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Action Continues in Fun Surf at Junior Pro Espinho

Highlights: Young Guns Take Over Second Day in Espinho
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In continued small surf, conditions favor light and fast surfers as youngsters take over proceedings in Round 2 of the Junior Pro Espinho.

A second day of action at the Junior Pro Espinho allowed competitors to complete another round of both the men and women's events in tiny but contestable conditions.

14 year-old Stanley Norman claimed a second consecutive heat win and advanced into the all-important (and scary) top seeds round. The Cornish born and bred surfer is steadily building experience on tour and will most likely be going for event titles soon, leading a new generation of British athletes along the way.

Stanley Norman (GBR) placed 1st in Heat 9 of Round One at Junior Pro Espinho Stan on a clean one yesterday. WSL / Lodin

"You just have to get up fast, do one pump and a turn and try to keep your momentum for the rest of the wave," Norman stated. "It makes it a lot easier when you're smaller, it's super fun. We have good practice in England for those conditions, sometimes it pays off. But I travel a lot to experience other conditions. I just spent six months in Australia to train over there, there's a lot of better surfers and it's good to push yourself."

If you haven't heard much of Stan yet, make sure you check the clip 'STAN - A clip about Stanley Eric Norman' on Vimeo. In the meantime, we'll update you on how he develops as a competitive surfer through the European junior series.

Another young gun making headlines was France's Noa Dupouy. Noa came out of the woods in Biscarrosse with a fifth place result and is trying to back it up now in Portugal. Today he turned what originally looked like a dreadful start into a big win with two solid scores and a spot into Round Three.

Noa Dupouy (FRA) placed 1st in Heat 3 of Round Two at Junior Pro Espinho Noa's precise lip attack was rewarded by the judges panel. WSL / Lodin

"I had a somewhat shaky start as I fell on my first wave, but I got a decent wave quickly after that," Noa explained. "I was in third then and needed a score, that's when I got the first left. Without priority I tried an air and got my 7, so I sat and waited for another good wave to get my 6 later on. I'm only young so there's really no pressure for me to do well and I'm having a lot of fun."

When the tide came up and what was left of a previous little swell died, the event went on hold again for a long break before resuming with a new push on the outgoing tide. The men's round was completed and the women got their turn to shine, running double banks to capitalize on the last few hours of daylight.

And how better would you launch the show than with Portuguese superstar Teresa Bonvalot in heat 1! Early rounds at a Pro Junior are pretty much a walk in the park for the Cascais surfer who's surfed the CT in her home town several times, but Teresa kept her very professional approach and easily advanced into Round Three.

Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) placed 1st in Heat 1 of Round Two at Junior Pro Espinho Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) WSL / Lodin

"Luckily waves came up a bit bigger tonight, but conditions still weren't easy," Bonvalot admitted. "My goal is always to surf as well as I can and have fun doing it, I try to keep all the rankings calculations off my mind. I achieved my goal last year by winning the title and of course I'd like to win it again, but it's not as important the second time. I'll focus on the World Junior finals in Kiama in my last season as a juniors. I feel like I surf as good as ever, I train a lot and hopefully I can have a big result there and improve on my 5th place."

Neis Lartigue placed third in Espinho last year, which to date is her best result. Today she absolutely killed the competition, with a near-perfect 9.33 for two big turns on a super fun right-hander. If she can keep her rhythm going, which has been an issue of the past, she's heading towards the finals again this time around!

Juliette Lacome (FRA) placed 1st in Heat 4 of Round Two at Junior Pro Espinho Juliette Lacome (FRA) in the Portuguese glare. WSL / Lodin

"There were some fun waves on that North podium and I was lucky to found a great right that opened up a little, where I got that 9," she said. "I'm not super happy with my start of the season, I've had good heats in the first rounds and was unable to continue, so I hope I can get a little consistency going in this one and make more rounds."

A similar call will see men reconvene at 6:30 a.m Saturday for a potential big day and multiple rounds of competition before the finals on Sunday. Women will join a little later on for a 9:30 a.m call.

Check out all the photos, videos and updates right here as the event approaches.

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