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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.