France Emerges Victorious in the ISA Aloha Cup, All Champions to be Crowned on Sunday
Heading into the final day of competition at the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, Team USA has expanded their lead in the team points standings, with France in second and Hawaii in third. The USA is flirting with history, never having won the ISA World Junior Team Champion Trophy and Gold Medals.
The stage has been set for the crowning of all the ISA World Junior Champions on Sunday, as the first medals were awarded to the top four placing teams in the always-exciting ISA Aloha Cup, a tag-team relay competition. Team France took the Gold Medal in an action packed Final at Oceanside Pier.
Saturday started off with explosive surfing in the Boys and Girls Main Event in glassy conditions. Hawaii’s Summer Macedo advanced into the Girls U-16 Main Event Final after scoring the highest female heat total of the day (15.26). The final round of the Main Event will take place on Sunday morning where the top two surfers will move on to the Grand Final in their division, joining the top two finishers from the Repechage Finals.
Colt Ward led the charge for Team USA, solidifying USA’s lead in the overall Team points ranking. Ward earned a heat total of 12.86 to advance to the U-18 Main Event Final in a nail biter that separated first and fourth place by less than 1.5 points.
“I am so stoked to go into the Main Event Final,” stated Ward. “This is my last year eligible to compete in the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship and this is my best result so far. Winning the Gold would be amazing. That is why I am in this contest.”
USA’s John Mel came out firing in the Boys U-16 Repechage Round, connecting solid maneuvers to earn a heat total of 16.66, which was the highest of day. Mel, and all the other surfers relegated to the Repechage Round, will have two more heats in front of them on Sunday, in order to make it to the Grand Final.
In the Girls U-18 division, Tahiti’s Karelle Poppke and USA’s Tia Blanco, won their Main Event heats and will face off for a chance to compete Grand Final on Sunday morning.
In the afternoon, the ISA Aloha Cup created great excitement, featuring the top 8 teams from the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. USA, Brazil, South Africa, Hawaii, Peru, France, Japan and Australia participated in the tag-team relay competition, including four boys and one girl from each country. Each athlete in the relay had to catch tres waves that were counted to their team’s overall score within the 50-minute time frame.
USA, Brazil, France and Japan advanced to the Final, where no team was able to overcome the powerful, strategic surfing of Team France. Japan received Silver, Brazil Bronze and USA Copper.
Tessa Thyssen, the female competitor on France’s ISA Aloha Cup Gold Medal commented on the euphoria of winning the first Gold Medals of the competition.
“It feels great to win the ISA Aloha Cup for the whole French team,” said Thyssen. “We all came here for the Team World Championship Gold Medal and we are going to give it all we got to make that happen.”
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, spoke about the exhilaration of the ISA Aloha Cup and the upcoming Final Day of competition.
“The passion and energy of the ISA Aloha Cup has set the stage for the Final Day. Sunday is the day that everyone has been waiting for. All of the training, team camaraderie and dedication to Surfing will culminate with the Grand Finals, where the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Champions will be crowned.”
Surfline, the official forecaster, predicts 3-4’+ wave faces for Sunday, with occasional larger sets on the best tides. Conditions will be clean in the morning with light onshore wind in the afternoon.
Watch previous days’ webcast on demand: http://isaworlds.com/juniors/en/live/
For a full list of today’s results, visit: http://isaworlds.com/juniors/en/results/
The 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will continue Sunday at 7am PST. Sunday’s schedule will be the following (all times PST):
- 7am – 1 heat Girls U-16 Repechage Round 7
- 7:15am – 1 heat Boys U-16 Repechage Round 9
- 7:30am – 1 heat Girls U-18 Repechage Round 7
- 7:45am – 1 heat Boys U-18 Repechage Round 9
- 8am – 1 heat Girls U-16 Main Event Round 5
- 8:20am – 1 heat Boys U-16 Main Event Round 6
- 8:40am – 1 heat Girls U-18 Main Event Round 5
- 9am – 1 heat Boys U-18 Main Evento Round 6
- 9:20am – 1 heat Girls U-16 Repechage Round 8
- 9:40am – 1 heat Boys U-16 Boys Repechage Round 10
- 10am – 1 heat Girls U-18 Repechage Round 8
- 10:20am – 1 heat Boys U-18 Repechage Round 10
- 10:40am – Final Girls U-16
- 11:05am – Final Boys U-16
- 11:30am – Final Girls U-18
- 11:55am – Final Boys U-18
For live action, photos, videos, news and event info, visit: www.ISAworlds.com
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Layne Beachley (AUS), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).