Japan made a clean sweep on Day 1 of the Gran Canaria Pro Am Kaede Inoue and Kapono Fakuda claim the junior World Titles whilst the longboard division sees both SUP veterans and fresh faces advance into the quarter-finals.
When 16-year-old Kapono Fukuda scored a 9.07 in round one of the junior competition the fate of the competition was sealed. After dominating every heat onwards, the young Japanese surfer was crowned junior world champion on his debut on the APP World Tour and the international SUP scene.
The Japanese storm was in full force by the time the women’s junior final came as siblings Kaede and Sakura Inoue from Miyazaki came head-to-head. It was the eldest sister, 17-year-old Kaede, who emerged victorious in what could only be described as a dominating performance from start to finish. Both Kaede and Fakuda will compete in the professional division later this week and are expected to give the rest of the athletes a run for their money.
In the first two rounds of the longboard division, the standouts were SUP legends Zane Schweitzer and Leco Salazar and the third Inoue sibling, Taka Inoue, who beat Leo Gimenes to a spot in the quarter-finals when he scored a 8.47 in the final seconds of his heat.