Standouts Stay Strong on Day 7 of 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

May 10th, 2024

Australia takes lead in team rankings ahead of USA, Peru, Hawaii and Japan

Strong performances from Lanea Mons and Kai Kushner aid Team USA in solid rankings stance

Matias Conhoto (POR) excels in tight European battle

Surf City El Salvador – May 10, 2024

A full day of repechage rounds was held in fun, two-to-four feet of swell at the two podiums of La Bocana and El Sunzal for day seven of competition in the 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championships (WLSC). The world’s best junior surfers experienced elation and devastation in equal measure as big scores were earned and big names were eliminated.

Australia was able to break away as the sole leader in the team rankings, keeping 9 of their 12-person team in the draw for a strong lead. USA is now in a commanding second place, ahead of Peru, Hawaii and Japan, who are more tightly locked together.

Lanea Mons, Team USA / Photo: Sean Evans

Kai Kushner and Lanea Mons both had very strong showings for USA today. Mons was one of many previous medalists to land in repechage early, but the 2023 Girl’s U/16 silver medalist came back in a big way today, earning a 9.43, the highest single wave score of the day, along with the highest heat total for the girls, 16.30. A sharp, critical two-turn combo on her forehand on the left of La Bocana provided Mons with the near-perfect sore.

“That was a blast,” Mons said. “I’m so happy that I was able to put a good wave together because I feel like this whole event I’ve kind of been grinding through heats and just trying to put together a few scores that are not so good and hadn’t broken into the excellent range yet, even though I know that I’m capable. So I’m super happy that I was able to do that. I know I have a long way to go to get to that medal final, but I believe that I can do it.”

Kiara Goold, Team Tahiti / Photo: Sean Evans

Also in Girl’s U/16, Kiara Goold (TAH) blitzed her second heat of the day, picking up an 8.67 for a huge end section layback hit, though Charli Hately (AUS) and Lidia Kato (INA) were both eliminated in their Repechage Round 5 heats after posting great numbers in Repechage Round 4.

Australia’s Milla Brown and Mexico’s Lucas Senkbeil each had two more very solid heats today to again be the standouts of their respective Girl’s U/18 and Boy’s U/16 divisions, though Kasei Adachi (JPN) was able to find a 9.07 to top the single wave scores of Boy’s U/16 and Maria Salgado (POR) earned an 8.83 to top Girl’s U/18 single wave scores.

Matias Canhoto, Team Portugal / Photo: Pablo Jimenez

For the past two WJSC events, Portugal’s Matias Canhoto has placed about as close as one can to a Final without making it. This year the 16-year-old is having to battle through repechage earlier than expected in his first year in the U/18 division, but today provided a solid performance in an extremely tight heat that featured four Europeans.

Leonardo Apreda (ITA) opened with an 8.77, leaving the two French competitors, Jay Phipps and Enoha Le Pieres, along with Canhoto needing to make ground. Each surfer was able to find good waves, but the Portuguese built to an 8.57 and 7.90 to earn an excellent 16.47 and take the win, while barely a point separated second through fourth.

“I knew it was a hard heat, a lot of good waves came,” Canhoto said. “A lot of good surfing was in the heat and I’m happy to take the win, you know, just starting to show my surfing. I’m super motivated, super confident. I needed this heat so I could boost my confidence, and I’m trying to keep it up, trying to push through five rounds. I still have five rounds left. I really want to get it this year and I’m trying all my strengths.”

Competition will resume tomorrow at 7:00am CST with Boy’s U/18 Repechage Round 6 at La Bocana and Boy’s U/16 Repechage Round 6 at El Sunzal.

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