NewsSoup Bowl Pro JuniorCole Houshmand

Soup Bowl: North America Men's Last Bid for World Junior Championships

A view of the beautiful coastline of Bathsheba, Barbados from the pristine reefbreak of Soup Bowl. The beautiful shoreline of Bathsheba, Barbados will play host to the WSL Junior Tour once again at the dreamy righthand pointbreak of Soup Bowl. WSL / Nathaniel Harrington

A massive year in the North America Men's Junior Tour is coming to an even bigger close on the shores of Barbados Nov. 10 - 13. Nolan Rapoza's brilliant year that witnessed him rise to No. 1 with a win and two runner-up finishes punched his ticket to New South Wales, Australia to compete in the World Junior Championships. Kei Kobayashi currently sits firmly ranked at No. 2 and is unable to fall out of the Top 4 -- ultimately leaving just two spots open.

Nolan Rapoza during Heat One of the Jr Mens Semifinals at The Vans US Open of Surfing Nolan Rapoza found his groove midway through 2016 with a runner-up in Los Cabos and never looked back -- with only Kobayashi able to catch him for the North America Junior title. WSL / Sean Rowland

How it Works: The Top 4 ranked surfers from each region (Australasia, Africa, Europe, Hawaii, Japan, North America, and South America) will directly qualify for the World Junior Championships. In addition to these 28 competitors, four wildcards will be selected to join them. The 32 juniors will do battle for a chance to earn a seed into the top level Qualifying Series events for 2017.

Kei Kobayashi (USA) preparing for his Round 2 heat -- one he would advance from and is into the Quarterfinals. One of Kobayashi's ultimate goals in 2016 was to put his focus into the Junior Tour and qualify for the World Junior Championships. The other: To win the regional title. WSL / John W. Ferguson

Currently sitting inside the Top 4 though vulnerable to falling out, No. 3 Jake Marshall heads into the final event of the year needing a result to solidify his position. A hungry pack of able surfers is ready to contest for those spots and have the potential of doing so if the cards fall their way -- and Marshall doesn't better his lowest result.

Tyler Gunter

Tyler Gunter (USA) winning the 2016 RVCA Pro Junior presented by Jack's Surfboards Earning his first Junior Tour win just this year, Gunter now needs one more big result to find his way into the World Junior Championships. WSL / Andrew Nichols

Rank: 5 Points: 1,960
Requirements: Equal 9th or better

After a vital win at his native Newport homebreak of 56th Street, Gunter put himself into a qualification scenario -- and with the absence of No. 4 Griffin Colapinto, his chances increase ten-fold. But, he will have plenty of work to do and Cole Houshmand to fend off. With an Equal 9th, Gunter slips just past Colapinto into the No. 4 ranking with 2,060 points and a bid into the World Junior Championships.

Cole Houshmand

Andrew Jacobosn (USA) surfing at the Shoe City Pro. WSL/ Baptista Houshmand's powerful backhand will be his choice weapon should Soup Bowl deliver its potential. WSL / Nilton Baptista

Rank: 6 Points: 1,855
Requirements: Equal 5th or better

Also dropping 200 points alongside Gunter, Houshmand's Equal 5th at the RVCA Pro Junior put him in contention for a place into the World Junior Championships. Houshmand's 2016 has only yielded one Finals appearance so far this year and will need to keep pace with Gunter in Barbados -- and ultimately better him by two placings.

Something to Consider: If Jake Marshall does not better his lowest result, an Equal 17th, by making it past his debut Round 2 heat, Gunter and Houshmand could take the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. Both would need an Equal 5th result to do so.

Chauncey Robinson's (USA) Junior status is wrapping at the end of this year and will look to continue his surfing while pursuing ambitions of schooling outside the ocean as well. Despite sitting just under Luke Gordon on the rankings, Chauncey Robinson is only dropping 120 points to Gordon's 300 -- giving him the edge in chasing that No. 4 spot. WSL / John W. Ferguson

Fellow contenders are heavily relying on the faltering of the above surfers -- needing to at least make the Final to have a chance. But, in that respect: Luke Gordon, Chauncey Robinson, Ryland Rubens, Che Allan, Micky Clarke, and John Mel all may jump into the No. 4 spot if circumstances arise.

The Soup Bowl Pro Junior takes place Nov. 10 - 13. Look for live scoring and daily updates throughout the event.

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