- WSL / Laurent Masurel
- WSL / Laurent Masurel

Portugal has undeniably become Europe's number one surf nation over the past few years. Supporting professional surfing has become somewhat of a priority and in turn, more talent has emerged from the country, and surfers can count on a number of events to sharpen their teeth before attacking the global stage.

Jose Ferreira (PRT) .Cruz16 Jose Ferreira claimed a runner-up finish in Santa Cruz, a career-high QS result for the Portuguese - WSL / Laurent Masurel

From the junior events of Caparica and Espinho, the longboarding in Gaia, QS stops on the mainland and in the Azores, to the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour stops of Cascais and Peniche, all levels of competitors get a chance to show their act and the opportunity to build a career.

Enters Santa Cruz.

Coastal view of Santa Cruz, Portugal Bird's eye view of the coast around Santa Cruz - WSL / Laurent Masurel

The quiet coastal town, nested halfway between the surfing meccas of Ericeira and Peniche, is quickly making a name for itself and now hosting a pivotal event on the Portuguese surf scene.

What started last year as a low-tier QS1,000 is graduating to a QS3,000 in 2017 and will attract a much bigger pool of talented surfers to its white and golden sand beaches this Spring.

Finals day crowned Andy Criere and Garazi Sanchez in fun surf
Andy Criere and Garazi Sanchez-Ortun take out the inaugural Santa Cruz Pro 2016

History shows, results at a QS3,000 can definitely count towards a qualifying campaign for the elite tour and at the very minimum offer a chance to enter the Qualifying Series coveted Top100 who can participate in the major QS events worldwide.

Vicente Romero (ESP) .Cruz16 Santa Cruz waves are perfect to display progressive maneuvers - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Last year's event revealed two up-and-coming talents in Andy Criere and Garazi Sanchez-Ortun in fun conditions and despite the Portuguese athletes failing to take the title home, two local finalists were enough to galvanize the crowds on a hot summer day.

Find out who has it to claim the Santa Cruz Pro from April 25-30, and check out all the content here.

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