Day 8; Eurosurf Junior Games, Morocco 2016
It’s the morning of the finals.....the surf remains in the solid 3ft range, the wind is still calm and the stage is set. Nothing left to run except the Grand Finals for all divisions and the atmosphere at the beach is both a mixture of excitement and nervous tension. With so much at stake for these youngsters it comes as no surprise that you can feel the nerves in the air. Today marks the culmination of a week of surfing and hundreds of heats held....only eight left today to decide the Champions of European Junior European surfing.
Portuguese surfers dominated the early bodyboard heats and set the precedent for the day to come. Miguel Ferreira and David Vedor went one-two in the U16 boys over Carlos Suarez (SPN) and Belal Bougouch (MOR) with the victor and the runner up seperated by merely 0.4 of a point come the end of the heat. In the U18 girls bodyboard it wasn’t quite so close however, Madalena Guerra (POR) is the new junior European champion winning over Teresa Padilla (SPN), Ghita Guimmi (MOR) and Maia Monaghan (IRE). The U18 boys bodyboard was more of a Moroccan affair though, with Abdenabi Maachou and Abderrahmane Berrouan finishing first and second respectively. Andre Rodrigues (POR) and Lucas Yafar (SPN) were third and fourth.
The longboard U18 provided spectators with an excellent spectacle. Joao Gama (POR) started brightly, putting the rest of the field; Jack Unsworth (ENG), Gus Brewer (CHI) and Oihan Aizpuru (SPN) in a combination situation within ten minutes. But Unsworth fought back with aplomb, nailing down two massive scores in the 9 point range to return the favour and run away with it. A deserved winner.
The U14s saw a return to winning ways for the Portuguese; Afonso Antunes winning an entertaining final over home crowd favourite Selyann Zouhir (MOR), Dean Vandewalle (BEL) and Adur Amatriain of Spain. Yael Pena got a win back for the Spanish in the U16s, again seeing a surfer combo the field. He has been a standout all week and his surfing outstanding, and he thoroughly deserved the win with compatriot Iker Amatriain finishing second, Salvador Couto (POR) third and Joao Vidal (POR) fourth.
The U18 divisions in both boys and girls were the heats of the day however. In the girls it seemed that with the clock dying down Ariane Ochoa (SPN) had the win sewn up, but Mafalda Lopes (POR) had other ideas and pinched the win with a last minute 7 point ride to take the title by less than 0.3 of point. Francisca Veselko (POR) was third and Nadia Erostabe (SPN) fourth.
The final heat of the day was the U18 boys and it’ll surely go down as one of the most intense finals in the history of ESF competition. Jonas Bachan (AUS), Luis Perloiro and Jacome Correia (POR) and Boubker Bouaouda (MOR) faced off in rippable 3-4ft right hand walls. Bouaouda lept into an early lead, nailing two 8 point rides to pull away from his competitors. But Bachan fought back hard with some absolutely marvelous surfing, possibly the best of the event, and in the process turned the tables. He managed the first 10 point ride of the event and the crowd would be forgiven that it was now a foregone conclusion. But with the clock ticking and priority shifting from Bachan to Correia, both took off on the same wave and an interference was called: Bachan went from first to fourth as a result. He was heartbroken but the door that had been slammed shut was now open once more and Bouaouda stepped up, claiming a hugely popular win with the Moroccan crowd now gathered in their hundreds. Perloiro was second and Correia third.
Portugal would claim the overall team title over old rivals Spain at event end and as the National Anthem played to an ecstatic Portuguese team; the event drew to a close.
Full results can be found via eurosurfing.org or alternatively the European Surfing Federation Facebook page.
The ESF would again like to thank it’s event sponsors, without whom this wouldn’t be possible....
Wipaya of Agadir
Ministry of Youth and Sport
Office Nations of Tourism
AP Omrane Agadir
Final Results (download)