JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – World-class surfing will return to the East Coast of South Africa this autumn with the fourth instalment of the City Surf Series™, which will see four events being held at Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth), Port Alfred and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) through April, May and June 2019.
The flagship event on the 2019 City Surf Series™ calendar is the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 rated event for the Women which makes it the biggest WSL QS Women’s event on the African continent. This will see the likes of former WSL Championship Tour (CT) competitor Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), current WSL CT surfer Silvana Lima (Brazil) and former Women’s World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) on the entry list.
Junior surfing will be another big focus of the VW SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley is and to celebrate Youth Day on 16 June 2019, WSL Junior champions will be crowned on this National holiday. The event will be action packed with quality surfing, with champions crowned on multiple days to be able to highlight both women and the youth participating in the illustrious event.
Volkswagen will once again be the headline sponsor of the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley as well as the Official Vehicle to the City Surf Series™. “Volkswagen People Movers, particularly the Kombi, is synonymous with the surfing in this country so for us, renewing our sponsorship with the City Surf Series for the third year made perfect sense,” said Andile Dlamini, General Manager for Group Communications.
“Not only do the CSS events support our economy, the events give back to the community and environment by incorporating Learn to Surf Initiatives as well as Community Clean-the-Beach programmes, which supports our VW For Good CSI campaign,” added Dlamini. The elite five-day event will form the fourth and final stop of the series and will take place at Pollock Beach, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth from 13-17 June 2019.
With the aim to expose and further develop the sport of surfing which will be included in the 2020 Olympic Games, as well as attract foreign athletes to our shores – each City Surf Series™ event will feature WSL QS internationally rated Men’s, Women’s as well as Pro Junior Men’s and Pro Junior Women’s divisions along with local SSA Longboard Men’s and Women’s divisions at select events on the 2019 City Surf Series™ calendar.
Director of Sport and Recreation in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Mrs Charmaine Williams said: “The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is excited to once again host the SA Open of Surfing. The fact that it is the biggest Women’s WSL Qualifying Series event on the African continent, ties in well within the City’s strategic vision to position itself as a preferred destination to host national and international sporting events.
The event takes place at an ideal time during the mid-year school holidays, which usually is a quiet period for tourism and therefore the influx of visitors to the SA Open of Surfing event will be a huge contribution towards tourism and economic development. We are therefore looking forward to welcome all the surfing visitors to the friendly Nelson Mandela Bay.”
An exciting new aspect of the City Surf Series™ is the focus on creating a sustainable surfing series whereby all CSS events will have a dedicated recycling zone, water stations, environmentally friendly vendors as well as a fun, educational activation area; which will highlight the global drive of reusing, renewing and recycling as much as possible. Thanks to the support and guidelines by local NGO – Ocean Pledge, the CSS events will hopefully be a catalyst to inspire an active change around plastic pollution within the coastal communities that each event is hosted in.
“This year our role at City Surf Series is one of environmental education. We supply guidelines and educational materials to event organisers, spectators and vendors, consulting in best practice when it comes to creating plastic-free events. We will have a bright gazebo up on the beach encouraging spectators and athletes to learn more about single-use plastic and encouraging responsible commitments to making small but positive changes in the form of an Ocean Pledge. We also help with communication around setting expectations for spectators.” Said Diony Lalieu from Ocen Pledge.
City Surf Series™ partner, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), will play a dedicated role at each event by educating members of the public, competitors, local schools and surf outreach programs on ocean safety and ocean awareness.
Andrew Ingram, NSRI’s Drowning Prevention Manager stated: “Sea Rescue is acutely aware that even children who can swim drown. There is an urgent need for public education regarding basic water safety and peer rescue. Surfers have often participated in peer rescues, probably more than any other group, because they spend so much time in the water and have a real understanding of rip currents. NSRI’s Water Safety programme looks forward to collaborating with City Surf Series to reach underprivileged youth interested in taking up this sport.”
Dedicated to uplifting and growing surf communities in all event locations, the City Surf Series™ gives back to the local surf community by working alongside the national controlling body of the sport – Surfing South Africa (SSA) and incorporating SSA Learn to Surf Initiatives which are designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background.
A community Beach Clean Up forms part of each CSS event itinerary and members of the public are urged to get involved – all Beach Clean Up schedules will be posted on the City Surf Series™ social media platforms.
2019 City Surf Series Event Schedule:
Follow all the action on social media:
To enter a City Surf Series™ event please click on the link – http://www.worldsurfleague.com/pages/member-management or contact the WSL Africa regional office 021-534 5738.