BLOG FROM ECUADOR:
After a long day at the contest site watching heats and talking to athletes, I made it over to a movie premier last night for the Peruvian surf flick Out of My Head at Club Blonde. The place was jam packed as competitors, event organizers, and local groms cruised by to catch a glimpse of Latin America’s latest documentary in surf. Highlighting Peru’s top surfers and majestic left point breaks, Out of My Head was a refreshing escape from Latin America’s past reputation for under-produced surf films.
Following the film locals hit up the bar, music began to blare, and the groms were owning the dance floor. As the clock hit midnight more and more locals swarmed the club. The crowd got progressively younger throughout the night. I’ve never seen this many teens out this late in one place, ever. It felt as if I was at a high school dance squished between hormonally crazed teenagers. I threw in the towel and called it quits after the local teens got a little too friendly.
Well rested and ready to charge, I made it back to the contest site for day eight of the ISA pro juniors. The leftovers of this last swell came in around the 2-4 foot range. For the majority of the day, the tide was pretty high, forcing surfers straight into the rocks.
By mid afternoon eight teams came together to battle it out at the Aloha Cup tag team relay. The crowd was going nuts as competitors were duking it out in two 50 minute heats. Advancing to the finals of this tag team event were Brazil, South Africa, Ecuador, and France. It should be an exciting day of competition tomorrow as ISA finals will also be held tomorrow.
Team USA is currently sitting third in the points bracket right behind Australia in second, and Hawaii in first. Nat Young, Kolohe Andino, and Courtney Conlogue will be slugging it out tomorrow for a crack at the gold. -James Pham
OFFICIAL ISA PRESS RELASE:
After a marathon day full of twists and turns, Hawaii is still holding a solid lead in the race for team Gold. Check out all the photo and video highlights and things kick off at 8 a.m. for the exciting final day of the 2009 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships. Be sure to watch when medals are determined at quiksilver.com/isa.
Updated Team Standings
6. South Africa
Salinas, Ecuador) April 4, 2009 – The weekend sun and red hot surfing brought out huge crowds and created an electric atmosphere on day seven of the 2009 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship at la FAE in Salinas, Ecuador. In what has been a marathon of a competition, spanning over eight days are is now in the final stretch. The contest began with a record number of 264 competitors and has now been narrowed to only 18 of the world’s best junior surfers.
The Mayor of Salinas, Ana Trivino, attended today’s competition to present special gifts to all of the visiting teams. “We are really honored to host this special event and to be able to share Ecuador with the world. When we started last week, I said, ‘I hope that everyone enjoys their time here so much that they will not want to leave.’ So I am pleased to hear from the ISA President himself, Fernando Aguerre, that even though he has not left yet, he already wants to come again. Thank everyone you for being with us this week.”
For competitors, it was a very intense and emotional day. Despite tricky wave conditions, La FAE was still quite contestable and surfers were averaging scores in the eight point range. In some really close heats, competitors with combined scores of 16 out of 20 and above were not able to place above third and fourth to advance on.
In addition to the three main event rounds, several elimination repercharge rounds were held today, culminating with the repercharge semi-finals this afternoon. Contest organizers also ran the semi-final heats of the Aloha Cup, an ISA specialty tag-team event. Teams from Australia, Ecuador, France, USA, Hawaii, Brazil, South Africa and New Zealand competed in 60 minute heats. Each team had to score two waves a piece within the heat window.
Home team Ecuador won their first semi final, leading to an ecstatic celebration on the beach. They will be joined by France, Brazil and South Africa in tomorrow’s final heat of the Aloha Cup.
In Boys Under 18 main rounds, French surfer Maxime Huscenot continued with another first place finish so far he has had a total of four first place finishes in this year’s competition. Australian Jordy Watson came in second to also advance. Frenchmen PV Laborde and New Zealander Alex Dive finished third and fourth. In heat two, Miguel Pupo of Brazil and Hawaiian Dylan Goodale advanced over South Africans Shaun Joubert and Nick Godfrey. Godfrey went straight to the repercharges and was unable to advance. Joubert made it through his first repercharge heat but lost this afternoon to USA surfer Nat Young and Australian Dean Bowen. Bowen and Young will lead tomorrow’s final repercharge match.
In the Girls Under 18 main rounds, Australians Laura Enever and Tyler Wright barely edged past Hawaiian Malia Manuel in one of the closest heats of the day. Wright had first pretty much all but sealed up the win, leaving Enever and Manuel to duke it out for the number two spot. Coming down to the closing minutes, Enever caught two back-to-back waves giving her just enough to overtake Manuel before the buzzer sounded off.
USA surfer Courtney Conlogue and Canelle Bulard of France both advanced through their repercharge heats and will compete in tomorrow’s final Under 18 Girls repercharge finals. South African David Brand and Hawaiian Keanu Asing also advanced to the final Under 16 repercharges finals.
Tomorrow competitors will be back at la FAE for the crowning of the 2009 ISA World Junior Surfing Champions and the medal ceremony. In the team standings, Hawaii is in the lead followed by Australia, USA, Brazil, France and South Africa.
For more information on the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, LIVE web, free photos and on-demand video highlights, visit quiksilver.com/isa.
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