Excitement and Eliminations on Day 4 of the 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

November 28th, 2023

Teresa Pereira (POR) and Ren Okano (JPN) deliver standout performances

Today’s Repechage Round 2 heats final opportunity to re-enter Main Round

Chilean sisters Isidora and Matilda Bultó benefit from ISA Scholarships

São Tomé and Príncipe cousins Ley and Adielson do Rosário forge a path for a new generation

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – November 28, 2023

Dreams were fulfilled and first surfers were eliminated on day four of the 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC). Praia da Macumba continued to provide highly contestable two-to-three foot surf for a full day of repechage rounds that saw the original field significantly slimmed down.

Due to the swell forecast, the second rounds of repechage, which were held in each division today, will be the last of the event. Each heat moving forward will be a Main Round elimination heat, making every victory today that much sweeter, with every surfer who progressed knowing they were headed straight back into the Main Round.

Greyson Grant, Team Sweden. Photo: Sean Evans

The New Zealand and Hawaiian teams embraced the spirit of the day, joining together to combine their team chants when Naomi Saenz (HAW) and Anna Brock (NZL) progressed together after a tight battle in Girl’s U/18 Repechage Round 2.

While there were many low-scoring affairs, multiple surfers were able to find major highlight moments, none more so than in the second last heat of the day when Milla Brown (AUS) earned the equal highest single wave score of the event, a 9.33.

Ren Okano (JPN) found the best of the boy’s heats for the day, earning both the highest single wave score, 8.17, and highest heat total, 13.84, in Boy’s U/16. Greyson Grant (SWE) surfed two great heats in the two U/18 Boy’s repechage rounds, while Romeo Stone (CRC) delivered a standout performance in Boy’s U/18 Repechage Round 2, to earn the best of his division, a 13.74 heat total.

Three of the best performances of the day belonged to Team Portugal, led by Teresa Pereira in Girl’s U/16. The 16 year-old, who has only been competing for two years, scored a 9.00 ride and found the highest heat total of the day, 15.27. Meanwhile, Jaime Veselko and Salvador Vala claimed some of the best numbers in Boy’s U/16. After an unexpected loss in Main Round 1, and a low-scoring Repechage Round 1 heat, 14-year-old Veselko was happy to get his campaign back on track in Repechage Round 2.

“It was my first 7.50 of the contest so it was really nice, I felt like I could do it,” Veselko said. “The waves were kind of a little hard, they didn’t come too much, but I think the chances I got I did well and I’m ready for the next heat. I love my country and I just want to do the best for it, so I’m stoked.”

Isidora Bultó, Team Chile. Photo: Jersson Barboza

Chilean sisters Isidora and Matilda Bultó benefit from ISA Scholarships

Established in 2007, the ISA Scholarship program has awarded more than $388,500 in scholarships to further the education and surfing careers of more than 400 surfers. 14 recipients are competing in the 2023 WJSC and 11 have progressed into Main Round 3. Chilean sisters Isidora and Matilda Bultó were a part of the program in 2022 and both regained positions in the Main Round after making back-to-back repechage heats today.

“It feels so good to be competing here with my little sister, luckily we haven’t had a heat against each other,” Isidora said. “The scholarship has helped me in various ways, for example in surf gear, paying my coach, and traveling. It has been very useful.”

Applications for the 2023 program are open until January 15, 2024.

Adielson do Rosário (STP) with Jackson Dorian (HAW). Photo: Pablo Franco

São Tomé and Príncipe cousins Ley and Adielson do Rosário forge a path for a new generation

Cousins Ley and Adielson do Rosário hope to forge a path for a new generation in São Tomé and Príncipe. Inspired by fellow countryman Jeje Vidal, who was the first surfer from his nation to participate in the WJSC in 2016, the pair have traveled internationally for the first time to compete this year.

“It’s fun to be here, discovering a new spot, new waves,” 15-year-old Adielson said. “I’m really happy and proud to be here.”

The cousins come from a fishing village where they learned to surf on planks of wood, before transferring to pieces of broken surfboards, and then finally receiving their own boards. While they are excited to soak in every aspect of an event at this level, they are also determined to learn everything they can to improve their competitive surfing skills.

“I’m really happy to be here and to gain experience and surf with guys that are used to competing at the international level,” 17-year-old Ley said. “I’m also really happy to get to know other surfers. I hope that I can come back again next year with my team.”

The 2023 WJSC will continue tomorrow at 6:30 am BRT at Praia da Macumba.

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