Australian and international elite junior surfers will converge on the Gold Coast on January 19 and 20 for the first of seven qualifying Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior events, sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL).
Seven different nations including France, Indonesia, New Zealand and Japan will be represented over the two days of competition, with 64 males and 24 females participating in the competition.
2012 WSL Men's World Champion and Subway® Surf Series Ambassador Joel Parkinson will be part of the action next week, and highlighted the importance of the event series.
"I'm thrilled to be part of the very first Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior event. Having the WSL on board will help to launch the careers of our best and brightest surfing talent who I'm sure will be dominating the international competition," said Parkinson.
That talent includes current Under 18 Australian Champion Kai Warner (AUS), and other big names such as Ethan Ewing, Quinn Bruce, Macy Callaghan, LLucy Callister, Alyssa Lock and Pacha Light, who will all don a competition rash vest.
WSL is equally pleased with the bolstered junior event series.
"It's great to have WSL and Surfing Australia work together with Subway® to form the world's most comprehensive junior surfing series," said WSL Australasia Tour Manager Will Hayden-Smith. "Then to have the support and backing from 2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson is a great endorsement for these events and I know the junior surfers will be excited to meet and learn from one of their surfing heroes."
Fourteen-year-old local Billabong athlete Pacha Light said she was looking forward to the challenge of competing against the best juniors on home turf, nearly all of whom will be several years older than her, as she is competing in the 18 and under women's division.
"I love surfing Duranbah and all the Gold Coast breaks so hopefully that little bit of local knowledge helps in the competition. It is my first Pro Junior and to be surfing against the older girls who absolutely shred will be a great experience," Light said.
Bolstering an already impressive draw, there will be four wildcard entries including Victorian WSL Wildcard Joe Van Dijk and Laura Poncini who will be deployed in round 1 as added event heavy weights.
SUBWAY Marketing Manager Lara Corbiere was delighted to continue to support junior surfing in its new-look competition.
"SUBWAY is committed to healthy active living and our aim for the Subway® Surf Series is to help fuel junior surfers to go and achieve their dreams. Our new association with the WSL will do just that and we can't wait to see the amazing talent on display at Snapper next week," Corbiere said.
The WSL sanctioned Subway® Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under men's and women's divisions, form part of the 2016 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title, at the WSL World Junior Championships in early 2017.
The Subway® Surf Series is proudly supported by WSL, Surfing Australia and Billabong.
SUBWAY® SURF SERIES EVENT CALENDAR - 2015/16:
SUBWAY® PRO JUNIORS Gold Coast, QLD - January 19-20, 2016 Margaret River, WA - February 6-7, 2016 Avoca, NSW - February 13-14, 2016 Philip Island, VIC - March 5-6, 2016 Fleurieu Peninsula, SA - March 19-20, 2016 Kiama, NSW - April 9-10, 2016 Cronulla, NSW - April 30 - 1st May, 2016