After a super successful competitive run last year, 15 year old Ellie Turner has picked up right where she left off, storming to a second place finish at the first European Pro Junior of the year in Costa De Caparica, Portugal.
The event is situated in the delightful municipality of Costa De Caparica, just south of Lisbon, and see’s the best under 18’s in Europe come together to battle it out in fun beach break conditions. Turner fought her way through a tough field of competitors, to the final where she faced off against two Portuguese surfers and one from the Basque country. Turner looked strong from the moment the buzzer sounded, and stayed busy throughout the heat, however she was just unable to catch 17 year old local standout Teresa Bonvalott, landing an impressive runner up finish.
We caught up with the young ripper from Bude after the final to fire a few questions at her.
WL: First of all congratulations on your result!
ET: Thanks, I’m super happy.
WL: This was the first real contest of the year, how have you been preparing for it over the winter?
ET: I spent the winter in Indonesia for three months, just surfing and training for the competitions.
WL: What was your schedule like in Indo? Did you have a specific focus on comp training and strategy?
ET: In Indo I just tried to surf as much as possible, there were sometimes where we did heat training- just 20 minutes of surfing as if it were a heat, but mainly just trying to improve my surfing. I wanted to make my turns stronger and work on staying on my feet.
WL: Last year you won pretty much everything you won in the UK, whats the main difference between competing at home and in the Pro Juniors in Europe?
ET: Well in the Pro Juniors every heat is like a final in the UK, everyones really good so you’ve got to be pretty consistent to get through your heats, because every heat is pretty tricky.
WL: Looking forward to the rest of the year, what are your plans now?
ET: I’m back home for a week at school and then I’m going to Biscarosse for the next pro junior and then straight to Brazil for The Ripcurl International Grom Search final (ed. which Ellie qualified for last year, by winning the European final at the end of last year). If there’s a QS at the same time as the Pro Juniors then I’ll do them, but I’m mostly focussing on the Pro Juniors.
WL: And what do you do when it goes flat in the UK?
ET: I just train and keep fit without surfing, usually when it’s flat at home it’s summer holidays and I’m away for most of the summer anyway.
WL: And what are you goals?
ET: Try my hardest and see how I go and hopefully get to the top two (ed. the top 2 finishers make it into the World Juniors), but if not, I don’t mind because I’ve still got three years left in the juniors.
WL: Thanks Ellie and good luck!
Cover photo by Joel Gray // Surfsolutions