The weather was hot and the waves are not.
Year after year the NSSA Nationals are known for scoring consistent surf, today’s (Thursday’s) action wiped that myth away.
Instead of picking back up, the waves for the third day of the 2001 NSSA Nationals at Lowers dropped. Add in some very low tide and you have the ingredients for another surf contest nightmare. Put six rats in a box and they begin to maul each other. Put six really good surfer on a small, very tight peak and you get the same results¿it isn’t fun.
Take the first heat of the Explorer Junior semifinals for instance. The competition resembled a future title race with Joel Centeio, Dane Johnson, Cheyne Magnusson, Evan Valiere, Greg Long, and Flynn Novak all battling for a final birth. Once the horn rang and the guys paddled into position, not one wave was ridden until there were five and a half minutes left. And once it got rolling only three guys found their wave count and Centeio, Long, and Magnusson ended up squeaking through.
The next semi was also deep in talent and included Dustin Cuizon, Ian Walsh, Justin Wiegand, Nathaniel Carroll, Jonathan Flick, and Justin Ellingham. The heat wasn’t as starved for waves and the consistent surfing of Cuizon, Walsh, and Wiegand made it through.
Cuizon, as usual, has been ripping heat after heat and avoiding any problems with wave count and interference’s. For him, competing against two fellow Hawaiians is hard, but he deals with it, “It’s pretty much a battle. I try to catch whatever waves come in¿it’s hard. I’m just cruising. I try to separate myself from the peak and let the other guys battle it out.”
Other Explorer finals set for Saturday include the men’s division with Bart Templeman, Tarik Khashoggi, Jeff Hurley, Robbie Schofield, Greg Nakamura, and Billy Choi; the Explorer Boys with Ola Eleogram, Hank Gaskell, Dylan Graves, Jeremy Johnston, T.J. Barron, and Sterling Spencer; the Explorer Women with Holly Beck, Sena Seramur, Anastasia Ashley, Kim Meyer, Dr. Amber Puha, and Nicole Grodesky.
After weeding out all the Explorer finalists, the Open Nationals and the Governor’s Cup began about 2:00 today. Since there was supposed to be some Southwest filling in last night and we received a big ball of nothing, let’s hope for the best tomorrow.AC