Surf City, El Salvador — June 4th 2022 — With 40 excellent scores (8.00-10.00 range) and 11 excellent heat totals (16.00-20.00 range), anyone watching couldn’t help but agree that some of the best junior competition surfing in history was performed on Day 8 of the ISA World Juniors.
Of the record 419 competitors entered on Day 1, just 24 surfers now remain in the draw to claim one of the 16 medals on offer.
The team's race was shaken up as Hawaii solidified a healthy lead ahead of Australia, with France, the United States and Japan a little closer together in points to round out the top five.
Out of many incredible moments, it was a high-five shared between Luke Thompson (RSA) and Luke Swanson (HAW) that defined the day. In the first few minutes of their heat in Boys U-18 Repechage 9, both surfers posted scores above 9 points (out of a possible 10). Unable to contain their stoke as they passed each other in the lineup, they high-fived, forgetting for a moment the high stakes of the competition.
“We both opened up with 9’s and straight after they announced mine we both just looked at each other and started smiling and had a cool moment of high-fives and a moment of emotion and not having shut down.” Thompson said. “I feel like in contests you’re always very emotionless. You don’t want your competitors to see if you’re feeling a bit down or anything like that. We both let our guards down and said let’s do this, let’s shut this heat down.”
Finding incredible consistency, Lucia Machado (ESP) kept delivering heat after heat as she powered through the U-18 Girls repechage rounds. The Canarian scored big numbers across the four heats she surfed, her huge backhand hooks a perfect fit for the rights of La Bocana.
At the end of the day Team Spain sits just outside of the Top 5 in the rankings, but Machado believes they have what it takes. “I think we have an amazing team. The boys are doing amazing and the girls too and I think we can have a really good result here.”
Lucia Machado - Spain. Photo: ISA / Mike Rodriguez
A monstrous 19.33 heat total in Boys U-18 Repechage 8 was a huge achievement for Uriel Uziel (ISR), and the highest heat total of the event, however it wasn’t enough to see him through his following heat.
Uriel Uziel - Israel. Photo: ISA / Mike Rodriguez
Inigo Madina (FRA) managed the best of Boys U-16, with an 8.83 in his Main Round heat at La Bocana, while standouts including Jackson Dorian (HAW), Eden Hasson (AUS) and Cannon Carr (USA) were each eliminated.
After being relegated to the repechage in her first heat of the morning, Bella Kenworthy (USA) collected two 8’s and the highest heat total (16.40) of the Girls U-16 division for the day in Round 9.
Samuel Hearn (ENG) surfed the biggest heat of his life in the Main Round of Boys U-18. Playing it smart, he used a mix of solid surfing and good heat strategy to hang onto an advancing position one heat away from a medal.
“It was a super-stacked heat. All the guys in it have been ripping all event, but I managed to get the first one in and got a 7.00. That just boosted my confidence to stay quiet, sit confident and then luckily one of the other guys needed a 7 and I just sat on him the whole heat and luckily he didn’t get on the last wave,” Hearn said. “I’m the last man standing in England and super stoked for that.”
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“An incredible week of historic competition will come to a finish tomorrow when we crown junior World Champions for the first time in 3 years.”
“The level of progressive surfing at these championships has been truly amazing. This new crop of talent is a testimony to the sport’s development and growth around the world.
“Despite the global pandemic, it’s clear to me that more young people are surfing, and at a high level. There are also clearly more resources being directed to surfing performance at a national level, which is also a result of Olympic surfing.
“This is an exciting time for our sport. New, young surfers are thriving. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the finals.”
The 2022 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will be broadcast live until June 5 on isasurf.org.
The event schedule is as follows:
June 5 – Competition at La Bocana and El Sunzal
June 5 – Closing Ceremony at El Sunzal following the close of competition