GEORGE NEWS - Local surf break Victoria Bay will host a high profile professional surfing competition this month. Top international athletes will face off against our best local talent in the Vic Bay Classic from 20 to 22 June.
It will be the first time in 25 years that Victoria Bay has featured on the South African World Surf League Qualifying Series.
George Municipality stepped in to support the City Surf Series event after the cancellation of the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro in May. "This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our local surf break," says tourism manager Joan Shaw.
"Victoria Bay is clean and safe and well known as the best right hand point break in the Southern Cape. The event will be streamed online and viewers from all over the world will see our world-class surf break. We are proud to support the event and trust it will provide a welcome boost for surfing tourism in George."
Over 100 competitors will face off in men's, women's and pro junior divisions in the inaugural event. Local pro surfer Bianca Buitendag is a confirmed entrant and hopes to use the event as a stepping stone to the WSL Championship Tour.
Other competitors expected include local surfing icons Sean Holmes and David Pfaff, as well as internationally rated J-Bay athletes Dylan Lightfoot and Matthew McGillivray.
The surfing competition has been warmly welcomed by the local surfing association, Eden Surf Riders.
"The Vic Bay Classic is a great opportunity to host a professional tournament and to have world-class surfers in our bay," says Eden Surf Riders chairman Robert Pollock. "Events such as this help young South African surfers to raise their standard and earn points towards the Championship Tour. We are proud to have been offered nine wild card entries and we can't wait to see how our local chargers fare against international competition.".
Ocean safety and education
In addition to world-class surfing action, spectators can expect a menu of ocean safety and educational events. City Surf Series and Surfing South Africa will host a community beach clean-up as well as a waste reduction workshop.
The NSRI is set to host an ocean awareness campaign.
Over 500 guests are expected at Victoria Bay over the three-day tournament, including international surfing competitors, coaches, family members and local spectators. "We are confident that this world-class event will have significant economic benefits for George," says Economic Development manager Pedro Oliphant.
The Vic Bay Classic is officially supported by George Municipality's economic development division and is backed by George Tourism. "We are delighted to showcase George as a city for a sustainable future," Oliphant says.
"The event is a welcome addition to the calendar, falling over the winter season, which is usually is a quiet period for tourism. We trust our visitors will savour George's quality lifestyle, scenic beaches and spectacular coastline."
The Vic Bay Classic will conclude the 2019 City Surf Series and will be the seventh stop on the WSL Africa Tour.
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