Soldiers Beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia is set to ignite as the world's hottest male and female surfers descend on the area for the freshly upgraded Hot Tuna Central Coast Pro. The Hot Tuna Central Coast Pro, as a 4 Star rated Men's and 2 Star rated Women's ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event will be held from Monday 19th March to Sunday 25th March, 2007.
The upgraded event, first held as a 1 Star rated Men's and Women's ASP WQS in 2006, will no doubt see a stellar field of Australian and International surfers line up at Soldiers Beach to gain valuable early season ratings points and a share in the Men's and Women's combined prize money purse of US$85,000.
ASP Australasia Tour Manager Glenn Best is extremely pleased to have Hot Tuna on board for the Hot Tuna Central Coast Pro in 2007: "Hot Tuna have provided unbridled support to upgrade this event substantially. Thanks to Hot Tuna, the event is now highly significant in the ASP Australasia WQS Tour offering both Australasian and International WQS competitors a great opportunity which will be further developed in future years," he said.
"The event, with excellent local support from the Wyong Shire and the Central Coast business community combined with the renowned Soldiers Beach as a venue, will surely see the Hot Tuna Central Coast Pro being one of the premier WQS events in 2007."
2006 Central Coast Pro Champions Matt Wilkinson and Amee Donohoe, who are both Central Coast residents themselves, are not only looking forward to defending their respective titles, but are also stoked that Hot Tuna have come on board to upgrade the event.
"Having any 4 Star WQS event added to the Australasian WQS leg is great for Australian surfers, what's even better is that the event is on the Central Coast which will help me by giving me that little bit more confidence through my local knowledge and the assistance of a home crowd," explained Wilkinson.
Donohoe concurred, "It is fantastic to see Hot Tuna supporting this WQS event so well, we have super waves on the Central Coast and Soldiers Beach is a great venue for the event. I'm looking forward to defending my title!" said Donohoe.
The Hot Tuna Central Coast Pro is attracting many of the best surfers from around Australia and the world with the upgrade in prize money and WQS ratings points. 2007 ASP WCT rookie Dayyan Neve has booked his place in the event and is super exited about the prospect of another 4 Star WQS event in Australia: "Its fantastic to see the event upgraded, the more higher rated WQS events in Australia the better. It's so important to have 4 Star events, in combination with the 6 Star, in Australia for our up-and-coming juniors to gain experience competing at that level". Neve will be looking to start his 2007 campaign off with a bang and the Hot Tuna Central Coast Pro will play a big role in that.
"I'll definitely be using all three Australian WQS events to get myself in the competitive mindset especially with Bells coming up in April," said Neve. "What track I set for myself competitively this year on the WCT and WQS will largely be determined by my results in the Australian leg of both tours."