The third edition of the E.Leclerc Pont L'Abbé Junior Pro La Torche launches the 2021 European Junior Qualifying Series today in beautiful conditions at the iconic La Torche point.

Surfers look ahead at five days of sunshine, fun waves and intense battles as the best athletes from all over Europe under the age of 18 get underway with their competitive season in the region.

Brittany to Host Season Opener

E.Leclerc Pont-l'Abbe Junior Pro La Torche Local support is huge for the locals in La Torche. - WSL / GUILLAUME ARRIETA

Coming back for a third edition after two successful events in 2018 and 2019, the E.Leclerc Pont L'Abbé Junior Pro La Torche brings over 150 young surfers from all corners of the continent down to a classic destination in Northwest France.

Surfing has become a part of Brittany's DNA with passionate crowds taking over every little wave available when the ocean wakes up and successful competitors flying the black and white local flag high in international events in recent years.

The likes of Ian Fontaine, Gaspard Larsonneur, Theo Julitte, Aurelien Buffet or Maelys Jouault have paved the way and helped shine light on a region still vastly underestimated on the French coastline.

Now with performance training centers popping up all over, the stage is set for younger talents to come out of Brittany and make a statement on the European scene.

5-Stop Series Takes European Youth Across Continent

Afonso Antunes (PRT) There are often epic waves on the European JQS. Afonso Antunes in Espinho. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

While 2020 was a year to quickly forget with most events worldwide cancelled, this season comes back with a bang for the younger competitors on an exciting 5-stop series.

Starting today in Brittany, the European Junior Qualifying Series will then take surfers to the Northern coast of Spain in July, Espinho and a second location (to be confirmed) in Portugal in September before the grand final in Southwest France in October ahead of the Challenger Series event in Capbreton, Hossegor, Seignosse.

The variety of conditions across five locations will be the perfect training ground for aspiring young professional surfers who eye the Qualifying Series down the line.

World Junior Championships Qualifying Race Underway

Vahine Fierro of Polynesia wins the 2018 World Junior Championship after defeating Summer Macedo of Hawaii in the final at Kiama, NSW, Australia. Vahine Fierro is the last European to have won the coveted World Junior crown. - WSL / Matt Dunbar

The regional Junior Qualifying Series are the very first stage in developing tiers for professional surfers worldwide, and the ultimate proving ground is the World Junior Championships usually held in the beginning of the following year.

When the 2021 European JQS season wraps up in October, the Top 3 Men and Top 2 Women on the rankings will automatically qualify for the World Junior Championships. The event's location and dates are yet to be confirmed, but what is known is that it will reveal some of the brightest prospects in the world of professional surfing.

Past winners of the WJC include some of the sport's iconic names like Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith, Gabriel Medina, Sally Fitzgibbons and Nikki Van Dijk and many more.

Tune in from June 9-13, 2021 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here on WorldSurfLeague.com!

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