Top Seeds Find Redemption in Repechage in Day Two of ISA World Surfing Games

September 18th, 2022

Sebastian Williams (MEX) seeks to expand his portfolio

Jean Carlos Gonzalez (PAN) is ready for sport’s biggest stage

Huntington Beach, USA – September 18th 2022

A building southerly swell set the stage for another huge day of action in the 2022 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Visit Huntington Beach.

Each of the current WSL Championship Tour surfers left in the Main Round draw progressed, as did Keanu Kamiyama (JPN), a surfer who knows what it’s like to win in Huntington Beach. The 2018 ISA World Junior U/18 gold medalist showed flashes of his winning form. Meanwhile, an impassioned performance by Joshua Burke (BAR) saw the Bajan claim a heat win with a respectable heat total of 15.67 (7.83 + 7.93).

The highest scores of the day, however, came from the Repechage Rounds, the first two of which were completed today. Griffin Colapinto (USA) found a 9.33 at the south podium for the highest single wave score of the event so far, before backing it up with a 7.67 for the highest heat total of the event so far (17.00).

After a shock loss in Main Round 1 on the first day of competition, Current WSL Challenger Series rankings leader Rio Waida (IND) posted some of the highest scores of the day (9.00 + 7.00) to prove that he has no intention of being eliminated early.

“Tokyo 2020 was very big for me. I learned a lot and it changed my life for sure,” Waida said. “I want to go to Paris 2024, that’s my goal. I hope I can win this event and I hope I can get the (Olympic) spot.”

Sebastian Williams (MEX) seeks to expand his portfolio

Over the past few years Sebastian Williams (MEX) has built a reputation as one of the best freesurfers in the world. The ambidextrous surfer, who also calls South Africa home, has only donned the jersey three times in the past three years despite a promising junior career. But the 22-year-old is ready for more in 2022.

“Like Andy Irons said, ‘Surfing is one thing, competition surfing is another and then life is just a whole other thing,’” Williams quoted, after advancing through Repechage Round 2. “So I’d definitely like to take all three of those and combine them in the smoothest way possible. It’s always been my dream to be a world champ. I mean, I think it’s every surfer’s dream. It’s a bit cliche, but it’s true.”

Sebastian Williams - Team Mexico. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Jean Carlos Gonzalez (PAN) is ready for sport’s biggest stage

No stranger to international competition, Jean Carlos Gonzalez (PAN) has been representing his nation since the age of 13, achieving many accolades along the way. Having brought home silver medals in both the 2022 Pan American Games and the 2013 ISA World Surfing Games, the 27-year-old is ready to take it one step further this year in order to qualify for the ultimate sporting stage.

“This is a chance to be in Paris 2024, the Olympic Games, so we have to work a lot over the next few days, but I’m so happy, I’m super happy,” he shared after winning his Main Round 2 heat over WSL Championship Tour surfer Miguel Pupo (BRA).

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“It is incredible to have the second Olympic cycle in the history of surfing officially happening right now in Huntington Beach.

“So many people thought I was crazy to have the vision of this taking place, and yet here we are with the dreams and ambitions of so many amazing surfers on the line in this iconic location.

“While we had to say goodbye to some of our brothers today, we know that they have made their nations proud by participating in these historic games.

“With an increase in swell promised for tomorrow, it will be so exciting to see the women’s competition kick off in great conditions.”


Jean Carlos Gonzalez - Team Panama. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed


*Schedule subject to change by the ISA

September 19:

Competition (Open Men & Open Women)

** Note, this will be the first day of competition for Open Women to allow for the participation of women who competed in the SuperGirl Pro.

September 20:

– Public screening of ISA documentary film: “The Impossible Wave: Fernando Aguerre’s

Quest for Olympic Surfing” (Open to all WSG Participants and Public)

Location: Pier Plaza (North of HB Pier)

Time: 6pm

September 20-23:

Competition (Open Men & Open Women)

September 24:

– Finals Day (Open Men & Open Women)

– Closing Ceremony & Medal Ceremonies (30 mins after finals)

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