The World Surf League (WSL) North America Junior Tour will make its way back to the 56th Street Jetty of Newport Beach, California for the second annual RVCA Pro Junior presented by Jack’s Surfboards beginning September 23 – 25. With only two contests remaining on the North America schedule, the regionâ€™s best junior men competitors will battle to claim an all-important win toward a chance at World Junior Championships. A building forecast could offer ideal Newport Beach conditions and provide competitors with optimal opportunity to showcase their talents.
Fresh off his first-ever Junior Tour victory, the current rankings leaderÂ Nolan Rapoza (USA)comes to Newport Beach in search of a second win to solidify his spot at the top. But, he has plenty of competition in front of him with nearly all of the top ranked juniors in attendance vying for a win of their own. The Long Beach, Calif.,Â native didnâ€™t get the result he was looking for last year and will take the knowledge heâ€™s retained since then to put forth his best performance.
â€œThe RVCA event is held at one of my favorite surf spots that I surf every day and I think last year I was still surfing well,Â I just had a hard time putting together a good heat,â€ Rapoza said. â€œI think now I’m finally starting to figure that out. When you string along a handful of results you always have that confidence. I think my first or second heat will show how the event will play out for me. I want to just blow up and make a statement.â€
Tyler Gunter (USA)Â will represent his local Newport Beach community as one of its promising up-and-comers. Gunter is still searching for his first Junior Tour victory as he prepares for the next step of his career toward the QS. Gunter feels even more at home with RVCA behind himÂ and wants to set the bar high among his fellow contingent.
â€œIt’s really sick that RVCAÂ are having the contest again, especially since it’s at my favorite wave and home break,â€ Gunter said. â€œI have one more year left in the juniors, butÂ really want to win this one since it’s in Newport. These contest create such a good platform to get us ready for the QS. I’ve started doing more QSÂ events this year and the juniors have really helped me for those.â€
RVCA Surf Team Manager Mike Brophy witnessed the companyâ€™s historical moment last year as its first title sponsorship toward a WSL event. A company created in Pat Tenoreâ€™s garage nearly 15 years ago has evolved into a full force within the surfing industry and looks to continue its support at the ground level of competition for the youth.
â€œWe areÂ really excited to get the community together for this event,â€ Brophy said. â€œIt is an amazing opportunity for RVCA to be the platform for an event in our backyard. The kids are the future of this sport, so itâ€™s important to keep these special events going. Itâ€™s so amazing to see what [Pat] PM Tenore has created with RVCA and the special gift he has of bringing good people together. Itâ€™s also amazing to see RVCA at surf events, and being the title sponsor.â€
In conjunction with WSL,Â theÂ Newport Beach Surfing Championships will be running its 28th year of competition and RVCA Pro Junior Contest Director Darren Brillhart expressed his excitement to see everything come back together. With a promising forecast in store, Brillhart and event organizers are keeping a close eye on conditions to take full advantage of the infamous 56th Street Jettyâ€™s potential.
â€œItâ€™s always a good thing to see the surf scene flourish here and have RVCA back providing a stage for the future of pro surfing for a second consecutive year,â€ Brillhart said. â€œRVCA has always supported local youth down here from Tyler Gunter to Colin Moran, and many others.Â Itâ€™s also great to have them take this event on as it’s right in their back yard. Forecast looks great for the lefts off 56th street, we have the option to run on either side of 54th or 56th, and anytime we get a straight south in the window itâ€™s a no-brainer call. Sand bars are pretty good too so it could offer long hollow lefts if the wind cooperates.â€
Surfline, the official forecaster for WSL, are calling for:
Friday:Â Four-to-six feet, SSW/S swell builds – larger sets for focal points. New NW windswell pulse to help shape.
Saturday: Four-to-six feet,Â SSW/S swell continues – larger sets for focal points. Smaller NW energy, so shape may be an issue.