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New generation leads Portuguese surfing

  • Joaquim Chaves and Francisca Veselko want to be champions
  • Liga MEO Surf is a sports base for international flights
  • Renewal of competitiveness promises a spectacle
  • Junior Tour reinforced with four stages in 2024

The MEO Surf League, the 1st division of Portuguese surfing, presented its sports calendar for the 2024 season, with the action scheduled to start on March 22nd, in Figueira da Foz.

In 2023, the maximum national titles were awarded to Joaquim Chaves and Francisca Veselko, both surfers in their 20s. In the season that is now beginning, the new generation will continue to compete in the process of renewing the face of Portuguese surfing.

MEO Surf League 2024 Calendar:
League #1 – March 22nd to 24th – Allianz Figueira Pro
League #2 – April 12th to 14th – Porto Pro
League #3 – May 24th to 26th – Allianz Ericeira Pro
League #4 – June 21st to 23rd – Allianz Ribeira Grande Pro
League #5 – October 25th to 27th – Bom Petisco Peniche Pro

Francisco Rodrigues, President of the National Surfers Association
“We are back with the main surfing competition in Portugal and with a special flavour. This is because, throughout all these years, we have lived under the victories of surfers like Frederico Morais, Vasco Ribeiro and Teresa Bonvalot, among others. However, in 2023, the youngest took the lead in the MEO Surf League competitions and this in itself is an excellent indicator of who will carry the Portuguese flag in the future. I would still like to see figures like Matias Canhoto, Teresa Pereira or Jaime Veselko complicate the lives of Joaquim Chaves and Francisca Veselko in revalidating their titles. This is exactly what the MEO Surf League understands: a confrontation of experiences between generations so that Portuguese surfers can better themselves from year to year!”

Luíza Galindo, Director of Marketing and Communication at MEO
“We are very excited to, once again, support the revelation of new talents, and we are very proud of investing in a modality that meets much of what the MEO brand conveys: humanization, experiences that connect people to life and promotion of what We have the best of visiting some of the most beautiful beaches from the north to the south of the country and also in the Azores.”

In this 14th edition of Liga MEO Surf, the return of national stars to Portuguese beaches takes place within six weeks, with Joaquim Chaves and Francisca Veselko defending the 2023 national titles and competing with the status of leaders with the yellow Go Chill lycra.

National Champions in the last 5 years
2023 – Joaquim Chaves and Francisca Veselko
2022 – Guilherme Ribeiro and Teresa Bonvalot
2021 – Vasco Ribeiro and Francisca Veselko
2020 – Frederico Morais and Teresa Bonvalot
2019 – Miguel Blanco and Yolanda Hopkins

Joaquim Chaves, 20 years old, national surfing champion 2023
“My preparation for this year is being a little different. I’m in Hawaii and will stay here until February 23rd. I’m trying to focus on surfing better with bigger boards. I’m following Frederico Morais and the other athletes who also compete in the CT who train with our coach, Richard Marsh. Then I will return to Portugal and I will have about a month before the first competition of the year, which is the last European regional QS. That will be my main objective to try to qualify for the Challenger Series. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll dedicate myself to travelling with this team and improving my surfing as much as possible. The MEO League, this year, will be a little in the background, but I will try to complete all the stages and do my best to try to win my second national title.”

Francisca Veselko, 20 years old, national surfing champion in 2021 and 2023
“I have had a slightly different preparation compared to other years. This year I’m more focused on improving my technique on the tubes and perfecting my technique on lip maneuvers. In this way, I hope to reach my goals this year, which are qualifying for the Olympic Games, qualifying for the Championship Tour and revalidating the title of national champion.”

Guilherme Ribeiro, 21 years old, national surfing champion 2022
“My pre-season started in November last year when I was away for a month. First, I was training in Puerto Rico to try to get a place, together with the national team, in qualifying for the Olympic Games at the ISA World Surfing Games that will take place in February. Then I was in Hawaii in what was my fourth season and I feel better and better in those types of waves like Sunset, Pipeline and Haleiwa. At the beginning of the year, I started training hard in Portugal as it is in these types of waves that I will compete. My big short-term goals are to qualify for the Olympic Games and enter the Challenger Series. I have been training a lot in Costa de Caparica because that is where the decisive stage of the European regional QS will take place. The MEO Surf League is a training ground for all the goals I have in the short, medium and long term. It’s where the best Portuguese surfers come together, who are also some of the best in Europe. In terms of surfing quality and the type of waves that the MEO Surf League gives us, it is very advantageous for us Portuguese. I’m going to enjoy every stage, but I’m going to win and, in the end, we’ll do the math.”

