The 2016 Australasian World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (‘QS) will get off to a flying start early next year with the Carve Pro being upgraded to a QS1000 event.
The elite three-day competition, which will form the first of four stops on the recently announced NSW Pro Surf Series, will take place at Maroubra Beach from 15 - 17 January, 2016.
144 of Australia's and the world's most promising male and female surfers will compete in the event. The QS1000 competition will serve as a replacement to the Carve Pro Junior, which ran on the Eastern Sydney beach over the last two years.
Carve team-rider Stuart Kennedy (AUS), who currently sits in 12th position on the WSL QS rankings, was in Maroubra recently to launch the event alongside local surfers Richie Vaculik, Monty Tait (AUS) and Max McGuigan.
"The Carve QS1000 is a big step in the right direction for the future of Australian pro surfing," Kennedy said. "Hopefully its success pushes other brands to put back into Australian surfers like what Carve is doing. It should get a lot of great Australian underdogs and high profile surfers to compete and also a bunch of international surfers. I can't wait to see it all go down."
Carve Director Matt Whyte believes upgrading the Carve Pro Junior to a QS1000 event will help many surfers to achieve their dreams of becoming a professional surfer.
"We are very proud to be putting on our first Carve Pro QS1000 event," Whyte said. "This is another huge milestone for Carve. We have always been a major supporter of junior surfing through events like the Carve Pro Junior as well as sponsoring 80-plus Australian kids. We hope this event will be a great stepping-stone in helping them fulfil their dreams of a professional surfing career."
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres believes the Carve Pro event formed a part of the inaugural NSW Pro Surf Series, secured by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
"The Carve Pro will attract some of Australia's best surfers to Maroubra, providing a boost to the local visitor economy," Ayres said. "Maroubra is one of our State's most spectacular beaches, and joins Avoca Beach, Boomerang Beach and Cabarita Beach as hosts of the NSW Pro Surf Series, a new event that will see world class surfing right along the State's coastline this Summer."
Surfing NSW CEO Mark Windon predicts that the deep talent pool that resides in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs will be hungry to take the title.
"Sydney's east, especially Maroubra, has always been a breeding ground for hot talent," Windon said. "Over the last few years, surfers like Monty Tait, Jackson Giles and Max McGuigan to name a few have all made a name for themselves claiming a range of prestigious event wins. I'm sure these guys will all be thirsty to get to the pointy-end of the competition when it gets underway."