The WSL announced that Newcastle in NSW, Australia, as the venue for the fourth event of the Australian leg of the Championship tour that will kick off on 1 April 2021.
This is after the The Ballina Shire Council rejected an application to host an event at the iconic surf break of Lennox Head.
The WSL will implement a robust and thorough COVID-19 health and safety plan for each event during the Australian leg of the CT in accordance with federal and state guidance.
The WSL’s health and safety plan includes physical distancing measures, temperature checks, enhanced high-touch cleaning at the event sites, contact tracing procedures, sanitiser stations throughout the event site, and minimal personnel on-site.
“With over 35 years of professional surfing history, Merewether Beach in Newcastle is the perfect location to launch the CT Australian leg in 2021.
The beach break peaks and right-hand reef of Merewether is responsible for unearthing surfing legends such as Mark Richards, Luke Egan, Matt Hoy and Ryan Callinan,” said the WSL in a statement.
The 2021 Newcastle Pro will not only be the first time world title points have been on offer at the location since 1991 but also the first combined male-and-female CT event to be held in NSW since the Coke Classic at Manly in 1999.
“The NSW government and World Surf League worked together to ensure that this competition went ahead,” said NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro.
“Sun, surf and sand are a way of life in our regional coastal towns and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our coastal communities can reap the recreational, tourism and economic benefits that surfing provides.”
“This is a huge opportunity to promote Newcastle, its world-class waves and the region’s natural assets and visitor attractions to tens of millions of avid surfers and potential holidaymakers around the globe,” said NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment and Tourism, Stuart Ayres.
“The profile of the WSL Championship Tour will undoubtedly put Newcastle front of mind for many fans and start the all-important ‘dreaming’ phase of planning a holiday for when we can welcome international visitors again.”
WSL will be working closely with the Merewether Surfboard Club to incorporate the local surfing community into the event where possible.
This will be most significantly through the club being awarded wildcard spots for members Philippa Anderson and Jackson Baker.
The WSL is currently working with Australia’s state governments to finalize the final three Australian CT events and will release the updated schedule as soon as possible. The Australian CT events will run based on state border closures, strictly adhering to federal and state government guidelines and restrictions.
All tour stops and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.
The Corona Open JBay is scheduled to take place from 4 – 13 July 2021 at Supertubes, commonly regarded as the world’s best wave. The JBay Open forms part of the annual JBay Winterfest.
Jeffreys Bay local Matt McGillivrey will be looking forward to competing at his home break in his first year on the Championship Tour.