Team SA were among the heat winners and losers today at Playa Jiquiliste in Nicaragua, as Day 1 of the DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championships kicked off. Featuring over 300 competitors from 30 different surfing nations, the champs take place over 7 days.
The South African Juniors will be looking to repeat the performance by the SA Open team last month in Panama, where they scooped Team Gold after a final day that saw team captain Shaun Joubert claim the ISA World Games gold medal.
It was the Under 18 and Under 16 boys who started proceedings, with Benji Brand and Dylan Lightfoot both securing solid Qualifying Round 1 heat wins. Josh Smit managed to score two solid rides to see him through his heat in second place, as did Melkbos aerial machine Diran Zakarian. They’re all still in the main round of competition.
The team did see one surfer drop into the losers round on Day 1, after J-Bay’s Matt Mcgillivray placed third in his Round 1 encounter. It was a low-scoring heat, with none of the four competitors able to register double figures in their combined heat totals, in what were tricky and sometimes inconsistent conditions. SA’s other three Under 16 Boys division surfers managed to secure themselves a spot in qualifying Round 2. Shane Sykes and Steff Burrows claimed second in their heats, while Jordy Maree smashed his way to a heat win in the opening round.
The Under 18 and Under 16 Girls are yet to get their campaigns underway, so stay tuned as Nicole Pallet, Anoush Zakarian, Gina Smith and Chanelle Botha look to keep the SA Team marching towards the medals.
For more news, photos and results from the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships, check out: http://isawjsc.com
Official press release below.
EXCELLENT CONDITIONS FOR DAY 1 OF THE DAKINE ISA WORLD JUNIOR SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP IN NICARAGUA
The World’s Best Under-18 Surfers from 30 countries Put on Amazing Display in the Solid Waves of Playa Jiquiliste.
The DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC) Presented by Billabong kicked off Sunday with incredible surf in beautiful Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua. The competitors were greeted with great conditions and the famous Nicaraguan offshore winds, which provided a spectacular stage for the world’s best junior surfers.
A large Sunday crowd of Nicaraguans fans, team officials and supporters, witnessed the fierce competition from the beachfront grandstands built in Jiquiliste Beach for the ISA World Junior Championship.
“We had an amazing Day 1,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “We woke up this morning with a little drizzle but then it dried out and we had amazing waves and incredible offshore winds. It’s just perfect. On the first day, everybody is on the beach, you can feel the tension in the air, and the competitors were really focused. We see a lot of nervous faces, but this is the most important day and we are rolling.”
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 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 competition was led by Japan’s Hiroto Arai, who posted the highest wave point combination of the day, scoring 15.84, defeating Mauricio Diaz (PUR, 10.30), Miguel Blanco (POR, 9.64) and Aurelio Prieto (ECU, 8.83).
The 2013 DAKINE 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.
Other top performers of this day in the Boys Under-18 were Benji Brand from South Africa, who scored 15.17 against Kevin Schultz (USA, 9.47), Arne Bergwinkl (GER, 9.16) and Jorge Rivas (SAL, 5.50).
In the Boys Under-16 Division, the contest had a marathon day of surfing, with 32 Heats in Qualifying Round 1. The younger competitors also posted impressive performances with great scores.
France’s Nomme Mignot posted the highest heat total score, with 15.75 points, defeating Jorge Rivas (SAL, 8.90) and sending to the Repechage Rounds Malakai Martinez (CRI, 6.85). Mignot also had the highest single wave score of the day in this heat, earning a 9.25.
USA’s Griffin Colapinto was another standout earning the second highest total heat score with 14.75, defeating Argentina’s Sebastian Ventura (5.95) and sending to the Repechage Juan Gonzales (PUR, 4.85)
For a full list of today’s results, click here- http://isawjsc.com/results/
The 2013 DAKINE ISA World Surfing Games resumes Monday at 7:40am with The Morning Show hosted by Chris Ernst and Mateo Rojas.
Following that, the competition will feature:
16 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 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is available on www.isawjsc.com