Ellie Turner is the best thing to come out of the British surfing scene in a long time.
Once again this 15 year old surfer is making waves in Europe, after taking second place at the WSL Women’s Pro Junior Caparica event this month. Clearly the underdog in the event, even quoted by the WLS as, “the unknown surfer” Ellie has proved once again she is one to watch and if the WLS thought she is ‘unknown’ before, she certainly isn’t now!
Joel Grey, Ellie’s team manager got to interview Ellie, fresh off her podium finish. Here’s what Ellie had to say about making the final.
How do you feeling coming 2nd in the Women’s WSL Caparica Pro Junior event?
Super happy! I’ve got three more years on the Junior series so hopefully I’ll have plenty more opportunities to win a final!
Did you have any particular expectations or goals going into this particular event?
I was just hoping that I would get a solid result to start off the year. I was hoping to try and get atlas to the quarters. I just wanted to see how far I could get.
What was the surf like for this event?
At the start of the event the waves were super fun and clean, but going in to the semis the waves got really small, it was still pretty fun though.
How did you find the final?
The final had pretty difficult conditions, with really small and onshore waves to contend with. There were still a couple of waves around and I didn’t mange to get some scores. I got two good waves, one with one turn and the other with two.
What surfboard were your riding?
Recently I’ve been using all my new Fourth Surfboards, shaped by Luke Hart but for this contest and the conditions I surfed my 5’8 DHD, it’s a magic board!
Last year you won pretty much every event you entered in the UK, so how does it feel competing in Europe in the Pro Junior events?
In the Pro Juniors every heat is like a final, especially compared to competing in the UK. In the Pro Juniors every one is REALLY good! You have to be really consistent to get through your heats and every heat can feel pretty tricky at times.
Looking forward to the rest of the year, are you going to be doing all of the Pro Junior events?
Yeah I plan on doing all the Pro Juniors this year, which is really exciting.
Getting second place in the first event of year is amazing! Does this change you goals for the year and do you even have any particular plans or goals for the contests?
I’m just going to try my hardest in all of the contests and see how it goes! I would hopefully like to get into the top two, but if I don’t, that’s ok! I’ve still got three more years on the Pro Junior tour!
How did you prepare for this event, with it being the first proper event of the year and what have you been doing all winter?
I spent all winter surfing in Indonesia with my family.Training and surfing loads ready for the competitions.
For all the girls – especially those in the UK! What advice would you give any keen surfers wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Surf as much as you can and make sure you keep consistent.
How did you get into surfing?
From a young age my Mom & Dad always took me on surfing holidays. It’s always been a family thing, surfing with my Dad, brother and sister.
Here’s what went down at the Pro Junior
Contest report from World Surf League (WSL) Europe
Praia Do Paraiso, Costa da Caparica – Portugal (Wednesday, April 12, 2017) — Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), 17, claimed today her third consecutive title in the Junior division of the Caparica Primavera Surf Fest. Day 3 of action launched in small wind-affected surf and ran through two rounds of the Men’s Junior event as well as the final three heats of the women’s event. Portuguese surfing ambassador Bonvalot continued to dominate in Caparica and managed to overcome extremely difficult conditions to claim yet another victory on home soil.
For the first time since the event’s inception, the Caparica Primavera Surf Fest now includes a Qualifying Series 1,000 event for both the men and women, giving Bonvalot another opportunity to shine at home in Portugal. Having already won almost everything there is on the Junior scene, only the ultimate World Junior crown has eluded the young surfer from Cascais so far. As she prepares to gradually concentrate her efforts on qualifying for the Women’s Championship Tour, she will continue to chase the coveted WSL junior title for one more season.
Coming up in second position today was Ellie Turner (GBR), 15, an unknown surfer from Cornwall’s Bude. Turner had a great campaign in Caparica but couldn’t unfortunately quite match Bonvalot’s rhythm in the big final.
“I hope to continue to win this event as many times as I’m able to compete here, we have to adapt to any sorts of conditions that are thrown at us and I tried really hard to do the best surfing I could in these waves, so I’m very happy. Every event I compete in, I’m there to win,” she continued. “So for sure I’ll try to take out the QS too. I have achieved my goal to win the European Junior title last year so I’m going to focus on the QS more this season and this would be a great start.”
“I’m really happy, I’ve got three more years on the Junior series so hopefully I’ll have plenty more opportunities to win a final,” Turner said. “I tried to get the waves that had a bit of wall, it was pretty tricky but occasionally there was a fun one. Waves can be really good at home, but they’re also usually pretty small and the water is very cold,” she continued. “I travel quite a lot, like in Indo in the winter and between France and Spain every summer and it’s great! I’d love to make the Top2 on the rankings at the end of the year, but it’s only early days so we’ll see how I go.”
CAPARICA JUNIOR PRO WOMEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 13.34
2 – Ellie Turner (GBR) 9.96
3 – Francisca Veselko (PRT) 6.26
4 – Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 6.10