Competition Heats Up as Eliminations Begin on Day 2 of the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games

February 25th, 2024

Brian Toth leads strong performances from Team Puerto Rico with huge local support

Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore (USA) posts event-high heat total, Yago Dora (BRA) claims highest single wave score

Past and future Olympians stand out on tough day of competition

Arecibo, Puerto Rico – February 25, 2024

A second day of high quality surf was on offer for the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) as teams from 55 nations battled it out in pursuit of team championship medals, individual medals and the all-important Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification slots.

Three-to-four foot peaks lined up both Margara and El Pico, allowing for the completion of Main Rounds 1 and 2 in both divisions, as well as the beginning of eliminations with the start of Repechage Round 1.

Thousands of fans lined the oceanfront of Arecibo to cheer on their favorite surfers, with the largest celebrations reserved for the members of Team Puerto Rico, who once again delivered plenty to be excited about.

Brian Toth, Team Puerto Rico / Photo: Sean Evans

Having first appeared in the WSG in 1998, Puerto Rico’s Brian Toth has been competing in ISA events for 26 years. Today, the 38-year-old won his first ISA heat on home soil, finding a buzzer-beater in the last 30 seconds to progress ahead of former WSL World No. 5 Morgan Cibilic (AUS).

“It feels amazing,” Toth said. “I’ve got the whole beach on my back. My last wave I told everybody to make some noise and I heard them clearly, so I felt really comfortable. We’ve got a great team backing us up. We’re all a big family here, I know everyone around mostly, like coming in and supporting and stuff, so it’s great, it’s my backyard.”

Fellow Puerto Rican Dwight Pastrana also progressed in the Main Round, alongside Gabriel Medina (BRA), in an all goofy-foot battle in the lefts of El Pico, sending Tyler Gunter (USA) and two-time WSG gold medalist Santiago Muniz (ARG) into repechage.

In the women’s division, Havanna Cabrero (PUR) continued to progress in the Main Round, despite coming up against an in-form Carissa Moore (USA), 2022 WSL World Junior Champion Francisca Veselko (POR) and rising star Zoie Zietz (NED).

Carissa Moore, Team USA / Photo: Sean Evans

Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore posts event-high heat total, Yago Dora claims highest single wave score

For the second day running, Carissa Moore (USA) and Yago Dora (BRA) claimed the best numbers. An 8.83 from Dora set the bar at El Pico, while Moore’s 16.00 heat total topped the action at Margara.

Coming into competition this week right as she stepped away from competing on the WSL Championship Tour, Moore didn’t hold back as she attacked the right of Margara. The Olympic gold medalist and five-time WSL Champion unleashed her power to post the highest single wave score of the day for the women, an 8.50, along with her event-high heat total. The 31-year-old is enjoying her time in Puerto Rico, and the experience of the World Surfing Games.

“The ISA brings a lot of really fun, beautiful energy,” Moore said, “which is I think what surfing is all about, is the joy and the love. I feel like, you know, it’s pretty cool, surfing and the ocean connects all of us from all over the world and just our love for surfing, and you can really feel it here at this event. I think that’s rad.”

Leon Glatzer, Team Germany / Photo: Pablo Jiminez

China’s Siqi Yang delivers another strong WSG performance

A standout performer in two previous WSG, 15-year-old Siqi Yang (CHN) earned the biggest heat win of her young career today when she advanced ahead of two-time WSL Champion and two-time ISA World Junior Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) into Main Round 3. Yang utilized her impressive power surfing to punch through a heaving Margara lip and deliver one of the best single turns of the day.

“This is my first time surfing Margara,” Yang said. “Before the event it was totally flat, so we were surfing El Pico. This wave is amazing and I just went with the flow. For me, I just keep a low profile to try and learn from the experience of surfing with a two-time World Champion. Puerto Rico is beautiful, the waves are amazing.”

Competition will resume at 7:30am AST with the continuation of Women’s Repechage Round 1 at Rastrial and Men’s Repechage Round 1 at El Pico.

Siqi Yang, Team China / Photo: Jersson Barboza

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