Aaron Strong third place. Pic WSL
Report Joel Gray
There’s been a big change with the WSL Pro Junior series in 2016 with the age category dropping from Under 20 to Under 18. Pretty much the whole top 20 from last year have moved on and the whole field has been shaken up big time. The incentive for doing well on the tour remains the same. There’s 6 events and at the end of the season the top 4 ranked surfers go to the World Juniors. Plough through a few heats there and you’re drafted straight into the 6000 and 10000 QS events the following season. The importance of this to competitive surfers careers can not be overstate as the alternative of moving up via the 10000 events is doubly hard.
So the 2016 season kicked off with a healthy number of British representatives hoping to follow in the deep footprints left by Luke Dillon and Jobe Harriss the last couple of years. Harry de Roth, Angus Scotney, Arran Strong, Eno James, Liam Murray Strout, Charlie Rio, Noah Biersack and Kit Innes all landed in Portugal with high hopes and all leave with a clearer understanding of the task ahead. Waves ranged from small and tricky to overhead and pumping and then outer bank onshore randomness. The sun shone and the public got to see what the current cream of European surfing standard looks like. IN the end it was newcomer Thomas Debierre from France who outpointed Portugals Luis Perloiro for the win. Of the Brit crew it was only Arran Strong and Angus Scotney who leave the event with keeper results and both left the water after their 3rd and 5th place respective results feeling like they had way more to give. For them and all the others it’s pretty clear that this years’ WSL Pro Junior Tour is wide open and a top 4 end of year place is an achievable task. It’s back to the UK for most and the start of the domestic contest scene before the next event in Biscarosse, France end of April.
Liam Murray Strout with a big end section hit in foreign waters.
Angus Scotney’s high scoring turns and 5th place finish established him as a top 4 contender amongst Europe’s elite juniors this year. Angus’s 1 turn 6.5 in the 4 man Quarters.
Charlie Rio from Jersey was stoked to get through into the 3rd Round.
Eno James didn’t get the result he was after but looked impressive in all the free surfs around the event.
Harry De Roth’s 13th place finish will be a throway for him and he’ll look to make the final day action at the next event in Biscarosse.
Liam Murray Strout part of a pretty solid Brit pack.
These comps provide a really good place to test yourself and also up your game in the free surfs as well as in the comp vest. Noah Biersack lost in the 2nd Round but got to work turning heads the other side of the comp flags.