Vasco Ribeiro: is he the next Portuguese surfer on the WCT?

Vasco Ribeiro has conquered the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior, at Playa de la Cicer, Las Palmas. The defending champion re-claimed his crown today in fantastic fashion, dominating the final against Vicente Romero from Spain.

Last year's ASP Europe ranked 3rd surfer takes an early lead on the 2012 Title race and will have a great advantage with his win today. At only 18 years old, Ribeiro who already proved himself on the international stage, becomes the European force to reckon with.

Starting his final bout with a 7.67 as a first wave, Ribeiro took a lead that he never let go over Vicente Romero.

"I knew it was going to be a tough heat, he (Vicente Romero) was probably the best surfer in this whole event" Ribeiro said. "I got lucky this first wave came to me, and from them I just kept getting waves and he didn't. I'm super happy to win this important event !"

Winning his second Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior in a row, Vasco Ribeiro keeps the Portuguese legacy alive in the Canarian archipelago. For the last three years, Portuguese riders have dominated the event and showed that Portugal is great talent pool for European up-and-comers.

"All the Portuguese think there's something special between us and the Canary Islands because two years ago Filipe Jervis another Portuguese won here, and then last year I won so everybody's pushing so we win it all here ! I'm just stoked and I want to congratulate Vicente who surfed incredible !"

Asked on his plans for the 2012 European season, Vasco Ribeiro stays humble and appreciates the general level that European Juniors have reached. With more and more surfers emerging from the old continent proving themselves on the World Junior Championships, the level has incontestably stepped up and the European Title race only just started.

"I think it's going to be the hardest season for sure because all the guys are ripping like Ramzi (Boukhiam), Frederico (Morais), Dimitri (Ouvre) and Vicente" stated Ribeiro. "It's going to be really hard to win another event this year but I'm going to try and keep pushing myself and perform at my best level. I'm also going to try to do a few Star Events to gain points and get some experience against older surfers."

Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior Final:

1. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.44
2. Vicente Romero (ESP) 13.53

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