The Ericeira World Junior Championships launched Monday in stormy, 3-to-4 foot surf at the backup venue of Praia dos Pescadores in Ericeira, completing the opening round of the women's event as well as four heats of the men's.
Hawaii's Brisa Hennessy (HAW), dominated her opening bout and clinched the event's single highest score so far, an impressive 9-point ride for a collection of powerful backhand hacks.
"I think it is really cool that the World Juniors has a CT kind of format and going straight into Round 3 is super cool and I'm really excited to be part of it," Hennessy said. "It is such an awesome contest."
The talented natural footer selected her waves wisely and kept building momentum throughout the heat to reach an excellent 16.17 heat total for her spot in the third round of competition.
"I couldn't hear a lot and I was waving my arms but my coach always tells me to just keep on building my house and make it a pyramid and get to the top but with bigger scores."
Local favorite Teresa Bonvalot opened her run with solid scores, and advanced to Round 3.
Local favorite Teresa Bonvalot(PRT), got her campaign off to a solid start in the tricky conditions. Showing no sign of nerves despite competing in her home country, the young Portuguese, who placed fifth last year -- narrowly defeated by eventual World Junior Champion Mahina Maeda -- finished her heat with a bang and her two top-scoring rides, including an excellent 8.17.
"It increases your confidence if you get through your first heat and go to the third round," Bonvalot explained. "Waves are a bit tricky but it's like this all this week so we need to surf and be confident with the waves and surf the maximum. So that's what I am trying to do and be positive."
Reigning World Junior Champion Mahina Maeda (HAW) launched her own assault toward a second consecutive title and surfed a smart heat to advance into Round 3 ahead of her competition. Maeda will look to confirm her excellent form when the event resumes.
"I was super nervous and you know it is a lot harder to come back as a reigning world champ than chasing for the world title, so I am just trying to keep an open mind," Maeda said. "I love Portugal. It's my third time here and definitely feeling a lot more comfortable. I have Philippe Malvaux, who helped me claim my world title last year, so he is definitely a great mentor for me."
Michael Bradley Photography