Crunch time for the North America Pro Junior Tour is on with the RVCA Pro Junior presented by Jack's Surfboards beginning September 27 - 29 in Newport Beach, California. This marks the last event held in the states before concluding the season in Barbados and the stakes are high heading to Newport's esteemed 56th Street Jetty alongside the 31st Annual Newport Beach Surfing Championships.
Current North America No. 1's Kade Matson and Caitlin Simmers have a firm grasp on the rankings toward their WSL Junior Championships but there's still plenty to surf for with two events remaining for both men and women.
A Slice of History
The RVCA Pro Junior now enters its fifth year of competition, bringing the women's competition back for a second-straight year after 2018's addition, at one of Newport Beach's well-known breaks. 56th Jetty has provided some special moments since the event's inception with rifling barrels to fun beach break that allows some of North America's top upcoming talents a chance to showcase their variety. Only Tyler Gunter, 2016 and 2018, has claimed the honor of two wins in this event's five-year history with Samantha Sibley taking down the inaugural victory and has an opportunity to defend her title this season.
The Newport Beach community continues to rally behind this event as the city's Surfing Championships is a staple event in Southern California that brings in many of the Pro Juniors and even a few guest appearances throughout the years such as Kalani David who participated in the RVCA Pro Junior.
From the local legends to the next generation of Newport Beach's, and beyond, surfers, it's an opportunity to see the heart of what the city represents as a surfing spot.
What's at Stake
At the end of the 2019, the Top 3 men and Top 2 women will secure their place into the WSL Junior Championships. Currently, it's a San Clemente, California, sweep of the men with both East and West Coast represented in the top two of the women.
North America Pro Junior Men Top 5
- Kade Matson - 2,420 points
- Crosby Colapinto - 1,700 points
- Jett Schilling - 1,610 poinst
- Tommy Coleman - 1,385 points
- Alan Cleland - 1,235 points
North America Pro Junior Women Top 5
- Caitlin Simmers - 2,000 points
- Bree Smith - 840 points
- Ella McCaffray - 825 points
- Alyssa Spencer - 750 points
- Zoe Benedetto - 750 points
For Oceanside, California's Simmers, simply showing up at the RVCA Pro Junior all-but secures her place in Taiwan November 26 - December 1 with the 1,360 point lead over the contenders but, as in 2018, second-place is wide open for anyone to step up. The likes of former North America Regional Pro Junior titleholder Alyssa Spencer, recent WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Sanuk runner-up Ella McCaffray and Pro Junior standout Samantha Sibley are all on the trail of Floridian Bree Smith who is having her breakthrough year.
The men's race for No. 3 has a more noticeable gap between recent Freshwater Pro wildcard Jett Schilling and Tommy Coleman but in the grand scheme, 225 points notes a difference of just one heat. Two events remain after three are in the books and by season's end the lowest result is dropped, giving Coleman a chance to capitalize in Newport -- an opportunity he didn't take advantage of in 2018.
But, all the talk will be put aside September 27 - 29 as the RVCA Pro Junior pres. by Jack's Surfboards gets underway at 56th Street Jetty in Newport Beach, California.