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Over R1 Million in City Surf Series Prize Money Up for Grabs

Top longboarder Steven Sawyer, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Member of the Mayoral Committee for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Siyasanga Sijadu, with surfers Crystal Hulett and Angelo Faulkner holding the John Whitmore Cup.

The South African and international surfing community is frothing at the prospect of the Qualifying Series (QS) rated 2018 City Surf Series (CSS), presented by Hurley, a spectacular festival of surfing launched in Nelson Mandela Bay on Wednesday, February 28.

The second edition of South Africa’s premier surfing series sees six events taking place in different cities along our pristine coastline from April to June, culminating in the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley, in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay.

Surfing South Africa president, Johnny Bakker said it was great to be in partnership with Volkswagen SA and the World Surfing League (WSL) in growing the series to where it is today and beyond.

VW SA general manager of communications, Matt Gennrich said getting involved with surfing was a no-brainer as the VW brand has been associated with surfing for many years. Surfers going on surfing safaris with their VW campher vans are synonymous, he said.

Each of the 5 CSS events will feature QS rated men’s, women’s, junior men and junior women’s competitions, Surfing South Africa (SSA) longboard men and women and SUP men and women’s categories.

A major change from last year’s series is the upgrading of the VW SA Open of Surfing women’s event to a QS3000, making it the biggest women’s QS in Africa. Hopefully this new development will attract some of the world’s best ahead of the debut of the women’s CT event in Jeffrey’s Bay a week later. The Nelson Mandela Bay Pro men’s event has also been upgraded to a QS1500 to start the CSS on a high.

"We are working on expanding the series into other areas in Africa. The series enables South African surfers to compete on a regular basis and compete locally in QS events without spending a lot of money to go overseas,” said WSL Africa head of operations, Colin Fitch.

In an exciting edition is the launch of a new event, the Port Alfred Classic, which will be the inaugural event in an exciting new series. Bringing old school back, the Port Alfred Classic will feature men’s and women’s QS Longboard events with the two disciplines also added to the Volkswagen SA of Surfing presented by Hurley.

"It is insane to have this competition up and running in South Africa and if Michael February makes it onto the Championchop Tour (CT) that would be the biggest gift that could have been given to us in South Africa,” said world number two longboader, Steven Sawyer.

The VW SA Open of Surfing has furthermore relocated from Durban to Nelson Mandela Bay, bringing a welcome economic injection to the metro and exposure to local surfers in an area with a variety of surf spots.

"The VW South African Open of Surfing being hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in June is an economic boost during a quiet time for the city. It is expected to bring in an estimated 4000 to 6000 visitors and an R18 million cash injection for the city,” said Cllr Andrew Whitfield, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture.

All events will be giving back to the community and environment by incorporating CSI Learn to Surf Initiatives as well as Community Clean-the-Beach programmes, sponsored by Tuffy Plastics.

In the 2017 edition of the CSS, 300 previously disadvantaged kids across the 5 events were taught to surf. 

"Our CSI learn to surf programme for the City Surf Series is fundamental to the success of our series. We understand the need to not only provide competitions for those needing the development, but also to expose previously disadvantaged kids to surfing and the positive impact it can have. We hope in years to come that kids who have come through these programmes are competing in our events and on the world stage”, said Accelerate Sport CEO, Edward Gregory.

The CSS festival of surfing aims to expose and further elevate the sport of surfing, recently included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, develop local talent, attract foreign athletes to our shores and create a festive place for all to immerse themselves in the stoke and vibe of the surfing lifestyle.

The 2017 CSS exposed South African surfers to top level competition against other local and international surfers, earning them valuable QS points and putting them in a strong position in this year’s competition.

The biggest success story of the 2017 series was undoubtedly Michael February who won three of the series events before going on to earn third at both the Ballito Pro and US Open of Surfing.

With these successes under his belt, February ended the 2017 season one spot outside of qualifying for the CT and earned the first reserve position. The men’s CT is surfing’s elite competition where only the top 34 surfers in the world compete for world champion status.

"The City Surf Series was just a massive thing for me last year, especially in the beginning of the year when there are not a lot of events. This series helped me earn points leading up to the Ballito Pro and get some good practice in for later in the year,” said Michael February.

Surfing in all its forms is growing across the spectrum locally and abroad with upper LSM markets and professional people now seeing it as a new lifestyle of choice as well as a healthy and fun sport.

2018 City Surf Series Event Schedule:

·         VW Nelson Mandela Bay Surf pres. by Billabong – 30 Mar – 2 April

·         Royal St Andrews Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver (Inaugural event) – 6-8 April

·         Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro  pres. by Reef Wetsuits– 13-15 April

·         ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres. By G-Force – 18-20 May

·         Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. By O’Neil – 14-17 June

VW SA Open of Surfing pres. By Hurley – 19-24 June

Follow the action on social media:


Twitter:               @citysurfseries_

Instagram:          @citysurfseriesza 

About WSL

The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.


Issued by Jacqueline Herbst, /, from Sugarbird Solutions. 

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