In 2015, Portugal will be the centerstage of European surfing with no-less than seven events across the WSL tours. The current positive dynamic within the Portuguese surfing community raises the profile of local events, cities and, obviously, surfing talents.
Reigning WSL World Junior Champion Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) and good friend Francisco Alves (PRT), who have both been competing for several years on the Junior and Qualifying Series in Europe and internationally, offered their thoughts on bringing pro surfing back to Caparica.
Vasco Ribeiro: I think that having their first stage in Portugal is very good for other athletes, to give them that extra motivation and to start the circuit well with a victory or a Final. I think it will be great because we have surfers to compete for this year's [Junior] title and so a stage in Costa da Caparica is always good since, it being a new location in the European circuit, it's well known by the Portuguese surfers and it has everything so that it all goes well for us.
Costa da Caparica is a very consistent spot, it has waves over the course of the year and I really like coming here to surf. You catch some really fun waves and it's a great place to practice with its extensive coastline and waves everywhere. That's why it will be great and a wonderful surf show by the best European surfers. I hope you catch some good waves!
Francisco Alves: It's awesome to have this championship here in Costa da Caparica. It's one of the best Portuguese beaches, with conditions for every kind of surfer, from beginners to professionals. I remember competing here in a Pro Junior. I must have been 10 or 11 years old and, at the time I thought that it was too bad that the championship didn't continue. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for any surfer that wants to climb to a top international spot.
The new local generations should focus on this championship for they will be abreast of what is currently best being done at a European level. Regarding the festival, it's important that more events like this start cropping up so that they mobilize more people. It's also important to see that surf is growing in the direction we want it to, as it has been proven by the results that Vasco, Frederico Morais and others have achieved internationally, fruit of the investment in national surf.