Posted - News Posted for ISA News, World Surfing News.

2014 Gold Medalists, France’s Leo-Paul Etienne and Hawaii’s Mahina Maeda, Move One Step Closer to Repeating Their Title Performances

ITA_Leo_Fioravanti_ISA_Chris_GrantItaly’s Leonardo Fioravanti sticks an air reverse and advances through the Main Event in Oceanside, one step closer to a Gold Medal. Photo: ISA/Chris Grant

Experience prevailed on Day 4 of the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship as proven ISA Medalist surfers advanced through the Main Event.

France’s Leo-Paul Etienne and Hawaii’s Mahina Maeda, the two returning Gold Medalists from the 2014 edition of the competition, both surfed strong and proved that they are top contenders to repeat their title winning performances. Other surfers with ISA Medals, such as Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti (2013 U-16 Silver), USA’s Tia Blanco (2015 World Surfing Games, Gold) and France’s Kim Veteau (2014 U-18 Silver), all used their experience in ISA World Championships to surf smart heats and defeat their competitors.

Conditions on Thursday strayed from the warm, offshore wind experienced previously in the week in Oceanside. The competitors arrived to the beach Thursday morning to find thick cloud cover and light onshore wind. Despite the challenging conditions, the consistent swell in the 3-4ft+ range allowed competitors to showcase their talent and execute radical maneuvers.

Fog_ISA_SeanEvansThursday started off with fog and cooler conditions, breaking a streak of record heat in Southern California. Photo: ISA/Sean Evans

Portugal’s Teresa Bonvalot, Team Silver Medalist at the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games, spoke after advancing to the Quarters of the Girls U-18 Main Event.

“It’s great to advance through my Main Event heat to avoid surfing more heats in the Repechage Round. The waves are a little difficult today, but I kept doing my best despite the conditions.

“Competing in an ISA World Championship is unique because I am representing my team. It’s not about me; it’s about the team. We need to do our best for Portugal.”

The Repechage Rounds played out on the North podium, eliminating more surfers from title contention. Two sisters representing Israel, Anat and Noa Lelior, went head to head in their U-18 Repechage heat where neither were able to advance. Despite being eliminated from the U-18 competition, both sisters were able to gather their composure and advance through their following heats in the U-16 Repechage Round later in the afternoon.

Team_Israel_ISA_Chris_Grant Anat and Noa Lelior, the sisters representing Israel, advanced through the U-16 Repechage Round, keeping their medal hopes alive. Photo: ISA/Chris Grant

ISA President Fernando Aguerre commented on Day 4’s action at Oceanside Pier.

“The experienced surfers are proving that heat strategy and knowledge of the ocean are crucial for advancing in the event. There are a lot of familiar faces dominating their heats that I have seen win ISA Gold Medals in the past, however there are still some underdogs that remain in contention. The competition will be fierce over the next three days. These junior surfers all have a burning desire to win Gold for their country.”

JPN_Reo_Inaba_03_ISA_Chris_GrantJapan’s Reo Inaba fully commits to a turn on the south side of Oceanside Pier. Photo: ISA/Chris Grant

In the Team standings, Hawaii, France and USA are all tied in first place with all their surfers still in contention. Japan, Australia and Portugal are close behind.

Surfline, the official forecaster predicts 3-4’+ wave faces on Friday, with occasional larger sets on the best tides. The conditions will be clean in the morning with light offshore wind, trending light onshore in the afternoon.

Watch previous days’ webcast on demand:

For a full list of today’s results, visit:

The 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will resume Friday at 7am PST. Friday’s schedule will be the following (all times PST):

  • South Podium
    • 7am – 4 heats Boys U-18 Main Evento Round 4
    • 8:20am – 4 heats Boys U-16 Main Event Round 4
    • 9:40am – 8 heats Boys U-16 Repechage Round 3
    • 11:40am – 8 heats Boys U-16 Repechage Round 4
    • 1:40pm – 4 heats Boys U-16 Repechage Round 5
    • 2:40am – 4 heats Boys U-16 Repechage Round 6
  • North Podium
    • 7am – 8 heats Boys U-18 Repechage Round 4
    • 9am – 4 heats Boys U-18 Repechage Round 5
    • 10am – 4 heats Girls U-18 Repechage Round 3
    • 11am – 4 heats Girls U-16 Repechage Round 3
    • 12am – 4 heats Boys U-18 Repechage Round 6
    • 1pm – 4 heats Girls U-18 Repechage Round 4
    • 2pm – 4 heats Girls U-16 Repechage Round 4

For live action, photos, videos, news and event info, visit:

About The International Surfing Association
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), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).