Portugal’s Vasco Ribeiro takes gold at Juniors

Portugal’s Vasco Ribeiro has taken gold in the European Championships at the Teguise 2014 Franito Pro Junior in Lanzarote. In a tight competition in the Canary Islands event, the 19-year-old Ribeiro managed to hang on to a close victory, mainly due to a strong performance in his home country at Espinho back in June. After the new European Junior champ was knocked out of the Lanzarote contest by the French Andy Criere, it was up to a fellow Portuguese surfer Miguel Blanco to hand the title to Ribeiro by defeating Mateia Hiquily of French Polynesia.

Vasco is now looking to compete in Ericeira, where he will lead a talented Portuguese team into the ASP World Juniors in October. At 19, he hopes to close out his final season as an under-20 on top before heading into the pros.

From the official ASP World Tour website:

My win in Portugal was crucial. I felt good all year but I made some little mistakes along the way that almost cost me the title. It was my last junior season and I’ve come so close these past three years so I’m stoked to finally win the European title. I’m ready to take on the QS now.

—Vasco Ribeiro

In the female juniors division, 17-year-old Tessa Thyssen from St. Barths in the French Caribbean emerged champion. Like Ribeiro, Thyssen also started the season by finishing top in Portugal, but also closed out her championship run with a nice win at Teguise.

Unlike Ribeiro, at 17 Thyssen still has a couple of seasons left in the juniors to sharpen her skills before turning pro, though at just 17, she’s well on her way to professional success. Nonetheless, her eyes will still certainly be on the women competing at the Cascais Women’s Pro, which takes place during the first week of October at Carcavelos beach. Carcavelos and Cascais are significant places for Portuguese, European and women’s surfing and are part of the Lisbon coast’s stellar collection of surf spots, which includes Ericeira, Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve.

Cascais has always played a big role in women’s surfing, having hosted a number of Qualification Series (QS) events in the past. Last year, ASP established its first official elite women’s World Championship Tour (WCT) contest in Portugal (in 2009, the Rip Curl Pro Search hosted an elite women’s contest in Peniche, Portugal). Carissa Moore (HAW) won the inaugural event, which was also the last elite women’s event of the 2013 season. Moore’s victory in Portugal won her the World Title.

(source: ASP World Tour)

Meanwhile, on the 4th or 5th of the month, the trials of the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal will be held at Peniche. October in Portugal will be buzzing with exciting surf action!

Lead image — Portugal’s Vasco Ribeiro winning the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Júnior 2012, by Pedro Martín (Flickr CC)

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