Maria Salgado crowned with the 11th edition of the Tiago Pires Award

The young surfer from Santa Cruz is the winner of the 2024 edition of the Tiago Pires Award, an award awarded by a joint decision between Tiago Pires and the National Surfers Association, which aims to distinguish high-potential and rising Portuguese surfers, on the occasion of International Day of Surfing which, this year, takes place this Saturday, June 15th.

The young surfer from Santa Cruz, just 17 years old, is thus rewarded with a trip to Hawaii, one of the main stages for training and international competitions, and also an obligatory stop for anyone looking for excellence in terms of surfing performance. Maria Salgado is the third female surfer to win this award, after Malfada Lopes, in 2018, and Yolanda Hopkins, in 2019.

Maria Salgado, current number 8 in the MEO Surf League women’s ranking and current leader of the Junior Tour women’s ranking

“I am very happy to have received this award. I would like to thank the National Surfers Association and Tiago Pires for being chosen. I’m going to try to make the most of the trip to Hawaii so I can improve my surfing. I will try to continue working hard to obtain more results.”

Maria Salgado has established herself, over recent years, as one of the great highlights of the new generation of women’s surfing, which seeks to continue the evolution and expressive results obtained in recent seasons by Portuguese surfers at an international level. In addition to the triumph obtained this year in the inaugural stage of the Junior Tour, Maria also has an honourable 2nd place in a stage of the European Pro Junior, held last year in Morocco, having ended 2023 as the 5th best junior in female ranking.

In the MEO Surf League, the young surfer from the West already has two stage victories, both in Peniche, closing the MEO Surf League 2022 and 2023 with a flourish. Also noteworthy is the 3rd final position in the MEO League ranking Surf in 2022 and 4th place last year.

Tiago Pires, the first Portuguese surfer to enter the World Surfing Circuit
“Maria Salgado is a surfer who has evolved a lot in recent months. I have been following its evolution closely over the last year and there has been a great evolution in technical terms. I think the results have followed this evolution. The mental side, her willpower and the way she approaches competitions are some of Maria’s strengths. I’m sure that within a short time, she will gain more strength and her surfing will benefit greatly from this. Combining the technique she already has with a little more strength, we will see an explosive combination. I consider Maria Salgado to be a worthy winner of the Tiago Pires Award! Maria, let’s boost national surfing!”

Tiago Pires Award winners:
– 2024: Maria Salgado
– 2023: Francisco Ordonhas
– 2022: Martim Nunes
– 2019: Yolanda Hopkins
– 2018: Mafalda Lopes
– 2017: Guilherme Ribeiro
– 2016: Luís Perloiro
– 2015: Guilherme Fonseca
– 2014: Nicolau von Rupp
– 2013: Frederico Morais
– 2012 (year 0): Tiago Pires

The Tiago Pires Award is now in its 11th edition and distinguishes national junior surfers for their potential, helping to protect them globally to promote more and better aspirations in international competitions. The surfer elected each year is the result of a shared decision between the National Surfers Association and Tiago Pires, the first Portuguese surfer to compete in the world surfing elite and residing there for seven consecutive seasons.

The Tiago Pires Award is presented on International Surfing Day which, in 2024, is celebrated globally, this Saturday, June 15th.


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