- WSL / Damien Poullenot

PORTE 13, AIN DIAB, Casablanca - Morocco (Saturday, May 25, 2024) - Today Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) and Noa Dupouy (FRA) won the Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca, Stop No.1 on the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) European Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), in the Finals held in two-to-three foot surf at Ain Diab.

After a busy first three days of competition that ran in super fun conditions, 16 surfers remained in contention on the morning of Finals Day. Competition resumed just before lunch time and ran through the Semifinals and Finals to crown the 2024 winners mid afternoon.

Highlights Finals Day Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca
Watch highlights from Finals Day of the Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca and the victories of Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri and Noa Dupouy.

Dupouy Breaks Glass-Ceiling, Claims First-Ever Pro Junior Win

The somewhat slow start to the men's Final meant it was always going down to the wire and it didn't disappoint. Paco Alonzo (FRA) was the most active early on but it was already Noa Dupouy (FRA) posting the biggest single scores to take the lead quite early. Francisco Ordonhas (POR) and Nicolas Paulet (FRA) eventually joined the fight and in the last five minutes things really heated up with multiple exchanges where all four competitors got a chance to challenge the young Frenchman for the lead.

As time ran out, Dupouy's combined heat total of 13.10 (out of a possible 20) was enough for the 20 year-old from Mimizan to claim his first-ever win on the junior tour.

"I'm super happy and quite at a loss for words to be honest," Dupouy said. "It's awesome to be here, there's such a great vibe around this place. I've come close to winning multiple times but never quite got it, so I'm beyond happy to get it done today. These events are so great to prepare us for the bigger stage and hopefully now I can keep it together and fight for a European title and a spot into the World Juniors."

Runner-up twice on the JQS and a Semifinalist here in Casablanca last season, Dupouy has been a standout on the European junior scene for years and was due a breakout win.

Paco Alonzo (FRA) eventually placed runner-up, the highest result of his young career, after placing equal third here last year. The Frenchman was a standout in all previous rounds and a deserved finalist today for the first time.

"I'm super happy to keep improving and hopefully I can go one better soon and win an event," Alonzo reflected. "I wasn't at 100% at the beginning of the week but I managed to push through and improve as the event went. My semifinal was a huge one with Lukas Skinner who was on fire and I'm so proud to have made it through. In the final I was missing a good second wave to really have a chance, but I couldn't find it unfortunately"

Francisco Ordonhas (POR) and Nicolas Paulet (FRA) completed the Final lineup and finished in third and fourth place respectively.

Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK), Casablanca 2024 Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Gonzalez Etxabarri Goes Back-to-Back, Adds Fourth Win to Impressive Young Career

The overall favorite, defending her title this week, Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) took on perennial threats Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA) and Sarah Leiceaga (FRA) as well as young up-and-comer Clemence Schorsch (FRA) in the women's Final.

The super tight battle once again went the Basque surfer's way, despite great efforts from the French trio to challenge the Gonzalez Etxabarri reign in Casablanca and on the European junior scene these past few years.

The defending event winner and reigning European Champion left nothing to chance and posted her fourth JQS win and second consecutive at the Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca.

"I really love coming here so I'm very happy to win today," Gonzalez Etxabarri said. "I think my surfing really suits these conditions so I felt comfortable out there. There's always a little stress at the beginning but you have to feel like you're enough for the win and trust yourself and today it worked out for me."

The 20 year-old Reunion Island surfer, Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA) claimed the runner-up spot, her highest result to date, and an improvement from her equal fifth here last year. Conradi got the job done early in the Final with two solid 6+ rides (out of a possible 10) and ended up just 0.23 short for her first title.

"Of course my goal was to win but I'm still very happy with my surfing," Conradi admitted. "These are not the conditions I prefer and where I perform best so I'm happy I was able to still put together a couple of good waves. Midway through the Final it got really slow, I didn't need a huge score and I definitely felt capable of getting it but the waves didn't give me the opportunity. I had a great week here again and I look forward to competing against Annette again, she's a great surfer."

Sarah Leiceaga (FRA) and Clemence Schorsch (FRA) completed the Final lineup and finished in third and fourth place respectively.

Earlier in the week a few Moroccans posted good results, namely Soulaimane Khafi (MAR), Maria Elouedrhiri (MAR) and Ranya Squalli (MAR) who made the local crowds proud at Ain Diab.

With the completion of the Morocco Mall Junior Pro Casablanca, the race to the European Junior title and qualification for the World Junior Championship (WJC) is officially underway, here are the current rankings:

European Men's JQS Top 5:

1 - Noa Dupouy (FRA)
2 - Paco Alonzo (FRA)
3 - Francisco Ordonhas (POR)
4 - Nicolas Paulet (FRA)
5 - Lukas Skinner (GBR)
5 - Tiago Stock (POR)

European Women's JQS Top 5:

1 - Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK)
2 - Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA)
3 - Sarah Leiceaga (FRA)
4 - Clemence Schorsch (FRA)
5 - Lucia Machado (CNY)
5 - Lilou Rumiel (FRA)

Surfers will now have a few weeks to prepare for the next event on the 2024 European Junior Qualifying Series later this summer.

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.

1 - Noa Dupouy (FRA) 13.10
2 - Paco Alonzo (FRA) 11.44
3 - Francisco Ordonhas (POR) 11.27
4 - Nicolas Paulet (FRA) 8.90

1 - Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) 12.73
2 - Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA) 12.50
3 - Sarah Leiceaga (FRA) 10.24
4 - Clemence Schorsch (FRA) 9.30

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