THE Australian leg of the World Surf League’s (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) begins today (Thursday, April 1) with the Rip Curl Newscastle Cup presented by Corona.
Surfers will be competing for world title points in New South Wales for the first time in more than 20 years, after the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (traditionally held over Easter) was dropped from the Australian lineup over coronavirus-related difficulties.
To be held at Mereweather, heat 4 of Women’s Round 1 will see seven-time WSL champion Stephanie Gilmore take on Johanne Defay and Bronte Macaulay.
The men’s draw is filled with possible favorites as five of the last seven Qualifying Series winners at Merewether will compete in this year’s CT competition.
Injury replacements Mikey Wright and Matt Banting come into the draw for Kelly Slater and Kolohe Andino.
The event window for the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup closes on April 11. To watch the event live, head to worldsurfleague.com.