Surfing South Africa Updates
Events will bring QS1000 level events to South Africa's beaches
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 December, 2016 - Cape Town, South Africa - The Rio Olympics and 2016 sporting year have come and gone in a blink of an eye, leaving great memories and exciting opportunities in their wake. One such opportunity is the inclusion of Surfing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, giving the sport a massive mainstream media injection.
Accelerate Sport, World Surf League (WSL), and Surfing South Africa (SSA) are announce the launch of the City Surf Series in 2017. This exciting series of internationally rated professional surfing events aims to bring a QS1000 level event to all major coastal Metro's of South Africa by 2018 and even grow beyond South Africa’s boundaries into Africa moving towards 2020. The City Surf Series concept is based on the successful pilot event, the Cape Town Pro, which was held at Bloubergstrand earlier this year, and plans to deliver a minimum of three events in 2017, growing to five in 2018.
The series will equip South Africa’s budding professional surfers with valuable rankings points on the world stage without leaving the confines of their home waters, creating a cost-effective platform to transition from local hero to international superstar. The series aims to mould this next crop of surfers into formidable international competitors, joining the likes of Jordy Smith and Bianca Buitendag, in their quest for gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“The City Surf Series is one of the most exciting developments in professional surfing in South Africa and Africa, and will be a fantastic springboard and opportunity to get our athletes back to the top of world surfing,” says WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. “It’s been great working with Accelerate Sports in creating a solid foundation for our future surfing stars and we look forward to partnering with Surfing South Africa and the many surfing labels who share WSL Africa’s vision of paving the way for surfers from development programs to the highest levels of the sport internationally.”
The Durban Surf Pro, a QS1000 event scheduled for 21-23 April, is the first confirmed event of the series and will take place on Durban’s Golden Mile, while the Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City Surf Pro’s are tentatively scheduled for 7-9 April and 13-15 April respectively.
The series takes a break over May to allow for competitors to attend major events in USA, Brazil, and France before heading down to the Mother City for the Cape Town Surf Pro on 9-11 June. The finale of the series will head back to Durban’s Golden Mile where the QS3,000 rated SA Open of Surfing offers a US$75,000 prize purse and will run on 14-18 June featuring 150 of the world’s best male and female surfers.
“I’m over the moon,” said 2016 WSL Africa Champion, Beyrick De Vries, “I feel like it’s going to be the junior series all over again, but it’s not practice this time, it’s the main stage with world ranking points and prize-money to assist in international events too. The City Surf Series is a massive step in the right direction for South African surfing, and the timing couldn’t be more prefect with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon. Thank you sponsors and organizers for seeing the bigger picture.”
The series events will include WSL Africa sanctioned events for Open Men and Open Women as well as Pro Junior (U18) Men and Women categories, attracting entries from local competitors, the fast growing African surf scene, and internationally ranked professionals.
“Surfing South Africa is extremely pleased that the City Surf Series will be included on the South African surfing contest calendar in 2017. Top level international surfing events that take place in South Africa will certainly help prepare our surfers for the 2020 Olympic Games and we look forward to working with the World Surf League on these events. Surfing South Africa congratulates Accelerate on the work that has gone into creating the City Surf Series,” said Robin de Kock, General Manager of Surfing South Africa.
At each of the events Surfing South Africa and its structures will work with local surfing outreach groups and surf clubs to engage with less fortunate youth. This programme will take the form of ocean awareness clinics and grass roots competition. The goal of these initiatives is to take surfing to all communities and showcase it as a sport that promotes a healthy lifestyle in a positive safe environment.
CITY SURF SERIES SCHEDULE:
07-09 April Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro (Tentative)
15-17 April Buffalo City Surf Pro (Tentative)
21-23 April Durban Surf Pro
09-11 June Cape Town Surf Pro
14-18 June SA Open of Surfing