Competition Underway at ISA World Junior Championships in Ecuador
The VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC) kicked off with the first day of competition on Sunday at the left point break and beach break waves at “La Loberia” (La FAE), in Ecuador.
The world’s best junior surfers from 32 Nations put on a display of high performance surfing despite the tricky conditions. Though the morning high-tide was not ideal for the point break, a fun and contestable beach break formed on the inside. As forecasted by Surfline, the waves were in the 3-4ft range with occasional larger sets. The day progressed and the tide dropped, and conditions improved as the waves began to break along the rocky point allowing for long rides through multiple sections. This provided a spectacular stage for the world’s best junior surfers.
A large Sunday crowd of Ecuadoreans fans, team officials and supporters, witnessed the fierce competition from the beach as they cheered on their favorite surfers and teams.
“It’s incredible to have all 32 National Teams on the beach at the same time during the first day of this World Championship. 400 athletes and coaches were waiving their national colors, cheering their athletes,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “You could feel the excitement in the air as the surfers don’t want to start the competition by going to the repechage round. The first day is always an important day and now we are rolling.”
The ISA President continued, “I would like to thank the people of Salinas for allowing us to use this beautiful beach in their National Park, and for the thousands that came to the event today to cheer the Ecuador National Surf Team and all of the competitors from around the world.”
The ISA WJSC has nearly 300 competitors and the event takes place on two separate surf sites, side-by-side. The first day of the VISSLA ISA WJSC featured Qualifying Round 1 of the Boys Under-18 in the Main Podium and the Boys Under-16 in the Second Podium, for a full day of action-packed surfing.
Today’s highest score in the Boys U-18 Division was posted by France’s Diego Mignot, who earned two waves of 8.67 and 7.33 points for a total heat score of 16.00. Mignot defeated Tahiti’s William Peckett (10.00), Barbado’s Che Slate (8.23), and New Zealand’s Jordan Griffin (6.13).
Puerto Rico’s Marley Puglielli did not have the same fortune as Mignot, but has high hopes for his team and he will have the opportunity to redeem himself in the repechage rounds. “I’m stoked to be here in this beautiful country. Our team from Puerto Rico is a small team this year, but we have three of our best junior boys and two girls and we are here together as a family having fun and making the best of it,” said Puglielli.
In the Boys U-16 Division, Brazil’s Douglas Jose earned a total heat score of 13.93 (8.00 and 5.93), defeating Barbados’ Che Allan (10.50), Japan’s Yuji Nishi (7.40), and Juan Jacinto Vargas (5.90) from Uruguay.
Another standout of the day in the same division was 2013 ISA Scholarship Recipient, South African, Nthando Msibi. Advancing in second place, an inspired Msibi moved to the next round in his quest for a medal. “This is my first time overseas and first time I have competed in a big event and it’s nice, it’s great. I want to surf to get into Kelly Slater’s position, go on tour, and meet new people. It’s just you having fun out there, that’s what I love about surfing.”
The 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is a double elimination competition, with the first two surfers always advancing to the next Qualifying Round. Surfers in third and fourth place move into the Repechage Round, giving them a second chance to advance. However, another third or fourth place finish, and they will be out of the competition.
The 2014 VISSLA ISA World Surfing Games resumes Monday at 7:40am with The Morning Show hosted by Beau Hodges and Mateo Rojas.
Following that, the competition will feature:
12 heats of under-16 Boy’s Qualifying Round 2 (Main Podium)
12 heats of under-18 Boy’s Qualifying Round 2 (Main Podium)
12 heats of under-16 Girl’s Qualifying Round 1 (Second Podium)
12 heats of under-18 Girl’s Qualifying Round 1 (Second Podium)
The live webcast of the entire 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is available on www.isawjsc.com