Italo Ferreira is among the starts due to compete in Newcastle ©Getty Images

Newcastle is set to host the second leg of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour season, beginning tomorrow, and kick off a sizeable Australian swing.

It will be the first of four consecutive competitions down under, and follows on from December's season-opening Pipe Masters in Hawaii.

Home surfer John John Florence won the men's event and Australian Tyler Wright the women's - both will be competing off the coast of Newcastle.

The men's field is 36 surfers deep, while the women's contains 18 athletes.

Tomorrow is the first of 11 possible competition days, and organisers are hopeful there will be some action with mid-sized surf forecast.

Friday (March 2) has the best forecast of the opening five days.

No Championship Tour season was possible in 2020 because of the coronavrius pandemic, but 11 stops, culminating in the ISL Finals at San Clemente in California in September, are scheduled this season.

Surfing is due to make its Olympic debut before then, with two-time ISL champion Florence among the athletes to have qualified for the Games by virtue of their performance in the 2019 ISL.

Brazil's Italo Ferreira is the reigning men's champion and American Carissa Moore the women's title-holder - and both are due to compete in Newcastle.

Earlier this month, 34 surfers, 46 family members and 21 WSL staff members flew to Australia for the four tour legs on a chartered flight.

In accordance with Australia's strict COVID-19 rules, they had to stay in a quarantine hotel for 14 days before they could head to the Newcastle surf.