The content below has been modified and originally published by the WSL on August 17th, 2017
ECSC has always been home to the amateur surf crowd, though since 2011 the World Surfing League has run the Vans Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 and Pro Junior here on our beaches in Virginia Beach, Virginia during the East Coast Surfing Championships. 2017 marks the seventh annual Vans Pro and Pro Junior — contests that have had every type of condition, from nerve-rackingly flat to victory-at-sea hurricane swell — since its inception.
Surfer Spotlight – Men’s Qualifying Series
Apart from 2012’s Brazilian winner, Jean Da Silva, the North American contingent has traditionally dominated at ECSC. The 2016 event win from Evan Geiselman brought the title back to the East Coast, after it had split coasts since 2013. It’s also provided surfers such as Kanoa Igarashi and Kolohe Andino the extra surge they needed to qualify for their rookie season on the Championship Tour (CT). Plus local Virginia Beach hometown hero Michael Dunphy brought home the first Vans Pro win to his native Virginia Beach in 2014 and nearly did so again last year with a runner-up finish to Geiselman.
VANS PRO MEN’S QS PAST CHAMPIONS:
2016:Evan Geiselman (USA)
2015:Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
2014: Michael Dunphy (USA)
2013:Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
2012: Jean Da Silva (BRA)
2011:Kolohe Andino (USA)
Surfer Spotlight – Men’s Pro Junior
The Vans Pro Junior, however, has been a different story. After Californian Nat Young‘s win at the first-ever Pro Junior title in Virginia Beach, the victories all went to Hawaii. Keanu Asing‘s first Pro Junior win began the Hawaiian dominance that followed for three years until Nolan Rapoza earned a massive win that steered him toward his North America Pro Junior Champion title. This event has also provided glimpses of what to expect from rising talent as many of the next-generation surfers are fighting for QS points that could send them to the European leg directly after. A brilliant performance from Samuel Pupo earned him two Finals appearances in both the QS and Pro Junior and catapulted him to the top of our watch list.
VANS PRO MEN’S PRO JUNIOR PAST CHAMPIONS:
2016: Nolan Rapoza (USA)
2015: Seth Moniz (HAW)
2014: Kaito Kino (HAW)
2013: Joshua Moniz (HAW)
2012: Keanu Asing (HAW)
2011: Nat Young (USA)