THE Victorian Open Series will kick off this weekend on Phillip Island with some major changes to prior years.
Due to multiple postponements of the opening rounds of the series (last weekend due to COVID-related lockdown and prior events due to poor surf), Surfing Victoria has decided to implement the following changes to the series:
- The upcoming event this weekend on Phillip Island will be the only event in the series in 2021.
- There will be a winner takes all surf-off to crown state champions at URBNSURF Melbourne on March 30.
- The top 6 surfers (in both Men’s and Women’s) from the Phillip Island Open Series Event will gain a spot in the surf-off.
- Three wildcards for both Men and Women will be selected for the shoot-out based off an application process and recent results (priority order being International events, Australian Events, State Events).
- The wildcard process has been put in place due to the Phillip Island event clashing with the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro QS1000 in NSW.
Victorian Open Surf Off at URBNSURF Melbourne:
- The surf-off will be held at URBNSURF Melbourne on Tuesday, March 30 between 10pm and midnight.
- A total of nine surfers will compete in the Men’s division (6 x Phillip Island event qualifiers and 3 x Wildcards).
- A total of nine surfers will compete in the Women’s division (6 x Phillip Island event qualifiers and 3 x Wildcards).
- Both divisions will receive and hour on the Left and an hour on the Right (2hrs total).
- All waves will be filmed and then judged by the Surfing Victoria judging panel at a later date.
- Winners will be announced online via Surfing Victoria and URBNSURF’s social media channels.
- In the situation where an invited surfer cannot attend, the spot will revert to a wildcard position that will be allocated by the Surfing Victoria Technical Advisory Group.
- Each hour will consist of 30mins turns setting and 30mins barrel setting.
- Surfers scoring rides will be their top left turns wave, top left barrel wave, top right turns wave and top right barrel wave (a total out of 40 points).
Speaking on the changes, Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson believes this is a great opportunity to innovate and try some new formats.
“The Victorian Open Series has been run in the same format for over 2 decades. Although it is unfortunate to not be able to hold events on the Surf Coast and Mornington Peninsula, we are using this as an opportunity to try a new format.
“We hope that the surf-off at URBNSURF Melbourne will provide an interesting way of crowning our state champions whilst still ensuring that the top surfers in the state get ample opportunity to prove themselves.”
The Phillip Island Open will be held this Saturday, February 27. First heats to hit the water at 7.30am with a call to be made at Cape Woolamai.
The Victorian Teams Titles will also be held on the weekend on Sunday, February 28. A team managers meeting will be held at 8.30am for a 9am start of heats.
The event will be held under strict COVID19 restrictions including no non-essential spectators and requesting that competitors leave the competition site once they have finished their heat.
COVID19 risk management key points
- Competitors are to arrive for their heat 20mins before it begins and leave the contest zone no more than 40mins after their heat.
- All non-essential spectators are not permitted in the contest zone (boardwalk area).
- Rash vests will be washed after every heat.
- Competitors and essential spectators (eg. Parent or Guardian) must check in via a QR code.
The Victorian Open Series is supported by Ramada Resort Phillip Island, RockTape Australia and Surfing Victoria.