Fun little waves allowed competition to start today and launch the Caparica Junior Pro, inaugural JQS event of 2016 in Europe. A fresh new batch of junior talents took on the playful conditions in Caparica and delivered an action-packed day to start the event's waiting period.
Lisbon surfer Joao Moreira (PRT), 17, scored the day's top wave, an excellent 8.67 for a series of powerful carves and top turns. Months of hard work during the off season have paid off for the young surfer, now aiming to climb up atop the regional rankings.
"I'm stoked with that score, I waited a little long for the bigger sets but there are a couple fun waves out there," Moreira said. "I've trained a lot recently and I want to try to go all the way in this event. I'm not a local per say, I'm from Lisbon but I've surfed here a lot and competed here before too."
Frenchman Marco Mignot, 15, belted one of the day's highest combined heat totals with 15.17, including an impressive 8.50 collected in the tricky lineup. The younger brother of rising QS talent Nomme Mignot, he showed he had game of his own and took out his round 2 matchup to join the event's top seeds when competition resumes tomorrow.
"Waves were tricky to find and to surf but I managed to get a couple," Mignot explained. "I felt good out there but definitely not 100% so there's room for improvement. My brother Nomme and my cousin Diego are definitely a big inspiration for me, they actually taught me to surf and pushed me a little bit so they're definitely people I look up to."
British talent Eño James (GBR), 16, also dominated his second round bout and advanced in pole position with a solid lead. Born and raised on Mexican waves, the young surfer adapted perfectly to conditions and demonstrated his versatility.
"It was fun," he said. "Not easy to find, but on the good waves there's a nice wall to surf. I surfed a couple of Junior events last year but didn't do very well so I hope I can improve on that this year. I'm going to do five out of the six events and am going to aim for the top of the rankings!"
The opening two rounds of the women's competition were also completed earlier in the morning, setting up for the main round of upcoming competition.
Competitors and event officials will reconvene Thursday at 7:30 a.m. for a potential start of the men's third round, while the women will have a later 12:30 p.m. call.