Young Tofino surfer Freddy Sanford hoists the Open Men’s trophy at the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Tofino. Sanford will compete in the Pro Men’s division this weekend May 12-14. (Nora O’Malley, Westerly News)

Rip Curl Pro Tofino coming up

“We’ve got juniors coming from the Dominican, Barbados, Costa Rica, Panama, and California all to compete for this under-18 title in the boys.”

Registration for Canada’s largest surf event is well-peppered with international talent this year, according to contest director and president of the Canadian Surfing Association Dom Domic.

He said the under-18 boys division is especially stacked with young entrants journeying North from tropical waters.

“We’ve got juniors coming from the Dominican, Barbados, Costa Rica, Panama, and California all to compete for this under-18 title in the boys,” he said.

“It’s the National Championships and this is the way you get selected onto the National Team. They all have Canadian passports. They are Nationals living outside of Canada.”

Domic told the Westerly News he even received an email from a Canadian family living in Hawaii who want to compete.

“As small as the talent pool is in Tofino and Ucluelet, there are Canadians all around the world that will further deepen the talent pool that we can select from. It’s fantastic news for Canada,” Domic said.

Surfing was recently voted into the sporting lineup for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Domic explained that, under the Olympic charter, there is no provision that states an athlete must train in the country they represent at the Olympics.

“Obviously it’s a nice, homegrown story that someone from home would be the champion and qualify,” he said. “But, in terms of what the Canadian Olympic Committee sees and what the IOC sees, it’s a matter of passport.”

He added that there were no foreign Nationals entered in the under-16 girls category.

Domic confirmed that Pete Devries, past Rip Curl Pro Tofino champion and the current men’s National title holder, is injured.

“He is registered to compete at the Rip Curl Pro just in case he feels good enough to do it. It’s not a career ending injury. We are hopeful it will make him stronger. He’s on a program and he’s got a personal trainer,” he said.