Team Hawaii Wins The ISA Aloha Cup At The VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship
The 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship comes to a close tomorrow when all the individual and team Gold Medals will be decided. A solid south swell began to fill in Saturday afternoon and is expected to be even larger for the Finals on Sunday at La Loberia (La FAE). The surf is predicted in the 6-8ft range with occasional 10ft sets. The new swell will greet the world’s best juniors in time for the Repechage and Grand Finals.
Team Hawaii won the exciting ISA Aloha Cup. This tag-team relay competition is always a great surfing show. Hawaii ended with an impressive 74.54 combined score, defeating 2013 ISA Aloha Cup Champions Japan (2nd, 61.29), Australia (3rd, 40.13), and USA (4th, 39.34). Team Hawaii’s last competitor in the water, Tatiana Weston-Webb, had the highest three-wave total, higher than all other competitors in the final, including all the sixteen boy, quite an impressive history making performance.
Today was a crucial day for the overall team standings. Hawaii has taken over the rankings and is now sitting in first place with 5 of their 12 surfers remaining in the competition; the most out of all the teams still in contention for Gold. Chasing the Hawaiians are the defending champions, Australia, USA, and France.
“I am so happy to finally be here in Salinas. I spent the first half of the week in Turkey at SportAccord, the largest sport world conference,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “It was a great meeting, continuing with our campaign for inclusion of surfing in the Olympics. Of course, I wanted to also be here in Salinas with the 300 juniors from around the world. It seems I arrived and the waves got better just in time for the final days. Sunday is going to be a spectacular day and I want to wish the best of luck to all of the finalists.”
Day Seven of the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship saw heats from Qualifying Rounds 4 and 5, Repechage Rounds 6, 7, 8 and 9, as well as the ISA Aloha Cup Final.
Elivelton Santos from Brazil was the stand out of the Boys U-18 Qualifying posting an impressive 15.93. Santos had a slow start in his heat, but towards the end he scored an excellent ride of 8.50, followed by a 7.43 to seal his win. The 17 year-old Brazilian defeated Hawaiians, Imai Devault (12.44) and Seth Moniz (11.00).
In the Boys U-18 Repechage, Japan’s Takumi Nakamura put on a show with his powerful surfing today advancing to the Repechage Final. Nakamura, 2012 ISA WJSC Silver Medalist, scored a 15.17 to defeat Nelson Cloarec (10.50) from France and Kanoa Igarashi (6.00) from USA.
In the Boys U-16 Qualifying, France’s National Junior runner-up and Junior SUP Champion, Leo-Paul Etienne, earned a 14.60, the highest score of the division, defeating Australia’s Joe Van Dijk (10.33) and USA’s Nolan Rapoza (10.27). Etienne sealed his victory from with his first two waves in heat, 7.33 and 6.77.
In the Boys U-16 Repechage, Hawaii’s Noa Mizuno had the highest score with 12.84, followed closely by Nolan Rapoza (12.83) from the USA. Both competitors sent home New Zeland’s Kehu Butler (11.27) and Australia’s Zac Wightman (9.54). Mizuno and Rapoza will face each other again tomorrow in the Repechage Final.
In the Girls U-18 Qualifying, Guadeloupe’s Open Female Champion, Kim Veteau from France, posted 14.00, to defeat 2013 ISA WJSC U-18 Gold Medalist Tatiana Weston-Webb (9.87) from Hawaii and Australia’s Isabella Nichols (8.74).
The standout surfer in the Girls U-18 Repechage was Hawaii’s Bailey Nagy, posting a 11.70 to defeat Australia’s Junior Titles winner, Isabella Nichols (10.83), Australia’s U-16 Champion Holly Wawn (9.20), and Argentina’s National Junior Champion, Lucia Indurain (7.43).
Hawaii’s Mahina Maeda, 2013 ISA WJSC U-16 Gold Medalist, led the charge in the Girls U-16 Qualifying, earning a 13.26 and defeating Australia’s Laura Poncini (11.84) and her teammate, 2012 ISA WJSC Gold Medalist, Dax McGill (10.47).
urf out there because most of my prior heats were on the shore break and it was usually high tide so I got to surf poor conditions. Today I was really happy to surf the outside on the point where it’s a left and that’s my favorite thing to do. Rocky’s (Rocky Point on Hawaii’s North Shore) is my favorite place in the world, and that wave reminds me of Rocky’s, way, the with a left that runs and has amazing sections to hit.
Another stand out in the Girls U-16 and U-18 Qualifying was Costa Rica’s Leilani McGonagle, who is competing in both divisions. McGonagle, the Central American Junior Champion and 3-time National Champion in her country, had two back-to-back heats, and in both, managed to advance to the next round in first place with good scores. She is now just one step away from the Medals.
“That heat was really difficult because the waves were complicated as they are coming up, and it was a bit choppy, but luckily I was able to get a couple of good set waves in both heats and get some high scores. It was really hard, but hearing my teammates on the beach giving their all for me made me want to give my all for them.”
Following that, the competition will feature:
1 Heats Qualify 5 Boys U-18
1 Heats Qualify 5 Boys U-16
1 Heats Qualify 4 Girls U-16
1 Heats Qualify 4 Girls U-18
1 Heats Repechage 8 Boys U-18
1 Heats Repechage 8 Boys U-16
1 Heats Repechage 6 Girls U-16
1 Heats Repechage 6 Girls U-18
Final Girls U-16
Final Boys U16
Final Girls U18
Final Boys U-18
The live webcast of the entire 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is available on www.isawjsc.com
Here is the scheduled for Day 7:
Saturday, 7:40am Salinas, Ecuador
Saturday, 5:40am West Coast USA
Saturday, 2:40pm Western Europe
Saturday, 10:40pm Sydney, Australia