The Rip Curl Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe 3-Star Pro Junior event, will launch the 2008 ASP European Pro Junior Tour next week in Peniche, Portugal, from April 24 to 27.

The Rip Curl Pro will feature Europe's top under-21 surfers at the world class surfing area of Peniche in a 96-Men format over four days of competition. The event will have several wave options including the world famous beach break of Supertubos and the consistent lefthand pointbreak of Baleal.

The Rip Curl Pro will showcase for the first time in ASP European Pro Junior history MAN-ON-MAN heats from the quarterfinals, making the season opener one of the most exciting surfing events in Europe.

Charles Martin (GLP), 18, 2007 ASP World Junior No.3, will attend the Rip Curl Pro as favorite among top surfers Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA), Nicolas Von Rupp (DEU), Marc Lacomare (FRA) and Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK).

"I am looking forward to the season opener," Martin said. "Peniche has a great potential for waves and I want to perform well there. I will miss the second event of the year because of school exams so this one is crucial."

Martin, who ended No. 4 on the 2007 ASP European Pro Junior ratings after being a title contender until the last event of the year, trained during the winter in Hawaii and is back for a possible regional crown.

"I would love to become ASP European Pro Junior champion this year," Martin said. "I feel like I have improved and that the training I have done helped me a lot. But there are more and more excellent surfers in Europe and it will be another tight year."

Romain Cloitre (REU), reigning ASP European Pro Junior Champion, will not attend the Rip Curl Pro and should not be defending his regional crown in 2008. Cloitre, 19, currently considered as one of the best under-21 surfers in the world, will get his chance on the World Qualifying Series this year.

Also attending the Rip Curl Pro will be Portuguese top surfers Frederico Morais (PRT), Cesar Rosa (PRT) and rising local Fransisco Alves (PRT).