- WSL / Laurent Masurel

PORTE 13, AIN DIAB, Casablanca - Morocco (Tuesday, May 21, 2024) - Stop No.1 on the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) European Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), the Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca will get underway tomorrow at Ain Diab beach, in Casablanca, Morocco.

"The WSL is thrilled to come back to Morocco for a third consecutive event in Casablanca," Rob Gunning, European Tour Manager stated. "We have been hosting events in Morocco for over 10 years, benefitting both African and European athletes. Surfers compete and earn prize money and points towards qualifying for the Challenger Series (CS) and World Junior Championship (WJC)."

The best European surfers under the age of 20 as well as a strong local contingent will do battle at Ain Diab for the third time as surfing continues to take central stage on most of the Moroccan coastline. Nearly 170 surfers have signed up for what will undoubtedly be a highly competitive week of professional surfing.

Teaser: Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca
The Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca comes back in a 3rd installment to launch the European Junior Qualifying Series.

The road starts in Casablanca but ultimately young surfers all have their sights on the season ahead and the qualifying race for the World Junior Championship down the line. The reigning event winner and European Champion Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) will be the undeniable favorite this week as she comes to defend her crown.

"I feel excited about this week," Gonzalez Etxabarri said. "My sister won here the first year and I won the second year so I'm super happy to come back to Casablanca. The forecast looks quite good and I've got boards for all types of waves so I'm looking forward to getting the event going. "

The fields are stacked with talents and the heavy favorites will face a hungry mob all wanting to cash in on ranking points and prize money in the season opener. That includes recent amateur world champions, past JQS event winners, and obviously Moroccan surfers who expect local knowledge to play in their favor as they hone their competitive skills against the region's best.

Among them, Tareq Tehraoui (MAR), Ayman Gougali (MAR), Mohammed Reda Madouar (MAR) and Ranya Squalli (MAR) appear as the strongest candidates to fly the Moroccan flag high on home soil.

"It's pretty amazing to be surfing here against international surfers," Tehraoui said. "For us Moroccans it's a pretty cool experience to be competing with the best in Europe and it helps us for the future. It's a great learning experience both in the heats and just in general seeing how these surfers prepare with a coach, with stretching, their routines etc. I have a French surfer staying in my house so it's really cool to share all this together."

"I'm super excited for this event and I'll definitely give my best out there," Squalli added. "This is my third time competing in this event and I do all the other junior events in Europe so it's definitely special to have one at home in Morocco."

A couple of days ahead of competition kick off, a solid forecast pattern emerges. The opening and closing days look like they'll have the smallest swells, but still with potential for action, especially on day one. Sandbanks are looking prime, offering up some good waves on all tides. Light onshore winds are on the cards throughout the period, and the fog risk looks minimal at this point.

The first call will be made at 8:30 a.m Wednesday for a potential start of either or both men and women's opening rounds at Ain Diab.

Full Event Recap: 2023 Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca
We launched the European JQS in May in Morocco, here's everything that went down!

The 2024 Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca is scheduled from May 22-26, 2024, at Ain Diab beach, in Casablanca, Morocco. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.

The Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca is organized by the World Surf League with the support of the City of Casablanca, Morocco Mall, CIH Bank, Maroc Telecom, Afriquia Gaz, Marsa Maroc, Aïn Atlas, Rip Curl, Onomo, Arma Environnement, Butec, VIP Navette Service, 2M, Arryadia, NRJ and Radio Mars. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About MOROCCO MALL: The MOROCCO MALL, the first shopping and entertainment destination in the region, offers its visitors more than 350 leading national and international brands representing several universes. The MOROCCO MALL also concentrates unique attractions and allows visitors to combine shopping and relaxation. Thanks to its rich entertainment program and its surprise events, the MOROCCO MALL welcomes thousands of visitors every day, positioning the Mall as a family destination par excellence. About CIH Bank: A major player in the development of Morocco's economy, CIH Bank is widely regarded as a global company offering all banking services. It has become an online banking pioneer in Morocco. Digital, yet close to its clients, CIH Bank is a modern institution using all available channels to manage its client relations: agencies, websites, mobile apps, ATMs and its client relations center.

About Maroc Telecom: A renowned operator in Africa, leader in Morocco and other countries, Maroc Telecom Group is actively participating in the development of the telecoms sector on the continent. With a presence in 11 countries (Morocco, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Central African Republic, Chad and Togo), Maroc Telecom serves nearly 77 million mobile, fixed-line and Internet customers.

Through its commitment to reducing the digital divide, the Group makes a significant contribution to economic and social development, access to NICTs and the well-being of populations both in Morocco and in all the countries in which its subsidiaries are located, under the commercial brand "Moov Africa".

Contact us: www.iam.ma

About Afriquia Gaz: As a responsible partner, Afriquia Gaz delivers innovative energy solutions to Moroccan companies and helps boost competitiveness as well as creates new opportunities for development. Our integrated management system puts quality, hygiene, safety and the environment at the heart of our business model, following three international norms: ISO 9001, ISO 45001 et ISO 14001.

About Marsa Maroc: Marsa Maroc is Morocco's leading port operator with 24 port terminals operated across 10 ports. As a multi-traffic operator, Marsa Maroc actively participates in the development of Morocco's logistics competitiveness by offering a wide range of port services to importers, exporters and shipping companies.

The company offers port services both to goods (handling on board and at quay, warehousing, pointing, weighing, stuffing and stripping, etc.) and to ships (piloting, towing, mooring, etc.).

About Rip Curl: Rip Curl opened its first surf shop in Morocco more than 20 years ago. This store still exists in Casablanca, Maarif. You can also find the products of this iconic surf brand in its other shops in Rabat, Agadir, Bouznika, Taghazout and on www.surfer.ma. Rip Curl brings to Morocco the best action sports (surf, bodyboard, skateboard) gears and beach wear

Rip Curl is a world-leading brand of surfing sportswear as well as a major athletic sponsor, with manufacturing and sales facilities around the globe. Since launching in 1969, this hugely popular global brand has been committed to providing surfers with all the equipment they need, no matter where their travels lead them. Its dynamic line of products ranges from wetsuits and surfboards to apparel, accessories, watches, mountain wear and footwear. The Search is the driving force behind the brand's progress and vision. When crew members are chasing uncharted reefs or untracked powder, Rip Curl will arm them with the best equipment they'll need.

About Onomo Hotels: As the leading hotel operator in Africa, ONOMO Hotels operates in 13 African countries with 22 hotels: Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Togo, South Africa, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda, Morocco, Cameroon, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda. Rooted in a rapidly changing Africa, our brand deploys hotels celebrating African culture and art at the heart of the continent. Our ambition is to offer lifestyle hospitality that highlights the identity and local culture of our destinations.

For more information, visit www.onomohotels.com

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.