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Surfers Paradise in Dakar will be the venue for the inaugural QS1,500 Senegal Pro for men and women which runs from Wednesday until Sunday.  Photo: WSL / Masurel

West Africa will stage a World Surf League (WSL) competition for the first time when the inaugural Senegal Pro presented by BKS gets underway at Surfers Paradise in Dakar on the westernmost point of the continent starting on Wednesday.

Featuring Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 rated events, this historic contest has attracted entries from a total of 26 women and 41 men from 15 countries and is the first event in the 2019 WSL Africa Series with 19 of the entrants also earning points on the regional rankings, including seven new members from Senegal.

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), currently ranked No. 65 on the QS leaderboard, is the top seed for the men’s event ahead of Timothee Bisso (FRA, 69) while Rachel Presti (DEU) heads the women’s lineup.

Other South Africans to make the trip to Senegal include Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Slade Prestwich (Durban), Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie and Ntando Msibi (Durban) in the men’s event.

Experienced international campaigners Teal Hogg (uMhlanga), Tanika Hoffman (Cape Town) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) will be joined by S'nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) who will be participating in her first QS women’s event outside of South Africa.

Although surfing competition is in its infancy in Senegal, the country’s surfing potential has been recognised since the early 1960’s when the waves at this week’s contest venue featured in the iconic surfing film Endless Summer.

Dakar is on a peninsula that juts out into ocean and receives plenty of swell from both the North and South Atlantic, producing ideal waves and offshore wind conditions depending on which side of the peninsula is used as the venue for the day.

The Senegal Pro pres. by BKS runs from Wednesday to Sunday, 27-31 March. News, images, videos and results will be available at www.worldsurfleague.com.