Cape Naturaliste Pro and Peel Pro Junior bringing WA surfing into the spotlight

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Former winner Mia McCarthy.
Camera IconFormer winner Mia McCarthy. Credit: Surfing WA

The end of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour for 2022 doesn’t mean the sport’s gone quiet, with two major events in WA kicking off next week.

The Yallingup and Peel Pro Surf Series will run between October 15 and 23, depending on conditions.

A partnership between WSL, Surfing WA and the local governments, supported by WA Government funding, the two contests will see the hottest surfers in the country vying for honours in the WSL-rated events.

The first event of the series, the Peel Pro Junior, takes place in Mandurah, starting on October 15, before the attention turns to the Cape Naturaliste Pro for the Qualifying Series men and women’s events from October 20.

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A Surfing WA spokesman said the events were designed to support up-and-coming WA surfers while also luring some of the sport’s top stars to take some time in the South West and help spread word of mouth about the region’s numerous quality breaks and attractions.

“The WA Pro Surf Series will provide a much-needed stepping stone for West Australian surfers to compete in an internationally-rated event on home soil,” Surfing WA events manager Justin Majeks said.

“We look forward to welcoming surfers from across the planet to WA and we hope to showcase some of our great waves and amazing surfing locations.”

The Peel Pro Junior will be the final stop on WSL’s Asia-Pacific tour determining who will qualify for the WSL Junior Championships in California in January next year.

Yallingup’s Cape Naturaliste Pro will see top-rated amateur surfers from across Australia and the Asia Pacific seeking to give their profiles a boost.

“WSL is stoked to be heading back to WA this year,” WSL APAC tour manager Ty Sorati said.

“Each of these events will play a massive role in shaping the careers of young QS and Pro Junior competitors.

“We’re excited to crown our regional Pro Junior Champions after the Peel Pro Junior, and will be announcing the surfers who will get the opportunity to compete in the World Junior Championships to be held in California in early January next year.”

The WA Pro Surf Series will provide local surfers with a valuable opportunity for compete in their backyard against some quality opposition, he said.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley welcomed the surf event back to the region after two years of COVID-19 cancellations.

“The main break at Yallingup is quite breath-taking to see for the first time when you head down the hill towards the beach,” he said.

“This event will again bring invaluable regional promotion to the area and boost the local economy, and I applaud Surfing WA for its efforts to bring this international event to WA.”

Tourism Minister Roger Cook said funding support was about the WA Government’s plan “to energise the economy, create jobs, and develop business opportunities” in regional WA through events designed “to attract visitors and encourage them to stay longer, disperse further, and do more while they are here”.

The WA Pro Surf Series last ran in 2019.

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