly in 2020, and as the first WSL Challenger Series event of the year there all eyes will be on Manly to watch the action unfold,” Mr Hayden-Smith said.