After the last heat of Day 6, with every punt thrown, every tube ducked into, and every roundhouse carved, just one member of team SA is left to fight it out at the DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Champs in Nicaragua.
The fight goes on for Cape Town’s Jordy Maree, who’s still in the competition despite having his first slip-up of the tournament and dropping into the repercharge rounds. The ripping goofyfoot will contest repercharge Round 8 of the Under 16 Boys division when competition resumes on Day 7.
Going into Day 6 the SA Junior team still had four surfers in the event, but it was a tough day for Diran Zakarian, Benji Brand and Matt Mcgillivray, who all fell in their respective repercharge encounters and out of the competition.
They put up a brave fight, though, with Diran winning his Repercharge Round 6 heat before dropping out in Round 7. Matt Mcgillivray and Benji Brand surfed hard, but lost out in Under 16 Boys Repercharge Round 6 and Under 18 Boys Repercharge Round 7 respectively.
The loss of eleven of the 12-strong team by Day 6 puts South Africa in 6th place on the provisional standings, just ahead of Brazil and one spot behind Team Japan – the surprise package of the tournament.
There’s still two more days to go in the marathon 8-day tournament, and you can log on to www.isawjsc.com to watch SA’s lone surfer battle it out for gold on the live webcast, which should kick off at around 2:40pm this afternoon.
Here are the highlights from Day 6
Check out the official press release below.
CRITICAL DAY OF COMPETITION IN NICARAGUA AS THE FINAL DAY APPROACHES
Hawaii and Australia Lead the Pack while Germany, Costa Rica, and Italy Deliver Great Performances
Today was a critical day of competition at the 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Presented by Billabong. After a day filled with Qualifying and Repechage heats, every heat is more important than ever. If one country loses one athlete, it can mean the end to their Gold Medal dreams.
The famous Nicaraguan offshore wind continued to blow all day, although the surf was a bit smaller in the 3-4ft range.
Big surprises came from Team Germany, Italy and Costa Rica as their athletes have advanced into the last stages of competition.
The ISA’s mission of developing surfing globally is flourishing as athletes from non-traditional surfing nations are earning their spots in the final days of competition.
“Intense action is taking place in these final days of competition,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “The World Championship is reaching its most competitive stages, and the top surfers are shining big time. Saturday and Sunday are the final days, which include the Aloha Cup (team format competition) and the Grand Finals. I don’t want this championship to end, but it will end on Sunday, so log in and be part of this greatest junior surfing competition.
Aguerre continued, “We are enjoying our time in Nicaragua, a surfer’s a dreamland. If you dream of a surfing paradise, it is Nicaragua.”
The day began with Qualifying Heats in all four categories of the event, and finished with more elimination rounds in the Repechage.
Germany’s Leon Glatzer and Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti were the best surfers in the Boys Divisions. They competed in the Boys Under-16 and are now in the Qualifying Final, one step away from a Medal. In one of the day’s most exciting and highest scoring heats, Glatzer placed first earning 16.06 and Fioravanti in second, earning a 15.20 and sending to Repechage Imaikalani DeVault (HAW, 12.80) and Chris Zaffis (AUS, 12.70).
Glatzer and Fioravanti had a slow start, but in the last two minutes of the heat they had an explosive exchange of high scoring waves that changed the situation, and both Europeans managed to advance to the next round. This could be the best individual result at an ISA World Championship in ISA history for both nations.
“The waves and the competitors are really good, all of them surf incredible,” said the young German. “I got lucky when I got those last two waves. The first one came on a left, and was a closeout that I managed to pull an air. Then I saw Leonardo (the Italian), who took a wave like mine and pulled a huge air reverse, causing me to go back to third or fourth place. Then, I got the last wave that gave me the score to make it through. I’m really happy that Leo and I advanced; we are the last Europeans in the contest (Under-16). I want to thank my mom, my coach and all my sponsors.”
Also in the Boys Under-16 Qualifying Final are Brazil’s Rafael Venuto and Australia’s Jacob Wilcox. The top two placing surfers will advance to the Grand Final and the other two will drop to Repechage for one last chance at a medal.
In the Girls divisions, Tatiana Weston-Webb, from Hawaii, kept charging with full force towards the Grand Finals of the Under-18 category. With one of the highest scores of the day, 15.50, she defeated Larissa Santos (BRA, 8.73) and Josephine Costes (FRA, 7.87), who will now have to find their way to the Final through the Repechage.
Weston-Webb dominated the heat right from the start after posting 8.00 points on her first wave. That score kept her in the lead and sealed her victory with a 7.50 towards the end of the Heat.
“I just got lucky at the beginning with that first wave, a good left on my front side,” said Weston-Webb. “I’ve been surfing lefts all week, so I’m used to it. I just laid back and tried to relax, and got that wave. For the rest of the heat, not many waves came and towards the end I got that turn and I really didn’t believe it was a 7!”
Joining Weston-Web and Santos in the Girls Under-18 Qualifying Final are Barbados’ Chelsea Tuach and Australia’s Kristen Ogden. The top two placing surfers will advance to the Grand Final and the other two will drop to Repechage for one last chance at a medal.
The Boys Under-18 Qualifying Final will feature Luke Hynd (AUS), Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI), Andy Criere (FRA), and Soli Bailey (AUS).
The Girls Under-16 Qualifying Final will feature Frankie Harrer (USA), Karelle Poppke (TAH), Mahina Maeda (HAW), and the defending champion Dax McGill (HAW).
In the Boys Repechage Rounds the best surfer was Japan’s Reo Inaba, who posted a heat total of 14.53 and in the Girls Repechage, Leilani McGonagle posted 16.17 points in the Under-16 keeping their hopes alive of reaching the Grand Final.
In the overall team standings, Hawaii and Australia have pulled away leading in first and second place respectively. Fighting for the next top spots are USA (3rd), France (4th), Japan (5th), South Africa (6th), Brazil (7th), and Peru (8th).
For a full list of today’s results, click here – http://isawjsc.com/results/
The 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship resumes Saturday at 7:40am with The Morning Show hosted by Chris Ernst, and with guests from Team USA Nikki Veisins and Cam Richards, Barbado’s Chelsea Tuach, and Russia’s Nikita Avdeev.
Following that, the competition will feature:
1 Heats Qualify 6 Boys U-18
1 Heats Qualify 6 Boys U-16
1 Heats Qualify 5 Girls U-16
1 Heats Qualify 5 Girls U-18
2 Heats Repechage 8 Boys U-18
2 Heats Repechage 8 Boys U-16
2 Heats Repechage 6 Girls U-16
2 Heats Repechage 6 Girls U-18
1 Heats Repechage 9 Boys U-18
1 Heats Repechage 9 Boys U-16
1 Heats Repechage 7 Girls U-16
1 Heats Repechage 7 Girls U-18
The live webcast of the entire 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is available on www.isawjsc.com
Here is the scheduled for Day 7:
Saturday, 7:40am Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua
Saturday, 5:40am West Coast USA
Saturday, 2:40pm Western Europe
Saturday, 11:40pm Sydney, Australia