World Junior Championships Plug Along In Stormy Conditions

DAY 2 Highlights

The 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships faced some challenging conditions in its second day.  A strong and steady onshore wind, combined with an increasing swell, created a washing machine sea that was relentless and unforgiving.   It was all about being in the right place at the right time today; and there were lots of missed opportunities amidst the endlessly shifting peaks.  The conditions were so adverse that only one division ran during the shortened day.  The Under 18 Boys took to the water late in the morning.  And two of the Americans, Conner Coffin and Andrew Doheny, were sent to the repercharge while the other two, Evan Geiselman and Evan Thompson, won their heats and continued their advancement through the qualifying rounds.

In an anxiety-filled moment during the last heat of the day, Evan Thompson paddled furiously in toward the beach prior to the heat’s finish.  The USA crew on the sand figured he had broken his board and ran to the waters edge with a spare.  But that wasn’t the case… Thompson yelled to his team mates that he saw a shark in the water.  But Thompson’s panic was short lived as he then turned quickly, paddled back out, to got the score he needed to win the heat.

“We had a tough go today in a couple of the heats,” said Ian Cairns, Head Coach of the PacSun USA Surf Team. “But all teams have the same conditions to deal with. We just have to work a bit harder to get the job done.”

To watch the event live, head to isaworldjuniors.com/newzealand10/Home.php?btn_home=_over and to keep tabs on the PacSun USA Surf Team, head to SurfingAmerica.org. Head to page two for more photos.

Conner Coffin with a man's bottomturn at Piha. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Conner Coffin with a man's bottomturn at Piha. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
With conditions pretty stormy and all over the place, the jetski was a big help. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
With conditions pretty stormy and all over the place, the jetski was a big help. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Despite this big backside slash, USAer Andrew Doheny was sent to the repercharge Round. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Despite this big backside slash, USAer Andrew Doheny was sent to the repercharge Round. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Tahitian Bourez Kevin. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Tahitian Bourez Kevin. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Despite the stormy conditions, there were still a few gems to be had. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Despite the stormy conditions, there were still a few gems to be had. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Brazilian Gabriel Medina put up the highest heat score of the day (14.67) take send Doheny and Zeke Lau to the repercharge round. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Brazilian Gabriel Medina put up the highest heat score of the day (14.67) sending Doheny and Zeke Lau to the repercharge round. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
New Zealand loves their rugby. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
New Zealand loves their rugby. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Andrew Doheny and his American backhand smashing. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Andrew Doheny and his American backhand smashing. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA

The site at Piha, New Zealand. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
The site at Piha, New Zealand. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Newly crowned ASP Pro Junior World Champ Maxime Huscenot is through to Round 3. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Newly crowned ASP Pro Junior World Champ Maxime Huscenot is through to Round 3. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Hawaiian Keanu Asing will have to power through the repercharge if he wants to bring home an individual gold medal like last year. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Hawaiian Keanu Asing will have to power through the repercharge if he wants to bring home an individual gold medal like last year. Photo courtesy ISA/CPL
Conner Coffin was one of two Americans sent to the repercharge today. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
Conner Coffin was one of two Americans sent to the repercharge today. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
They were lining the cliffs in Piha even in the storm. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA
They were lining the cliffs in Piha even in the storm. Photo courtesy Cory Scott/ISA

OFFICIAL ISA PRESS RELEASE:

It was like victory at sea in Piha today, with the second day of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship getting underway in stormy 10 foot faces (2.5-3m) plus waves in New Zealand.

Earlier in the day, contest organizers opted to put the day’s action on hold for three hours with wild weather lashing the main contest site.

After the delayed start, the Under 18 boy’s qualifying round two competitors’ battled large seas and strong winds in the race for all-important round three berths.

Local star Alex Dive (Mt Maunganui) kept his country’s hope of a gold medal alive in the third heat of the day, finishing behind Brazilian star Gabriel Medina to book a spot in round three. In a see-sawing affair, Medina took an early lead with a 6.67 wave. Dive hit back netting two scoring waves (4.83 and 6.17) to take over the lead.

But Medina wasn’t finished uting three carving maneuvers before finishing with a critical white-water floater to snare a heat-winning 8.00 ride. Medina’s 14.67 total was the highest combined heat total of the morning.

Seventeen-year-old Dive said he was relieved to get through to the next round of competition. "It was really tough to get in the right spot," he said. "It was all over the show out there. I knew where to sit, having surfed here a little bit over the years. Luckily for me something came through."

The former U/16 New Zealand champion added that he was enjoying competing in his own country. "It’s so cool. I’ve had so much attention from the media, which I don’t usually get because we’re usually competing in other countries. So it’s good for me and the New Zealand Team."

French ripper Kieran Bulard (Reunion Island) was the day’s top individual wave scorer, despite finishing behind Portugal’s Frederico Morais. It’s the second time that the Frenchman has competed for his country and he’s proving to be a good team member.

"It was good to get through," said Bulard. "I got a good wave at the ning and then I paddled back out to get to the line-up and got no more waves for the rest of the heat. I was really stressed. But it was good I passed through that heat into the next round."

Post heat, Bulard said his heat-high 8.50 wave felt good, "I just paddled hard and came into a double-up section and made a good turn. Then I made a good bottom turn before a carve off–the-top, then another turn. They were three really good turns."

Australian ace Tim MacDonald (North Stradbroke Island), 17, inflicted the biggest upset of the day beating newly crowned ASP World Pro Junior Champion Maxime Huscenot (France, Reunion Island) and Under 16, 2009 ISA World Junior Champion Keanu Aising (Hawaii) in the opening heat of the day.

The young Australian said his win was a shot of confidence. "I feel so good right now," said MacDonald. "But out there you never really know who is going to get through. The conditions were tough and I’m glad I got through."

Other round two winners included Ian Gouveia (Brazil), Evan Geiselman (USA), Ian Fontaine (France), Evan Thompson (USA), Thomas Woods (Coolangatta, AUS) and Tamaroa McComb (Tahiti).

Competition is expected to continue tomorrow with qualifying round two Under 16 boy’s and repercharge one Under 16 Boys scheduled for the main podium and repercharge one and two of the Under 18 boy’s planned for podium two.