Elimination Rounds Intensify Competition at 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

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11 teams remain unscathed after 56 eliminations on Day 3 of competition

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Competition intensified on Tuesday at the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship as the first surfers were eliminated from the competition.

Hawaii’s Summer Macedo, the 2015 U-16 Gold Medalist, snagged the highest heat total of the day in the morning with 17.00. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Hawaii’s Summer Macedo, the 2015 U-16 Gold Medalist, snagged the highest heat total of the day in the morning with 17.00. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Of the 306 competitors hailing from a record-breaking 41 countries, 56 bowed out on this third day the event. Eleven full teams remain unscathed and avoided elimination on the opening day of Repechage Rounds taking place at Okagurahama beach in Hyuga, Japan.

Team Hawaii continued their strong run through the early stages of the event and earned the highest heat totals in the Girls and Boys Divisions.

Summer Macedo (HAW), the 2015 U-16 Gold Medalist, earned the highest heat total of 17.00 in the clean, morning conditions. Macedo’s top performance is the second consecutive for Team Hawaii after her teammate and 2016 U-18 Gold Medalist, Brisa Hennessy, notched highest heat score total in yesterday’s second day of competition.

Hawaii’s Boys complemented the Girl’s excellent results, with Wyatt McHale earning the second highest heat total of the day in the Boys’ Divisions with 14.77. McHale advanced into Round 3 (of 7) in the Men’s Main Event along with his three U-16 Division teammates.

Mexico’s Alan Cleland led the charge for an inspired Team Mexico with an impressive score of 15.43, the highest of the Boy’s Division on day 3.

Okuragahama’s sandbars provided plenty of walls for the world’s best junior surfers to put their talent on display. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Okuragahama’s sandbars provided plenty of walls for the world’s best junior surfers to put their talent on display. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

In the opening round of the day Morocco’s Sélyann Zouhir surfed well in a tight heat to advance to Round 3 of the Main Event. Zouhir expressed his joy and pride for his country after winning the heat:

“It feels amazing to represent Morocco. I grew up and learned to surf there. Morocco is a really proud of surfing nation and back home they are all watching and supporting us.

“It took a lot of work for me to get here. It’s hard because I have to make sacrifices. While my friends go out and have fun, I have to train and prepare.

“On a personal level, I just want to get better and smarter in my heats to improve for future competition. However, it’s my dream and everyone on Team Morocco to get a Gold Medal. We think it’s possible.”

Canada’s Mathea Olin continued to impress in the Girls’ Rounds, placing second in her Main Event Round 2 heat to move onto Round 3. Olin spoke about the significance of her participation in this edition of the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship:

“The girls are ripping! It’s so fun to be at an event with so many countries from all around the world.

“My goal in surfing in this event is to put Canadian Surfing on the map. There are not a lot of girls Surfing back home, but I hope that my participation here can encourage more girls to take up the sport and get in the water.”

Local Japanese schools come down to Okagurahama to support the international continegent of athletes. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Local Japanese schools come down to Okagurahama to support the international continegent of athletes. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“We arrived at the beach this morning to find another beautiful day at Okuragahama beach.

“The high from the opening of competition subsided as competition intensified through the first Repechage Rounds of the event. We saw the first eliminations and emotions poured out on the beach.

“The special part of ISA World Championships is that the contest doesn’t end when you are eliminated. When athletes bow out they still have the task of cheering on their teammates and helping them get as far as they can in the event. It’s this unique team camaraderie and support that defines the ISA.

“Tomorrow we are expecting an increase in swell and the world’s best junior surfers will leave it all on the line to keep their dreams of winning the Gold alive.”

Chinese Taipei lost both of their surfers in the Repechage Rounds on Tuesday, but their participation marked a historic moment for junior surfing in the country. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Chinese Taipei lost all their surfers in the Repechage Rounds on Tuesday, but their participation marked a historic moment for junior surfing in the country. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The official Surfline forecast is calling for an increase in swell with waves in the 3-4 foot range. As the swell increases through the day we will see sets up to 5 feet.

The event will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com September 23 – October 1.

The schedule for Wednesday’s competition is as follows*:

Podium 1 (live webcast)

  • 7:00am-9:40am – 8 heats Boys U-18 Main Event Round 3
  • 9:40am-11:00am – 4 heats Girls U-18 Main Event Round 3
  • 11:00am-1:40pm – 8 heats Boys U-16 Main Event Round 3
  • 1:40pm-3:00pm – 4 heats Girls U-16 Main Event Round 3
  • 3:00pm-5:00pm – 8 heats Girls U-18 Repechage Round 2

Podium 2

  • 7:00am-11:00am – 16 heats Boys U-18 Repechage Round 2
  • 11:00am-1:00pm – 8 heats Girls U-16 Repechage Round 2
  • 1:00pm-5:00pm – 16 heats Boys U-16 Repechage Round 2

*All times in Japan Standard Time, UTC +9:00.

The remaining event schedule will be as follows:

September 27 – October 1: Competition at Okuragahama Beach
October 1:  Closing Ceremony, Okuragahama Beach

The view the official Surfline forecast, click here.

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. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, 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, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 103 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). ƒ