Field Narrowed on Fast Day of Action at the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games

February 26th, 2024

France remain only team intact in the Main Round, take early advantage in team championship

Caitlin Simmers (USA) and Connor O’Leary (JPN) redeem themselves in the repechage

Highlight performances from Keoni Lasa (VEN) and Jolaris Carreras (PUR) deliver day’s top numbers

Arecibo, Puerto Rico – February 26, 2024

A decrease in swell, combined with slowly strengthening trade winds, saw a short day of action called for day three of the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games (WSG). Repechage Round 1 was completed in both men’s and women’s divisions in two-to-three foot swell at the twin breaks of El Pico and Rastrial.

So far, a total of 62 surfers have been eliminated from the initial draw of 266. France was the only team able to stay intact in the Main Round, but a further 22 teams have avoided any eliminations and maintain equal number one position on the rankings, despite having surfers in the repechage.

Caitlin Simmers, Team USA / Photo: Jersson Barboza

After taking an urchin to the foot when paddling out for her Main Round 1 heat, current WSL World No. 2 Caitlin Simmers (USA) unexpectedly found herself moving straight into Repechage Round 1. With a day of recuperation in between, a recharged Simmers opened strong, blasting her sharp backhand attack on the lefts of Rastrial to score an 8.17 on her second wave, almost doubling the two-wave total of her opening heat. A 7.50 followed, providing the 18-year-old with the second highest heat total of the event so far, 15.67.

While fellow WSL Championship Tour surfer Connor O’Leary (JPN) didn’t pick up any urchins, he did fall victim to slow conditions and a charging Gearoid McDaid (IRL) on day one. The current WSL World No. 5 wasn’t taking any chances today, his aggressive forehand delivering an 8.67 on his opening wave. Representing Japan for the first time in the ISA, O’Leary made clear that he is here to make his nation proud.

Keoni Lasa, Team Venezuela / Photo: Sean Evans

The highest heat total of the day for the men went to Keoni Lasa (VEN), who took to the air to earn an 8.17 and 7.17 for a 15.34 heat total. The longtime standout junior competitor faced stiff competition in his Main Round 1 heat from two-time WSL Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA), Olympian Manuel Selman (CHI), and Greyson Grant (SWE) and was happy to be able to perform today.

“I had a hard heat in my first round and I didn’t really surf like I wanted to,” Lasa said. “Because against those guys you really have to do your best and I think I had the waves but I probably didn’t surf so good, so it felt good to loosen up a little in the repechage. Had a great heat, so yeah, let’s keep it going for the second round.”

Jolari Carreras, Team Puerto Rico / Photo: Jersson Barboza

Even on a Monday in the rain, the Puerto Rican community showed up with massive support and their team did not let them down. The two team members featuring in Repechage Round 1, Mia Calderon (PUR) and Jolari Carreras (PUR), both had great showings, with Carreras earning the equal highest single wave score of the women’s division, an 8.67. Showcasing her powerful forehand approach on the lefts of Rastrial, the 25-year-old was thrilled to take a big win for the locals.

“It felt great to catch that wave,” Carreras said. “The energy of the people feels very good, super special. You feel it everywhere and I am super grateful.”

Competition will resume at 8:00am AST with men’s Repechage Round 2 at Rastrial and women’s Repechage Round 2 at El Pico.

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