Surfing America Prime Scores DMJs To Kick Off Season

Lakey's huck in the final. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Lakey's huck in the final. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Getting onto Camp Pendleton is no easy task. Our photographer Jack English was denied entry on Saturday and I was denied entry on Sunday, relegated to watching the webcast from home. But what better place than Del Mar Jetties with minor south swell in the water to get this year’s Surfing America Prime Series going?

The theme for the event at DMJs on Camp Pendleton was double-time, taking cues from the Marines themselves. The finals were littered with the same names across different divisions—Kulia Doherty, Taylor Clark, and Kanoa Igarashi all did double duty and put themselves in two finals apiece. Kulia ended up taking out the Girls U16 title, 13-year-old Taylor appeared in the U16 and U18 final and racked in three of the five highest waves of the whole event (Parker Coffin said this about Taylor: “He must have found some type of mystery flavored Red Bull that makes you surf like a goofy Fanning. I was tripping.”), while Kanoa continued where he left off last season by grabbing the Boys U14 title.

Conner Coffin's backhand power assault. Photo: jackenglish.com

Conner Coffin's backhand power assault. Photo: jackenglish.com

Could you do this at 12-years-old? We think not. Kanoa Igarashi. Photo: jackenglish.com

Could you do this at 12-years-old? We think not. Kanoa Igarashi. Photo: jackenglish.com

Encinitas grom Taylor Clark went Richter this weekend at DMJs. More good things to come from this 13-year-old. Photo: jackenglish.com

Encinitas grom Taylor Clark went Richter this weekend at DMJs. More good things to come from this 13-year-old. Photo: jackenglish.com

Colin Moran getting straight up. Photo: jackenglish.com

Colin Moran getting straight up. Photo: jackenglish.com

Another PacSun USA Team member who continued exactly where they left off last season was Lakey Peterson. From her first heat on Saturday morning she seemed poised to continue her domination of the Girls U18 division, winning all three of her heats. She continues to rein queen of this division at only 15 by getting the best waves and her knack for drawing speed where others bog. Plus throwing up an air reverse in the final doesn’t hurt (though she just came unstuck and couldn’t ride out of it).

Two of the other finalists in the Girls U18 division were the Doherty sisters, Kulia and Lani. Originally from Maui they relocated to San Clemente last year to have opportunities like the Surfing America Prime Series to improve their surfing, and boy has it shown. These two are prime examples of what this series is doing for amateur American surfing. As Boys U16 victor Parker Coffin notes, “It’s important to do well in these events when Kanga [USA Head Coach Ian Cairns] is there watching. The whole team selection really focuses on these Prime events, so hopefully getting some results in these contests that the selection people focus on makes them focus on you.”

Lani Doherty's smooth Maui-bred style. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Lani Doherty's smooth Maui-bred style. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Kevin Schulz enjoying the runners at DMJs. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Kevin Schulz enjoying the runners at DMJs. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Florida's Jasset Umbel placed third in the Girls U18 and then drove cross-country back to get some hurricane surf. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Florida's Jasset Umbel placed third in the Girls U18 and then drove cross-country back to get some hurricane surf. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Patrick Curren ripped his way to a third place finish. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Patrick Curren ripped his way to a third place finish. Photo: Jack McDaniel

And the Coffin sibling duo of Parker and Conner had everyone watching them on Sunday. Parker’s victory did not come easy, as he defeated Kanoa Igarashi by just .27 of a point. Since I couldn’t get on base I’ll let Parker give you a rundown of the final: “It was a super nerve wracking final. I couldn’t get a good one to save my life and Kanoa was blowing tail on knee high waves. As he went to go sit on Taylor, I went the opposite way and somehow got a good left and just surfed it as best I could. Got the score and then went and sat on Kanoa the whole rest of the heat.”

Taylor Clark doing a little end section dismantling. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Taylor Clark doing a little end section dismantling. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Parker Coffin was loving the lefts off the Del Mar Jetties. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Parker Coffin was loving the lefts off the Del Mar Jetties. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Brother Conner wasn’t about to let Parker be the only Coffin coming home with a victory though. “Right as I was running out for my final Parker got a really good wave and went into the lead so he definitely got me psyched to surf my heat. I think we always do a good job of getting each other motivated to surf.” Conner had been unleashing on every single wave he caught this weekend at DMJs. His powerful, tail-high attack matched the bowly rights and lefts to a tee. With Luke Davis injuring his knee in the first round and having to call it quits and Kolohe Andino mysteriously absent, the Boys U18 division was wide open for Conner. Here’s his rundown of the final: “I started off the final kind of slow. The waves were pretty junky and I farmed two pretty decent waves at the beginning of the heat that could have been good scores. Luckily there were lots of waves in the heat and I was able to get a 7 something. I was in the lead for a while, but Derek got a good wave and went back into the lead. Right as I heard his score this little nugget came right to me. I finally found my legs and surfed the wave without flailing. It was enough to take the lead and then the waves went flat for the rest of the heat.”

The first Surfing America Prime event of the season is now in the books. Check out websurflive.com/prime/index.php for the season’s full schedule and standings. And as the hosts for this event would say, “Hoo-rah!”—Ryan Brower

Luke Davis. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Luke Davis. Photo: Jack McDaniel

Parker says, "2 wins for the Coffins!" Photo: jackenglish.com

Parker says, "2 wins for the Coffins!" Photo: jackenglish.com

Jake Halstead slashing his way to a fourth place finish. Photo: jackenglish.com

Jake Halstead slashing his way to a fourth place finish. Photo: jackenglish.com

Despite hurting his knee Luke Davis still went for this big ol' huck. Photo: jackenglish.com

Despite hurting his knee Luke Davis still went for this big ol' huck. Photo: jackenglish.com

Free donuts! Photo: Jack McDaniel

Free donuts! Photo: Jack McDaniel

Head to the next page for the full results and the rest of the photos.

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