Three Teams Remain Fully Intact in Race for Gold Medals Heading into Final Three Days of VISSLA ISA World Juniors

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

Australia, Hawaii, and Spain without eliminations

Tiago Carrique leads the charge for Team France with event-high heat total 

USA’s Caitlin Simmers last remaining past Gold Medalist in Main Event rounds, marks highest girl’s heat total for Thursday

After five days of competition at the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Visit Huntington Beach, three teams remain fully intact and engaged in a race for the Gold Medals to be awarded on Sunday. 

Japan’s Sho Matsubara earned the highest wave score of the week to advance in the Boys U-16 Main Event. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Japan’s Sho Matsubara earned the highest wave score of the week to advance in the Boys U-16 Main Event. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Australia, Hawaii, and Spain remain with all twelve surfers still in the event.

France, the defending Gold Medalist Japan, Portugal, South Africa, and USA have all suffered the loss of one surfer each, placing them behind the leading nations, but well within reach of the Gold. 

The French surfers continued to be among the top performers in the Boys divisions. Tiago Carrique set a new event-high heat total with 17 points to advance to the Boys U-18 Main Event Semifinals.

Tiago Carrique (FRA) took to the air to earn the event’s highest heat total of 17 points. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Tiago Carrique (FRA) took to the air to earn the event’s highest heat total of 17 points. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Japan’s Sho Matsubara put on the best single-wave performance of the event yet, earning a wave worth 9.33 points to advance through to the Boys U-16 Main Event Semifinals.

USA’s Caitlin Simmers stands as the last remaining past World Champion still in the Main Event rounds. Simmers continued to show talent well beyond her 14 years of age and marked the highest heat total of 15.17 in the Girls U-16. 

The other past World Champions, Alyssa Spencer (USA), Joh Azuchi (JPN), Rachel Presti (GER), and Keanu Kamiyama (JPN), have all found themselves in the Repechage Rounds where a long road awaits to earn another medal.

USA’s Caitlin Simmers has her sights set on a second consecutive Girls U-16 Gold Medal. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

USA’s Caitlin Simmers has her sights set on a second consecutive Girls U-16 Gold Medal. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

The Main Event Semifinals have been determined across all divisions, guaranteeing at least an 11th place for surfers that have made it that far.

Surfers that win in the Main Event Semifinals advance to the Main Event Final, where the winners head to the Grand Final medal round. 

Portugal’s Malfalda Lopes advanced into the Main Event Semifinals for Girls U-18 to secure her highest finish through her four years of participation in the event.

“It feels amazing to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s best surfers that also represented their nations in this event,” said Lopes. “Many compete on the WSL Championship Tour and that’s where I want to be someday, so I want to follow their example and win this World Championship.

“It would be so amazing to win Gold. It would be the first for Portugal ever in this event, so it would mean a lot, not just for me, but also for my family and country.”

Portugal’s Mafalda Lopes has already earned her personal best result in this event and now looks to continue towards Gold. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Portugal’s Mafalda Lopes has already earned her personal best result in this event and now looks to continue towards Gold. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Sweden’s Cristian Portelli continued his perfect dream run for his country in the event and advanced into the Boys U-18 Main Event Semifinals, by far his best result in his three years of competing in the VISSLA ISA World Juniors.

“It’s pretty cool to hold a whole nation on your back,” said Portelli. “There are only two of us on Team Sweden, so we support each other a lot.

“My original goal was to make the quarterfinals, and I’ve done that, so now I am looking towards the Gold. I’ve dreamt about winning this event a couple times. It would mean everything to me.” 

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The top nations have begun to separate from the pack, but there are still a dozen or so teams that have a chance to win the Gold Medal. This open race for the Team Title demonstrates the global growth of talent across all continents of the globe.

“These final three days of competition will be emotional and gripping to determine our new World Champions.”

The official Surfline forecast is calling for the south swell to back off a bit on Friday with waves in the stomach high range, however, clean morning offshore winds are expected to persist.

The 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is broadcast live until November 3 on isasurf.org.

View schedule for Friday’s competition here.

The remaining event schedule is as follows*:

November 1-3 – Competition on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier, 7am – 5pm
November 3 – Closing Ceremony at Pier Plaza following the close of competition

*Subject to changes. Pacific Standard Time.

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 Federations of 108 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes' Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).

For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org

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