Team Australia Takes The Lead During An Action Packed Day, Followed By Hawaii, France and USA
Today was a critical day of competition at the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC). After a day filled with Repechage, every heat is more important. If one country loses one athlete, it can mean the end to their Team Gold Medal dream.
After losing 5 surfers today, France lost the lead and has dropped from first to third place. The new leader in the overall team standings is Australia, followed by Hawaii, France and USA.
Day 6 of the 2014 VISSLA ISA WJSC saw heats from Repechage 5, 6 and 7, as well as the ISA Aloha Cup Semifinals. A day that began with 72 surfers ended with only 36.
The surf conditions were mainly in the 2-4 feet range. Occasionally, there were sets up to chest-shoulder high, especially during the best low tide. Everyone is anticipating a new swell to begin arriving through the day on Saturday.
“As the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship reaches it’s most competitive stages, the top juniors in the world are thriving in Ecuador,” noted ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Saturday and Sunday are the final days of this incredible World Championship where the Aloha Cup, individual divisions and team champions will be crowned.
“With the expected rise in the swell for the final days of competition, the world’s best juniors promise to deliver an exciting finish to this amazing World Championship under the Sumpa Sun in the beautiful country of Ecuador.”
The day kicked off with the Boys U-16 Division where Hawaii’s Noa Mizuno showcased great surfing earning high scores in his three Repechage appearances today. Mizuno, a multiple NSSA Championships winner, earned 13.57, the highest score of the division, defeating France’s Titouan Boyer (10.44), Barbado’s Che Allan (6.27) and USA’s Jake Marshall (1.80).
In the Boys U-18 division, Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti had an incredible day of competition, posting one of the highest total heat scores of the event, 17.03. The 2013 ISA WJSC Silver Medalist defeated Takumi Nakamura (JPN, 11.20) and sent home the 2013 ISA WJSC Copper Medalist, Luke Hynd (AUS, 7.40).
Another standout of the day was Team USA’s Kanoa Igarashi, who dominated, advancing in first place in both of his heats. The American is proud of the Team’s performance and common bond they share.
“I love this place! We’ve been here for over a week, surfing everyday. Our team is awesome, as we are one big unit. Although we lost some of our guys, we still have a bunch left in the U-16 and some girls, and we are stoked to be here,” commented Igarashi.
The Girls U-16 was led by France’s Under-14 Runner-Up Champion, Lisa Girardet, who posted 12.00, defeating Maddie Peterson (8.10) from United States and Tahiti’s Marion PhilKanoa Igarashi (USA). Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzaleslipe (6.17).
In the Girls U-18, Hawaii’s Bailey Nagy, runner-up in the NSSA Nationals, was the best performer of the day, earning 10.44 in her heat against Australia’s Holly Wawn (4.43) and Portugal’s Keshia Eyre (3.17).
The day closed with the exciting ISA Aloha Cup, a tag-team relay competition featuring the top 7 teams from last year’s ISA WJSC, plus the host country, Ecuador. Each team is comprised of 4 boys and 1 girl and each athlete is scored on their first 3 waves. The 8 teams compete in two 4-team semifinals, and the team with the highest team total advances to a final.
In the first semifinal, the 2013 ISA WJSC Aloha Cup Gold Medalist, Japan, picked up where they left off last year, demonstrating precise strategy and great surfing, posting 65.73, to defeat Team Australia (55.42), France (52.51) and the local Ecuador (32.52).
In the second semifinal, Hawaii posted a total of 61.29, defeating Team USA (50.03), South Africa (41.52) and Peru (38.94).
The ISA Aloha Cup Grand Final will feature Teams Australia, Hawaii, Japan and United States on Saturday.
The 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship resumes Friday at 7:40am with The Morning Show hosted by Beau Hodge, and with guests from the Team USA.