PLAYA DE RIBEIRA D'ILHAS, Ericeira / Portugal - Starting October 25, the iconic Ribeira d'Ilhas righthand pointbreak will host the best under-21 surfers in the world for the Allianz ASP World Junior Championships.
This standalone event will crown the 2014 ASP World Junior Champions at one of Portugal's finest venues for high-performance surfing. The immense talent puddle will take on the long, peeling rights of Ericeira in the most anticipated Junior events on the ASP calendar.
Coming in hot from an excellent 5th place at the Cascais Billabong Pro, Brazil's Italo Ferreira (BRA), 19, will lead the pack of aspiring professional athletes into this year's Junior final. Currently ranked 12th on the Qualifying Series, Ferreira will bring confidence from an excellent run of events across Europe.
Recently crowned ASP European Junior Champion, Portugal's Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 19, will try to capitalize on home-court advantage as he represents the Old Continent's best chances of a World title in 2014.
â€œI'm really happy to take part in this event, Ribeira d'Ilhas is such a good wave, I'm sure it will be pumping. It's in my home country and it's good to be with friends and family and to feel the support from the Portuguese fans. Since I'm the European champion I hope I can lead Portugal and Europe for the title this year! This would be a dream come true and a good outcome for working very hard all year.â€
Among the exciting lineup of athletes, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 17, who is currently battling the World's best at the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal as a wildcard, will pose a legitimate threat for the ultimate title.
â€œI'm really looking forward to competing in the Allianz ASP World Junior Championships in Ericeira,â€ Willcox said. â€œI'm feeling confident after being here in Portugal for a little while now and surfing heats as the wildcard in Peniche.â€
Reigning ASP World Junior Women's Champion Ella Williams (NZL), 19, will take on the new generation to defend her title in Ericeira. The talented Kiwi surfer, who won an event she entered only days before the start as an injury replacement, will now face the pressure of coming in with a target on her back and will look to confirm her dominance at the top of the Junior field.
â€œI'm really looking forward to competing at Ribeira d'Ilhas for the World Juniors and I hope to back up my Junior title from last year in Brazil,â€ she said.
In addition to crowning ASP Junior Champions, this event is a unique chance for the winners to secure a wildcard into the biggest Qualifying Series events the following year, making a potential qualification race that much easier. With the Northern Atlantic systems starting to produce long range swells heading towards the Portuguese coastline, this event promises red-hot action in world-class waves.