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Pro surfers face off at Morro Rock for 4th annual SLO Cal Open

The 2023 SLO CAL Open at Morro Bay returns for the 4th year at the legendary Morro Rock. This WSL Qualifying Series 1000 event offers valuable points to the best 96 males and 40 females from the North American WSL region.
Photo by Amanda Wernik.
The 2023 SLO CAL Open at Morro Bay returns for the 4th year at the legendary Morro Rock. This WSL Qualifying Series 1000 event offers valuable points to the best 96 males and 40 females from the North American WSL region. 

Locals are gathering at Morro Rock this week to watch pro surfers face off in the 4th annual SLO Cal Open competition.

About 140 surfers, men and women, are competing in the World Surf League Qualifying Series this week. It’s an event that allows surfers to win points to rise up in national rankings.

Bob Voglin founded the nonprofit, Surfing for Hope, which hosts these events every year. Proceeds go to local cancer organizations.

He said he’s happy to see big waves.

“This happens to be an El Niño year, and a true El Niño year– we haven't had one in probably five or six years– so we get a lot of bigger surf,” Voglin said.

Day 1 of the competition saw 4 to 6 foot waves. According to Surfline, waves could get up to 10 feet on Wednesday and Thursday.

Max Beach, a pro surfer from Southern California, was stretching and getting ready to paddle out. He said Morro Bay is one of his favorite places to compete.

“It's nice to have an event with some solid surf, and this is maybe one of my favorite events on the circuit at Morro Bay– as we're watching a left just peeling down the sandbar right now,” Beach said.

The surf competition will continue until Sunday afternoon.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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