The first day of the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Brazil Qualifier went-off like a dream with epic waves, big scores and a touch of history created at Itajai today. As the fourth stop on the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge, the Oakley Pro Junior Brazil today saw the hottest, young surfing commodities on the South American continent going toe-to-toe in excellent conditions.

Greeted with a marked increase in swell overnight, the perfectly formed left-hand beach-break presented long, rippable walls and bankable sections. Miguel Pupo shone brightest racking up a combined heat total of 14.16 (out of a possible 20). He also claimed the events highest single wave score to date, with a near perfect 8.80 (out of a possible 10).

“I really wanted to start this event strong,” Pupo said. “I finished third here last year, so I want to go one better and make it back to Bali.”

Qualifying through to the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge final in Keramas last year, via the France Qualifier, Pupo knows it’s going to be tough to return to Indonesia in October.

“The standard of surfing is so hard in Brazil right now,” Pupo admitted. “Each year there are younger and stronger kids coming through, hopefully I can take it out this year.”

Today also marked a special day for surfing in Brazil. With the sounding of the opening hooter, this morning’s first heat announced the first professional surfing event to be held at Itajai – one of Brazil’s most famed, yet protected waves.

Lapping up the occasion was aerial wonder kid Jadson Andre who amassed a combined heat total of 15.17 (out of a possible 20). Highlighted by his customary air-show, Andre showed no sign of a back injury – progressing through to round three in style.

With the chance to become ABRASP (Brazilian Champion) / ASP South America and a total prize purse of US $22,000 at stake, as well as qualification into the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali, the top seeds took full advantage, heralding their intentions early.

Marco Fernandez, Emerson Silva, Franklin Serpa and Gabriel Medina were also in great form, all racking up excellent scores with their own individual brand of progressive surfing.

With the first round completed today, alongside the first six heats of the second round, The Oakley Pro Junior Brazil continues tomorrow with another excellent day of competition expected.


Tess Weaver


May 21, 2009