Chris Zaffis in the quarterfinals at the 2019 Carve Pro.
Chris Zaffis in the quarterfinals at the 2019 Carve Pro. Ethan Smith

Angourie surfer to rub shoulders with wave royalty

SURFING: Angourie surfer Chris Zaffis will get a chance to rub shoulders with surfing royalty this week as he takes on the annual Vissla Sydney Surf Pro at Manly.

The Pro, which is part of the World Surf League qualifying series, will also feature a highly skilled field of surfers including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.

Slater, 47, is battling back from a foot injury that has hampered him during the past two championship tours, and it appears he will use the Manly event to sharpen his tools ahead of another challenge at the world title.

"I'm looking forward to heading down to Manly and getting my feet back in the wax competing again," Slater said.

His inclusion is another big incentive for the surfers fighting for world recognition, including our own Zaffis.

The Angourie waverider has ground out a spot in the top 100 on the World Qualifying Series this season after a third place finish at the opening event, the Carve Pro at Maroubra.

He has struggled for consistency since then, recording his worst performance, a 121st place finish, in the Burton Automotive Pro last week.

But with Slater and a host of other championship tour surfers joining the field for the Sydney Surf Pro, Zaffis will need no extra motivation to perform this week.