THE daylight is shorter, the wind is becoming lighter, the waves are coming more regularly and for the Illawarra and South Coast surfers, that means one thing - The Werri Autumn Slash.
Taking place annually since 1988, "The Slash" is the biggest individual and oldest surf contest on NSW's South Coast.
This year's 27th edition of The Slash will be hosted by Werri Beach Boardriders from May 24-25.
The "who's who" of our region's elite surfers have used The Slash as a lead-in to their money-winning surfing careers.
Current and former world tour surfers such as Todd Prestage, Jake Spooner, Mick Lowe and Phil MacDonald all won an age division before starting their careers.
In recent years, last year's world No. 2 and No. 3 on the women's tour, Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons, have been contenders for the Open Women's title. Fitzgibbons gained two wins in a row in 2006 and 2007.
Current WQS surfers and winners of the Open Men's title, Nick Squires (2009), Dean Bowen (2010) and Rhys Bombaci (2012, 2013) join a long list of worthy champions during the past 25 years.
World Pro Junior tour surfers Matty King and Louis Gillick, currently ranked No.5 and No.9, have both won age divisions at The Slash before embarking on the tour.
To add to the spectacle of seeing the region's best surfers battle it out, The Slash is also offering surfers the chance to win prizemoney with individual single wave awards; The Werri Beach Brick Laying Best Barrel and The All Around Fencing Biggest Air Award.
Event information can be found on the Werri Beach Boardriders website and Facebook pages.