4th Annual Quickblade Jr. Pro and Youth SupFiesta | Event Preview
It’s not often that we get the opportunity to take a glimpse into the future.
However, at this weekend’s 4th Annual Quickblade Jr. Pro and Youth SupFiesta presented by Infinity, the SUP industry will get that chance. Event registration for SupFiesta is limited to kids ages 18 and under, giving groms from around the world a rare opportunity to showcase their talents on the main stage.
The big change with this year’s event is that it will take place over two days (May 7-8) instead of just one as in years past. With the kids now only having to focus on one discipline per day, organizers expect this year’s SupFiesta to be more competitive than ever before.
On Saturday afternoon, the young paddlers will head to the Newport Aquatic Center for the SupFiesta Grand Prix. This day will feature the athletes facing-off in two distinct racing events-The Flyin’ Mile and The SUP Scramble-in three separate age divisions (9-11, 12-14, 15-17).
The Flyin’ Mile will simply be a one-mile course that will test the paddlers’ speed and endurance. Meanwhile, the SUP Scramble will be a more technical race with six turns that will challenge the athlete’s board control.
Meanwhile, Sunday will feature the highly-anticipated Jr. Pro Invitational & Age Group SUP Surfing contest at Bolsa Chica State Beach. While there will also be three separate age divisions for the open contest, all eyes in the SUP world will undoubtedly be on the Jr. Pro Invitational.
In year’s past, this event has served as a proving ground for some of the biggest names in our sport-Mo Freitas, Izzi Gomez and Bernd Roediger all competed in the the Jr. Pro back in 2014. It will include 12 boys and 12 girls who are considered to be among the best up and coming SUP shredders in the world.
Judging by this year’s entry list, competition will be stout.
For the girls competition, look for strong showings from both Annie Reickert and Shae Foudy. Reickert is looking to build upon her huge upset victory over both Izzi Gomez and Fiona Wylde at the Santa Cruz Paddlefest, while Foudy has already established herself as a top contender in the pro ranks.
As for the boys, keep your eye on both Noa Hopper and Jeffrey Spencer. While Hopper is already considered one of best SUP racers around, he will be looking to prove to himself and his team (404) that he is ready to step up in surf competitions. Standing in his way will be Canadian National Champion Jeffrey Spencer, who finished fourth at this event last year and will be hungry to take the top spot.
While those four are certainly ones to watch, there are 20 other boys and girls ready to give it their all and burst onto the SUP scene this weekend. A moderate SW/SSW swell will begin filling in on Sunday and should produce waves in the waist to shoulder high range. However, expect conditions to be a bit jumbled with moderate onshore winds forecasted for the afternoon.
The racing kicks off on Saturday around 4 p.m., which will give athletes and their families the chance to attend the Standup For The Cure, which is taking place earlier in the day. Then on Sunday, heats will begin at 7:40 a.m. with surfing action continuing throughout the day until around 4 p.m.
Lastly, it’s important to note that there will be no beach entries for the event. Those who want to register for the event must do so by this Friday, May 6, at 8 p.m.
It’s expected to be a great two days of competition and a chance to get a look at standup paddling’s future stars. SUP the Mag will be covering the event and provide full recap, gallery, and analysis of all the action.
See you on the beach!
For more information about the 4th Annual SupFiesta.
Get the full list of who’s competing in this year’s Jr. Pro Invitational.