San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – March 24, 2010 – Spring is here and the warm weather was welcome for the PacSun Surfing America Prime presented by Got Milk? at Oceanside Harbor’s South Jetty. The best under 18-year-old surfers in the West did battle in the 5th event of the season—competing for valuable ratings points as they seek to qualify for a coveted slot in the Surfing America USA Championships at Lower Trestles and a chance at a slot on the 2011 PacSun USA Surf Team. The entire event was webcast live courtesy of Verizon, utilizing a Verizon 3G cellular modem to upload streaming video, live scores, and audio to thousands of viewers around the country.
Maintaining a streak of great surf at Prime events, South Jetty offered up a 3–5 foot SSW swell with short, wedgy rights and long, running lefts. In the Girls U16 division the level of performance rises with each event. Preteens, Frankie Harrer and Meah Collins are charging hard—consistently putting their boards on rail and blowing tail. In the final it was Kulia Doherty, Lulu Erkeneff, Frankie, and Meah. Lulu and Frankie surfed strong into the final, but were a bit out of rhythm as Meah and Kulia took control trading the lead back and forth with each scored ride. When time ran out, it was Kulia on top followed by Meah Collins, Lulu Erkeneff, and Frankie Harrer.
The Prime talent ran deep in the Boys U14 final with man-child Jacob Davis, NSSA phenom Kanoa Igarashi, Encinitas prodigy Jake Marshall, and La Jolla’s Skip McCullogh. Kanoa opened the final with a couple of big backhand bashes on a left runner that reformed into a right on the inside where he hit the close-out with a fins out slash. Everyone else in the heat answered back with mid-range scores, but Igarashi sealed the deal with a 7-plus second score, giving him an insurmountable heat total of 14.33 and the win. Jake Marshall took second followed by Jacob Davis and Skip McCullough.
The Boys in the U16 final unleashed a full aerial assault as Kolohe Andino, Jake Halstead, Trevor Thornton, and Andrew Jacobson battled it out. Kolohe was definitely the one to beat, however. He won every heat he surfed in two divisions and wasn’t about to stop his run in the finals. His first wave was a series of lightning fast cracks off the top followed by a huge air reverse. His two wave score was 16.90— the highest score of all the finals. Fellow PacSun USA Surf Team members Jake Halstead and Trevor Thornton followed in the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively, with Andrew Jacobson taking 4th.
The Girls U18 was a tight race between Lani Doherty and Taylor Pitz. Taylor prevailed by a margin of .57 with Lani taking 2nd and Kaleigh Gilchrist and Chandler Parr rounding out the final.
The Boys U18 final featured the San Clemente mafia of Kolohe Andino, Ian Crane and Luke Davis with Newp’s Andrew Doheny. Kolohe took a solid early lead and was hunting down a second good score while the rest of the field was throwing caution to the wind and going for the big moves to catch him. Ian Crane pulled a radical, fins-free slash that left him in a layback position from which he somehow managed to yoga his way back to his feet. In the end Kolohe added the Boys U18 win to his victory in the U16 division. It was not a bad day on the eve of his 16th birthday. Ian Crane’s yoga antics put him in 2nd followed closely by Luke Davis and Andrew Doheny.
Next West Cost stop is the Surfing America Prime Malibu 3rd Point on April 17 and 18. And, for the East Coast, the Billabong Surfing America Prime comes to Outerbanks, NC on April 24 and 25. For more info, head to SurfingAmerica.org.