Big Swell Brings Big Performances on Day 2 of 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

May 5th, 2024

Defending Boy’s U/16 champion Hans Odriozola (ESP) opens first U/18 campaign with highest heat total of Round 1

Qualified Paris 2024 Olympic surfer and 2023 Girl’s U/18 bronze medalist Candelaria Resano (NCA) begins her final WJSC campaign with excellence

Cheered on by the local crowd, Julissa Moody takes first heat win for El Salvador

Surf City El Salvador – May 5, 2024

Solid swell poured into Surf City El Salvador for day two of the 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC) with consistent lines of four-to-six-feet giving way to much bigger eight-foot sets at times. The world’s best junior surfers took on the size, matching power with power, regardless of their age or height, to deliver many exciting moments, along with large scores.

The final five heats of Boy’s U/18 Main Event Round 1 were completed at La Bocana before the first 22 heats of Girl’s U/18 Main Round 1 took place. At El Sunzal, Girl’s U/16 Main Event Round 1 wrapped up, followed by 22 heats of Boy’s U/16 Round 1.

2023 Girl’s U/16 bronze medalist Eden Walla (USA) was able to get straight back into rhythm, earning two excellent scores, an 8.50 and an 8.73, to post the highest heat total of the event so far, 17.23, as she lit up El Sunzal with sharp, critical outside hits matched by full-bodied roundhouse cutbacks through the inside.

Hans Odriozola, Team Spain / Photo: Pablo Jimenez

The debut of Boy’s U/16 saw the highest numbers out of either of the boy’s divisions so far, with a 9.00 ride from Hawaii’s Tiger Abubo arriving as the highest single wave score for the boys. Taro Takai (JPN) picked up the highest heat total of his division, 15.06, closely followed by Italy’s Michele Scoppa and Argentina’s Thiago Passeri with 14.83 and 14.67 two wave totals, respectively. Meanwhile, Alejo Valido (ESP) was able to find an excellent 8.87 to take an early heat win.

Fletcher Kelleher (AUS) opened the day for Boy’s U/18 at La Bocana by utilizing his mature rail surfing to pick up a pair of 7’s. Kelleher made good use of the peak with a 7.67 coming from his forehand on the left and a 7.07 for his backhand on the right.

Surfing in the final heat of Boy’s U/18 Main Event Round 1, 2023 U/16 World Champion Hans Odriozola (ESP) debuted in the division with the highest heat total of the round, 15.67, which included an excellent 8.17 single wave score, equal with the highest of the round. Having also been a finalist in 2022 here in Surf City El Salvador, Odriozola feels comfortable in the lineup and in rhythm with the ISA format.

“It feels amazing,” Odriozola said. “I’m super happy to get two good waves and surf them how I wanted. Because they are so good that they let me do pretty much whatever I want. I love it. I’m feeling good. I feel like the ISA fits me and I’m happy to make my first heat and let’s see how it goes and try to get to the Final again.”

Candelaria Resano, Team Nicaragua / Photo: Pablo Jimenez

Traveling to ISA events from the age of 8, Candelaria Resano (NCA) has potentially had more ISA appearances than anyone in the world, and, with 14 under her belt, certainly has the record in this event. It will be the final WJSC for the now 18-year-old however. Having won Nicaragua’s first-ever ISA medal, the U/18 bronze in 2023, Resano was happy to open up her final junior campaign today with the highest heat total of the Girl’s U/18 Main Event Round 1, 16.24, especially after receiving the news last week that she was awarded the universality slot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“It felt really good just to be able to piece it together,” Resano said. “Before the heat I felt really confident in my surfing and I just wanted to go and surf. Honestly, the waves looked great, win or lose I just wanted to have fun and get into comp mode for the upcoming Olympics.”

Fellow Paris 2024 qualified surfer Siqi Yang (CHN) joined Resano in taking a strong win, posting an 8.33 for a series of powerful backhand hits on a long La Bocana left. European pair Annette Gonzalez-Extabarri (ESP) and Tya Zebrowski (FRA) also broke into the excellent range, their equal 9.17’s landing as the highest single wave scores of the day for the girls. Deep bottom-turns into powerful backhand re-entries for Gonzalez-Extabarri were matched by a seamless critical two-turn combo on Zebrowski’s forehand.

Julissa Moody, Team El Salvador / Photo: Pablo Jimenez

El Salvador’s Julissa Moody was able to take the first heat win for the home team after Girl’s U/18 hit the water at La Bocana. Competing in her third ISA event, the 16-year-old was thrilled to find an early victory, though she’s hoping for much more success to come.

“I feel super happy,” Moody said. “I’m overwhelmed, but I hope that this is not the best that I perform, I want more. It means a lot to me to win a heat at home. This is El Salvador, this is a paradise of waves. I’m so happy to be here representing my country and all of the people who are here supporting me in person.”

Competition will resume tomorrow at 7:00am CST with the continuation of Girl’s U/18 Main Event Round 1 at La Bocana and Boy’s U/16 Main Event Round 1 at El Sunzal.

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