- WSL / Damien Poullenot

World Surf League is proud to announce its 2016 European Longboard Qualifying Series, comprised of four events across England, France, Portugal and Spain. In an unprecedented effort to support the regional longboarding scene, the series further expands this season and will crown the Old Continent's Champions in a variety of waves as well as decide the qualifiers for the World Longboard Final.

Antoine Delpero (FRA)/Alice Lemoigne (FRA) Vieux Boucau 2015 2016 will be a long road before anyone can lift up the European title trophy. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

The season will start from June 3-5 at the Longboard Pro Vieux Boucau. The event comes back in its third edition, having crowned the European Longboard Champions over the past two seasons and will now launch a new and revived tour in the quality surf of South West France.

Defending event champions Antoine Delpero (FRA), 30, and Victoria Vergara (FRA), 21, will face a new crowd of contenders and revive the exciting battles witnessed last season.

Antoine Delpero (FRA) Vieux Boucau 2015 Delpero, right at home on a perfect Vieux-Boucau peeler. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"Vieux-Boucau is the ideal spot for a European longboard event, it's a powerful beachbreak that can deliver all kinds of waves, perfect or very difficult when big and onshore," Delpero explained. "Last year we scored great waves and everyone was able to surf their best, I hope we get similar conditions again."

The following week, Europe's best surfers will meet again at the Longboard Pro Gaia, Portugal from June 10-12, to compete in an exciting new event. The vibrant coastal city, sitting on the opposite edge of the Douro river from Oporto, has built its heritage on the local port's wine cellars and numerous caves surrounding.

Longboard Pro Gaia pre-event Gaia will be a nice addition to the longboard series. - WSL

Amongst various other cultural landmarks, Gaia is also home to an eighteen kilometers stretch of coastline, providing a gigantic playground for local and visiting surfers to dive into, with beachbreaks and reefs and an overall variety of conditions to suit everyone's taste.

From July 5-10, the tour's caravan next stops in A Coruña, the second largest city of Galicia for a complete surf festival, host to all categories of WSL events: QS, Longboard QS and Junior QS, men and women. This innovative format will bring the very best surfers from all-over the region in a reduced format to feature all-aspects of surfing and maximize exposure in a huge city such as A Coruña.

Pedro Correia (PRT), Galicia 2012 Galicia can produce picture-perfect surf, as seen in 2012 on the Junior tour. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

While the main beach of Orzan is subject to summer flat spells due to its sheltered bay setup, event organizers have secured a back-up location at playa de Caion which handles swells from more directions.

Ben Skinner (GBR), Newquay 2015 Ben Skinner will lead the charge on UK soil at Boardmasters. - WSL / Jason Feast

Finally, from August 11-14, surfers will travel North to Cornwall for the Boardmasters Longboard Pro, Cornwall, the final stage of the 2016 European Longboard Qualifying Series. As part of the Boardmasters Festival, a surf and music gathering that attracts thousands of fans every year to South West England, this event will most likely crown the season's Champions and award the coveted European Title trophies and finally decide who the region's representatives will be at the annual World Longboard Championships.

Out of four events in 2016, surfers will be ranked on their best-three results, making it possible for a temporarily injured or unavailable surfer to stay in contention despite missing one event.

Following last year's excellent performances of the European contingent at the World Longboard Championship, a crew of seven have already secured their re-qualification including Ben Skinner (GBR), Edouard and Antoine Delpero (FRA), Timothee Creignou (FRA), Adam Griffiths (GBR), Justine Mauvin (REU) and reigning European Champion Alice Lemoigne (REU).

With a strong representation already in place, the Qualifying Series will galvanize the up-and-coming forces in awarding three more spots at the World Final, two for the men and one for the women.

Antoine Delpero
Antoine Delpero (FRA) scored the only Perfect 10 in the Quarterfinal of the World Longboard Championships, China presented by Wanning.
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