The 2019 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro has been bolstered with 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) confirming that he will return to Manly to compete in March 2019.
Having competed at Manly Beach a number of times throughout his career, even winning the event in 1997, Slater has a strong affiliation with the Northern Beaches of Sydney
“I’ve always loved the northern beaches and having lived part-time in Avalon for 15 years, I miss it and am looking forward to getting back to some old familiar territory.
I’m also getting a nice warmup prior to jumping back on tour full-time after close to a year and a half hiatus from competition,” said Slater who injured himself while free surfing at Jeffreys Bay during the JBay Open.
The event is the second major Qualifying Series event of the WSL season and will play a pivotal role for competitors hoping to qualify for the elite Championship Tour that Slater has dominated for over two decades.
“Manly became a mainstay for a number of years on tour. There’s a lot of history dating back to surfing being introduced at Freshwater some hundred years ago by Duke and many years later hosting some classic events with legendary performances by Larry Blair and Wayne Lynch.
The more recent years have shown some serious highlights for tour surfers such as Julian Wilson and as a jumpstart for rookies and QS grinders looking to stamp their mark on the start of the year. It should be a fun week,” added Slater.
The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro will run from the 18th March – 24th March 2019 at Manly Beach.