It's looked likely since halfway through the year, but with the 2016 season now officially concluded, we have the immense pleasure to finally congratulate Leonardo Fioravanti on graduating to the big leagues.
We couldn't be happier for the young Italian, scratch that, first Italian surfer to achieve such a level of success. With Frenchman Jérémy Florès and Joan Duru and Portuguese surfer Frederico Morais alongside him next year, the "Euro Force" will be stronger than ever next year, which bodes well for Fioravanti.
Throw French Polynesian friend and now Pipe Master Michel Bourez (congratulations sir!) in the mix and things are looking good for the rookie's 2017 support squad.
Fioravanti is one of a very select few individuals in surfing to hold a positive win record over Kelly Slater, beating his mentor and childhood hero twice this year as a wildcard. Somehow we think this is just the start of much, much more to come.
Well done Leo, and a huge congrats to fellow Red Bull teammate Kanoa Igarashi on his incredible runner-up performance at the Pipe Masters. The 2017 season is shaping up to be incredible and these two young guns are going to be at the forefront, kicking ass and taking names.