Afonso Antunes, 20 years old, national surfing runner-up in 2021
“My preparation at the beginning of the year has been good, I feel like I’m getting back into the rhythm! I’ve been spending as much time as possible in the water, surfing all types of conditions and, of course, working on my physique as well. My goals this year in the MEO Surf League are to win the national title and win at least two stages. The goals for the competitive year, in general, are to be consistent throughout the year, win a QS stage and enter the top 10 of the European QS.”

This year is also a special time for Teresa Bonvalot, who is qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, after having participated in the world surfing elite last year as an “alternate surfer”. In the MEO Surf League, Teresa already has four national titles. The 1st national division starts after the last Olympic qualification, which takes place at the end of February in Puerto Rico. Thus, more names could join Teresa Bonvalot in the Portuguese delegation.

Teresa Bonvalot, 24 years old, national surfing champion in 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2022
“My preparation is going well. I’m focused and working on the part I need to improve, especially at this time of year when we end up having more time to train. I am focused on the Olympic Games which, in the blink of an eye, are already very close. But the next competition will be the ISA World Surfing Games in Puerto Rico, so I also have this mindset of going there and getting the best result possible and trying to contribute to another possible spot for Portugal. My goals, end up being based on what I always wanted, which is my evolution, knowing that I have a lot to progress. There are no limits to evolution and that’s where I have to be focused, working on the not-so-positive aspects and making them better. The main goal is to qualify for the Championship Tour to stay there full-time. Everything I do in the QS, Challenger Series and Liga MEO stages will be a form of training to put into the water what I have been working on recently, which is great for being able to wear the Lycra.”

This year, the MEO Surf League will also have the full-time participation of some talents coming from junior competitions such as Diogo Bravo, Manuel Pirujinho, Kekoa Hummel, Joaquim Trindade and Simão Prazeres.

For the sixth consecutive year, the MEO Surf League counts on the Jerónimo Martins Group as a sustainability partner and focuses on preserving ocean biodiversity. The awareness-raising and pedagogy actions included in the “Amar o Mar” program are carried out in conjunction with Pingo Doce. In 2023, these initiatives involved around 600 children from schools in the municipalities of each stage.

The public also has a say, participating in the choices of their favourite surfers in Fantasy Surfer, with a The Search 2 GPS watch from Rip Curl for the winner of each stage and also a board from Polen Surfboards for the highest scorer at the end of the race. year. To participate, simply follow your favourite surfers at fantasy.ansurfistas.com.

In 2024, the special awards will continue: the Allianz Triple Crown, which rewards the best surfers in the Figueira da Foz, Ericeira and Ribeira Grande stages; the competition for the best wave in each stage; the best score exclusively dedicated to ladies in Bom Petisco Girls Score; the fight for the best manoeuvres for both men and women in the Go Chill Expression Sessions, Waversby Round, Waikiki Junior Award and the prizes reserved for the best local surfers in the stages of Figueira da Foz, Ericeira, Ribeira Grande and Peniche.

Also noteworthy is the Junior Tour, a competitive platform reserved for national surfing talents up to 20 years old. In 2024, the Junior Tour will consist of four stages. The national champions in 2023, Martim Nunes and Gabriela Dinis will try to revalidate their titles.

Junior Tour Calendar 2024
Projunior #1 – 6th to 7th April – Porto and Matosinhos
Projunior #2 – 18th to 19th May – Viana do Castelo
Projunior #3 – 13th to 14th July – Aveiro
Projunior #4 – 27th to 28th July – Santa Cruz

All stages can be followed live on Sport TV, as well as on other official media: MEO Facebook, MEO app – available at position 810 on the MEO channel grid, and at www.ansurfistas.com and social media at @ansurfistas.

The MEO Surf 2024 League is organized by the National Surfers Association and Fire!, with the sponsorship of MEO, Allianz Seguros, Bom Petisco, Go Chill, Corona, Somersby, sustainability partner Jerónimo Martins, local support from the Municipalities of Figueira da Foz, Porto, Matosinhos, Mafra, Ribeira Grande and Peniche, technical support from the Figueira da Foz Surfing Association, Onda Pura, Ericeira Surf Clube, Associação Açores de Surf e Bodyboard, Peniche Surfing Clube and the Portuguese Federation of Surfing.

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