It's been two years nearly to the day since Qualifying Series and Pro Junior competition hit the waters of Cocoa Beach, Florida and that imminent return begins March 9 - 13. The Ron Jon Quiksilver and Roxy Pro, joined by the men's and women's Pro Juniors, is back and now features some of the region's best women QS competitors.
A momentous day unfolded for the likes of Kei Kobayashi, Jabe Swierkocki, and Caitlin Simmers on March 15, 2020. Kobayashi earned his first-ever QS win along with Swierkocki taking down his maiden WSL victory, and Simmers went back-to-back.
Since then, San Clemente's Kobayashi earned a second-QS victory, Swierkocki competed as a wildcard at the Freshwater Pro Championship Tour stop, and Simmers qualified for the Championship Tour - a spot she turned down.
With the addition of a women's QS event, the likes of former CT competitor and recent SLO CAL Open at Morro Bay winner Sage Erickson, defending Roxy Junior Pro winner Caitlin Simmers, two-time Pro Junior event victor Alyssa Spencer - the last to go back-to-back before Simmers, one of Florida's top upcoming talents Zoe Benedetto, and more are all in to put on a show at Shepard Beach Park.
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Kobayashi is back to defend his event title after recent success at Morro Bay and now looks for another big result at the Cabarete Pro powered by Carambola House. But, a stacked field awaits with the likes of QS standouts and East Coast representatives Cam Richards, Michael Dunphy, Evan Geiselman, alongside some of California's finest in Kade Matson, Taro Watanabe, and John Mel just to name a few.
It was a tough draw for Pro Juniors across the globe when events stopped. Those about to graduate onto full-time QS competition found themselves short a season of trying to prove themselves as one of the best junior talents in the world due to COVID-19. But, the WSL decided to change the age restriction to U-20 for competitors and now the likes of defending event victor Swierkocki a second chance after the Ventura, California talent went into the break ranked No. 1.
The Ron Jon Quiksilver and Roxy Pro will run March 9 - 13 at Shepard Beach Park, Cocoa Beach, Florida.