World’s best surfers to drop in at Manly
The Sydney Surf Pro will see more than 200 of the world’s premier board riders compete at Manly Beach between 8-14 March.
Destination NSW secured the rights to the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series event, and Manly will stage the contest through to 2022.
With the Sydney Surf Pro offering the maximum 10,000 qualification points in the race to the elite Championship Tour, there will be no shortage of superstars paddling out.
North Narrabeen’s Jordy Lawler was the last man to take out the title at Manly Beach, winning last year’s Sydney Surf Pro when it was still a Qualifying Series 6,000 event.
A rising star of Australian surfing, Jordy is still pinching himself that he scored the biggest win of his young career in front of a heaving home crowd.
“Yeah, that’s what pushed me over the line last year, I think. The support from my coach, family, friends and supporters is the best thing ever,” he tells North Shore Living. “Growing up at Narrabeen we have a very solid support crew, it’s a big family really.”
International competitors also enjoy their fair share of support at Manly, and Jordy says that’s “great for the sport”, despite copping a torrent of abuse on social media from fans of his opponent in the final, Brazilian Jadson Andre.
“Having people supporting the international surfers is amazing too, I really appreciate when others are getting support,” he says.
“Like in the final with Jadson last year, I felt like there were just as many Brazilians on the beach as Australians. It’s actually really cool to see and it’s great for the sport.”
The defending champion wouldn’t be drawn on who deserves favouritism for the event, saying instead, “the one to beat is everyone”.
“I don’t single anyone out, every single person in the contest surfs amazing. So, whoever I come up against that’s who I want to beat.”
Jordy expects his local break to throw up plenty of highlights for spectators, saying “Manly is a fun wave when it’s on”.
“I love sleeping in my own bed and being able to surf in an important event just around the corner. It’s something I don’t do very often as normally I’m travelling.”
Adding to the spectacle will be the return of the Drop Festival on Saturday 14 March, with the likes of The Presets, Boy & Bear, Ball Park Music, Allday, DZ Deathrays, Kita Alexander and Graace taking to the stage at Keirle Park. And local pubs and clubs will be hosting events throughout the week.
For more information visit worldsurfleague.com.