Courtesy of WSL North America
– FIRST WSL LONGBOARD EVENTS IN NORTH AMERICA SINCE 2015
– FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS REVEL IN THE OPPORTUNITY ON HAND
– COMPETITION SET TO RUN AT Malibu’s Iconic Pointbreak
– more information available AT WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM
|HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Tuesday, October 3, 2017) – The World Surf League (WSL) is excited to announce that The Miss & Mr. Malibu Pro will run November 3 through 5 as a North America Men’s and Women’s Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1,000. This marks the first Longboard Tour (LT) qualifier since the WSL North America Longboard Championships held in 2015 at Huntington Beach, where two-time WSL Longboard Champion Tayler Jensen (USA) and WSL Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) earned victories. The event will be held at the famed First Point, Surfrider Beach, Malibu, California, and the event winners will receive spots on the 2018 LT for a chance at a World Title.
Event owner, and LT competitor, Kirra Kehoe came to WSL North America with the conceptual idea of running a qualifying event alongside their Miss Malibu Pro to help provide this opportunity for surfers. Regional competitors don’t have opportunities on home soil to garner experience, nor the ability to qualify for the LT and have traveled the globe in search of experience. But, Kehoe now hopes that this will become a staple event for North America longboarders and the chance to chase their dreams.
“The Miss Malibu Pro has always been a lifetime dream of mine and fellow competitors that grew up here in southern California,” Kehoe said. “Not having a qualifying contest for the world tour has been a hurdle for us having to raise money, travel and compete in places such as Hawaii and the East Coast. We appreciated the WSL coming through in 2015 in Huntington Beach, but it was a long time coming since the ASP LQS at C-Street in 2009 and the Roxy Jam at Cardiff in 2008. My goal, with the help of my family, friends and grass root sponsors, is to provide contests for young women and men in North America who have aspirations of being professional surfers. Being fortunate to grow up in Dog Town, Santa Monica, I would click my baby blue flip flops together three times and end up at Surfrider Beach, Malibu, California. Which, for me, is home sweet home besides one of the world’s greatest longboard waves making it the perfect place to present The Miss & Mr. Malibu Pro — showcasing world-class surfing from world-class surfers at a world-class break.”
Two- time WSL Champion Tayler Jensen (USA) is a long-time LT veteran and recent winner of this year’s first-ever Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships. The 34-year-old husband and father continues to chase history on the LT level for a groundbreaking third World Title. But, it’s events like The Miss & Mr. Malibu Pro that gave Jensen his start toward that feat and the impact they have on up-and-coming surfers with the same ambitions.
“LQS events are a crucial part of the future for the evolution of longboard surfing,” Jensen said. “Events like this when I was coming up gave me something to strive for, they gave me an opportunity to learn and to grow as a competitor. Obviously, it’s been a long break since PNG in March. I tore my MCL in there too, so having this event as sort of a warm up is really beneficial. I’ll be able to get back into that rhythm then head straight to Japan for the event there before Taiwan, so hopefully I can get on some sort of a confidence roll and be in prime form for Taiwan.”
“I think the more events we can have at really good waves will lift the performance level and really give longboarders something to look forward to,” Jensen added. “A lot of the regional qualifiers in the past have been at really average beach breaks and it can be more of a wave catching contest. Having a pointbreak really gives the surfers a level playing ground to perform, it’s also a wave that’s so perfect it can show any weakness that you have so everyone will have to be on their A-game.”
2015 WSL Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) became just that at the young age of 17, before graduating high school, and is already a distinguished competitor among her LT peers — also representing them as the women’s ambassador for the LT. The San Clemente, California, native knows the importance of these events after her win at the WSL North America Longboard Championships solidified her chance at competing in China where she ultimately claimed a World Title.
“I’m so excited to have a contest again on our own turf,” Tilly said. “I love traveling and the opportunities WSL provides by having contests all around the world, but I do think it’s really refreshing to be home for a contest. I haven’t had a contest at home in a while. I re-qualified for the tour through the North American contest the year I won the [World] Title. It feels good to have two North American Championship titles under my belt and I’m looking forward to defending that title. I’ve been gunning for WSL to have another North American contest since our last one in 2015. I think it’s absolutely necessary for all the men and women of North America to have a proper shot at the tour through a contest, so it will be interesting to see who comes home with the win and who will be the new addition to the tour next year.”
North America General Manager Meg Bernardo helped lead the forefront of getting an event back on schedule for regional surfers and couldn’t be more pleased with the contributions from Good Entertainment and The Miss Malibu Pro team on coordinating the event. Bernardo, along with Tour Manager Brian Robbins, organized the last LQS event on North American shores in Huntington Beach, California, and are hoping for more of the same success at Malibu.
“This event is an amazing opportunity and everyone at the North America office knows how much it means to all these competitors who are in need of contests like this,” Bernardo said. “For Kirra [Kehoe] and her support teams to build this event from scratch shows how invested she is to the sport she loves. We can’t wait to be there watching some of our region’s incredible talents perform for a chance at making it on to next year’s World Longboard Championships Tour where they can strive for a World Title.”
The Miss and Mr. Malibu Pro is set to run November 3 through 5 at First Point, Surfrider Beach, Malibu.
|About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, 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 WorldSurfLeague.com 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com