Unlike the previous days, the sun was not shining on Monday for the final day of the 2010 Surfing America Championships. Lowers still provided the goods, but the goods were also accompanied by sprinkles and a south wind that had kids and parents bundled up (as bundled as one could be in Southern California). It did not slow the nation’s top under 18 surfers though. The inclement weather only made them want it more.
Kolohe Andino was on point as usual. He played double-time as he was attempting to defend both his Under 16 and Under 18 titles from last year. He was textbook Andino, putting his competitors in both semis on the ropes early, despite surfing back-to-back heats. Racking in 8′s and 9′s with tweaked out slobs and big, upside down air reverses, Kolohe cruised to the finals in both divisions. In the Under 16 final it was really a battle of Kolohe’s forehand versus Parker Coffin’s backhand. Parker’s Santa Barbara groomed goofyfoot assault on the Lowers rights had been some of the quickest and most committed of the entire event. Porkchop, as they call him, seems to have a hunger and desire to win that may not have been there in years past. So his second place finish behind Andino in the Under 16 division at the fresh age of 14 is only a sign of things to come.
One title defended for Andino. The Under 18 crown seemed to be hovering above his blonde locks. And for a good portion of the final he was in total control with a lower 7 and a 6.5. He had Evan Geiselman, Ezekiel Lau, and Tanner Hendrickson scratching their heads. But then sets began to pour in. And with the sets came a barrage of air reverses and power gouges. Florida’s Evan Geiselman had been capitalizing all week on the lefts at Lowers and when the sets poured in he went to his money carves and lofty air reverses and took the wave of the heat. Andino put in a valiant last ditch effort, but it remained under the 8 range, leaving him with just one red, white, and blue championship and giving the Under 18 title to Mr. Geiselman.
Another surfer who was looking to defend a title was Kaleigh Gilchrist. All week talk on the girls side of things had been focused on the 18 point heat totals that Courtney Conlogue and Lakey Peterson were dropping. Gilchrist squeaked under the radar and put her heart into that final heat. “My biggest goal in my surfing this year was defending that championship title,” she stated after she demolished the Lowers rights with shear force. What a way to end an amateur surfing career.
And what a way to end the 2010 Surfing America Championships. As we celebrate the red white and blue this upcoming week and weekend, don’t forget that America’s surfing future is looking brighter than ever, even on rainy days with cloudy skies.—Ryan Brower
Stay tuned for more on the 2011 PacSun USA Surf Team and head to surfingamericalive.com for more on the 2010 Surfing America Championships.
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