The 2016 Eurosurf Juniors – Morocco
The Welsh Junior Squad had a testing week competing at the 2016 Eurosurf Junior Games, held at the Moroccan beach of Anza, near Agadir. The squad that headed out was made up of Max Payne and Cieran Hughes (U18s), Patrick Langdon-Dark and Seth Morris (U16s), Ejay Cogger (U14s), Logan Nicol (U18 bodyboard and first reserve), Tom Horn (U18 Longboard, U16 and U18 bodyboard) and Ffion Hughes (U14,U18 girls and U18 girls bodyboard). Stuart Bentley managed the team and Gwen Spurlock was team coach.
The waves at Anza pumped most of the week, ranging from average 2ft surf at the very beginning of the week to perfect, oil slick glass 5ft right handers for the last few days. The first few days of competition went well for the Welsh, no one was knocked out of competition and even Ffion Hughes and Tom Horn made heats on bodyboards. The first of our surfers to get knocked out was Ejay Cogger in the U14s. Ejay fell in the second repercharge after surfing well in the previous round, no doubt gaining valuable experience and he can be proud of himself after surfing without fear and showing real promise all week.
Tom Horn also fell in the second repercharge round, earning himself a 9th place. Tom was one of the standouts of the week after arriving in Morocco with little experience surfing in both big events and in larger more powerful surf. But he faced the challenge head on and and impressed both in heats but perhaps,more importantly, surfing the bigger freesurf sessions on the points between rounds. He’ll leave Morocco a more confident and experienced individual.
Patrick Langdon-Dark and Seth Morris both fell in the same round of the U16s, repercharge round 3. Pat had put on one of the best Welsh performances of the week in the first repercharge round, earning some pretty good scores in the process. Both surfers impressed with their talent and with further experience will no doubt go on to bigger, better results in the future.
Ffion Hughes finished in the second repercharge round. Her attitude and surfing was exemplary all week and was nothing but a positive influence on the team. Unfortunately surfing in such a competitive division at a young age showed in the end, but with a few more of these events in her before she leaves the juniors there is no doubt that she’ll continue to improve and better results are in the post.
The U18 boys saw Wales’ best result overall. After team captain Cieran Hughes was knocked out in R3, Max Payne was our last hope and he was very unlucky to not make his R5 heat which would’ve placed him the repercharge final. His backhand attack suited the rippable canvas at Anza, and he was mature in his approach to heats, getting last minute scores to advance and using priority to put a stranglehold on his competitors if needs be. Max will be a dangerous competitor as he moves out of the juniors and into the seniors and can take a lot from his time in Morocco.
Overall the team finished in 10th position in the team standings, which of course shows a lot of room for improvement. However, it is clear that the team were full of motivation to do so when it came time to head home, and with the plans and staff in place to push on from here the future for Welsh Surfing is in a very positive place.
The Welsh Surfing Federation would like to thank it’s sponsors and everyone who helped make the trip happen….
Welsh Surfing Federation
Nash Sport Swansea (Printing)