PRAIA DE BAIA, Espinho / Portugal - Only a couple of days separate us from the start of the ASP 2-Star Men's and Women's Espinho Surf Destination. In the women's field, last year's European Junior title runner-up Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 19, will assume the top seed position into the season opener. We just had a quick chat with Leticia before she heads to Portugal.
ASP Europe: Hey Leticia, you're the favorite going into this year's Junior season, how does that make you feel ?
Leticia Canales Bilbao: I feel a little bit nervous for the beginning of the tour but itÂ´s ok, I mean it is not real pressure. I think itÂ´s way too early to say who's a favorite. All the girls have been pushing their surfing so far over the winter so I don't really see myself as a favorite.
ASPE: What do you think of Espinho and Portugal in general ?
LCB: I've never been to Espinho, so ItÂ´s going to be my first time there. IÂ´m very excited to see how the waves are overthere. I love Portugal, for me itÂ´s one of the best places in the world, the food is so good and the people so friendly. About the waves, the same, I go every year to Portugal and I always get good waves. IÂ´ve been to Ericeira, Peniche, Viana Do Castelo, Caparica and Amado. They're all different waves but all of super quality.
ASPE: What's your off-season been like ?
LCB: IÂ´ve been training so hard this winter, maybe it was the hardest winter . I trained at different points like Mundaka, Meñakoz... I surfed waves that I never thought I could, big waves like 3 -4 metres. It wasn't just surfing either, I did a lot of physio training and mental work. For me if you want to be a pro surfer you have to act like them, you have to prepare the same way and hopefully one day, you are going to be like them.
ASPE: Thank's for your time Leticia
In her last season amongst the under-20 Junior category, Leticia Canales Bilbao will try to improve on her 2013 performances and claim the Regional title. With a new batch of super enthusiastic and performing up-and-comers, her task won't be easy though, which promises great battles in the inaugural Espinho Surf Destination starting this Thursday.