Today’s competition saw the men’s and women’s Elimination Rounds narrow the field at the World Surf League (WSL) Huntington Beach Longboard Classic, Stop No. 1 of the 2023 WSL Longboard Tour. Clean, two-to-four-foot conditions provided great opportunities for the world’s best longboarders to demonstrate their abilities. The Wallex US Open of Surfing Presented by Pacifico, Stop No. 4 of the 2023 WSL Challenger Series, was called OFF for the day.
Pictured: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) advanced out of the Elimination Round and into the Round of 16 today at the Huntington Beach Longboard Classic. Credit: © WSL / Pierucki
Emerging WSL Longboard Tour talent Mason Schremmer (USA) put on a showcase of nose-riding and style today at the Huntington Beach Pier. She posted an excellent 8.33 (out of a possible 10) single-wave score and 16.50 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Schremmer’s Semifinal finish at the Malibu Longboard Championship last season proved she is a threat to the world’s best. Now, she’s started the season in great form and is looking to establish herself as a potential World Title candidate.
“I free surfed before the event this morning and just kind of felt like I got a couple of nice ones,” said Schremmer. “So I was like just get two solid scores down and then just go for it because you don’t really have anything to lose. I just wanted to make the Elimination Round and get on to the next heat. It gives me a lot of confidence. It’s really good to put down some good scores and just feel like you’re building through a heat. It’s a good feeling.”
A clash of two Longboard Tour veterans, Alice Lemoigne (FRA) and Natsumi Taoka (JPN), unfolded in Heat 7. Lemoigne’s poise on the nose and smooth transitions led to an excellent 16.27 heat total. The French competitor’s experience among the world’s best has already led to one major victory in her career and she now looks to add another here at Huntington Beach.
“It’s so great to surf with these waves,” said Lemoigne. “The right is just perfect for nose rides so it actually was super good. I was a little nervous, but I had so much fun. I would just want to keep going on this way. I’m super stoked about this heat.” Reigning Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Regional Longboard Winner, Sophia Culhane (HAW), thrived under pressure during her Elimination Round, Heat 1 matchup against Luella Pace (USA). Culhane now awaits an all-important Round of 16 to start her season with a solid result and make a run toward becoming the youngest WSL Longboard Champion.
“The first heat of the morning is always stressful,” said Culhane. “I couldn’t really find my rhythm at first but then I kind of told myself you got this and I just took it wave by wave. It’s definitely sometimes a little more stressful, but I’m taking it contest by contest and focusing on heats. I’m trying to keep that out of my mind as much as possible but of course it creeps in there once in a while.”
Former WSL Longboard Champion Lindsay Steinriede (USA), Longboard Tour veteran Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER), 2023 season wildcard Liv Stokes (USA), Brazil’s newcomer Luana Soares, and reigning North America Regional Longboard Champion Avalon Gall (USA) also survived the Elimination Round and secured themselves spots in the Round of 16.Following the completion of the women’s Elimination Round, the men got their crucial elimination matchups underway. Dreamy conditions continued throughout the afternoon to provide a canvas for brilliant performances.
Three-time WSL Longboard Champion and defending event winner, Taylor Jensen (USA), emerged victorious over event wildcard Brendan White (USA) after a back-and-forth battle in Heat 1. Jensen’s combination of nose rides and powerful carves led to an impressive 7.00. He then closed the door on White by garnering a 7.50 in the dying minutes. Oceanside, California’s, Jensen will now move forward with momentum into the Round of 16.
“After my loss the other day I was kind of rattled, went home, thought about it too much, and then went for a surf and had a fun surf and kind of remembered why we do this,” said Jensen. “I watched the conditions all morning, I didn’t surf, but you could see where the waves were. I was on a 9’8” and it felt pretty good. It’s a board that’s got a little twist in it that’s kind of magic.”Longboard Tour veteran Eduard Delpero (FRA) put on a show for the crowd in the Huntington Beach Pier arena today. Delpero’s ability to stay on the nose nearly the entirety of a lefthander before finishing with a powerful carve earned him an excellent 8.33. The 2023 season wildcard looks to prove why he still belongs among the world’s best longboarders and staked his claim today with an excellent 16.26 heat total.
“I think the second best thing in surfing after getting barreled is getting nose rides,” said Delpero. “You fly on the water, it’s pretty amazing. I definitely had to reset after second place in the first round. I’m glad we had a couple days to take time off and take your mind off competition. Getting ready for the run. I’m stoked to get through that one and now getting my feelings back to my surfing.”Adding his name to the list of excellent heat totals today was Kai Ellice-Flint (AUS) who overtook fellow Australian Max Weston in commanding style. Flint’s nose-riding and transition into stylish turns garnered an excellent 8.50 single-wave score and 16.10 heat total. The WSL Longboard Tour newcomer is hoping to continue to make a statement in this first event of 2023.
“Max has been someone who’s always surfed really beautifully and shreds on a shortboard and I’ve always been super inspired by him,” said Ellice-Flint. “He’s a super smart bloke. So coming up against him, I knew he was going to be calculated. And he surfed well. I guess I just got a couple under him at the start and managed to secure a few bigger waves towards the end of the heat. But yeah, just going out there and enjoying surfing with your mate. It was epic.”
Also making it through the Elimination Round was experienced competitor, Kevin Skvarna (USA), who narrowly overcame event wildcard Saxon Wilson (USA). Skvarna will join Jack Van Wagoner (USA), Troy Mothershead (USA), Tony Silvagni (USA) and John Michael Hohenstein (HAW) in the Round of 16. For highlights and more information from today's competition, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Women's Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 11.40 DEF. Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) 9.84, Liv Stokes (CAN) 9.16
HEAT 2: Keani Canullo (HAW) 11.17 DEF. Kirra Molnar (AUS) 9.70, Sophia Culhane (HAW) 7.27
HEAT 3: Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Avalon Gall (USA) 8.67, Chloe Coleman (USA) 3.73
HEAT 4: Soleil Errico (USA) 12.23 DEF. Haley Otto (HAW) 11.00, Luella Pace (USA) 7.90
HEAT 5: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.13, Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 8.00
HEAT 6: Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 9.07 DEF. Maya Glasenapp (REU) 9.04, Mason Schremmer (USA) 8.23
HEAT 7: Rachael Tilly (USA) 12.94 DEF. Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 12.00, Roisin Carolan (AUS) 6.97
HEAT 8: Tully White (AUS) 7.83 DEF. Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 7.54, Luana Soares (BRA) 6.40
Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Men's Elimination Round Results:
HEAT 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) 14.50 DEF. Brendan White (USA) 11.83
HEAT 2: Kevin Skvarna (USA) 10.64 DEF. Saxon Wilson (USA) 10.60
HEAT 3: Troy Mothershead (USA) 14.84 DEF. Cole Robbins (USA) 14.03
HEAT 4: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 16.26 DEF. Chase Lieder (USA) 14.13
HEAT 5: Jack Van Wagoner (USA) 13.97 DEF. Kaimana Takayama (USA) 11.10
HEAT 6: Kai Ellice-Flint (AUS) 16.10 DEF. Max Weston (AUS) 12.93
HEAT 7: Tony Silvagni (USA) 13.00 DEF. Ben Considine (AUS) 11.07
HEAT 8: John Michael Van Hohenstein (HAW) 15.26 DEF. Nicolás Andrade (ESP) 12.60
Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Women's Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Sophia Culhane (HAW) 11.57 DEF. Luella Pace (USA) 8.67
HEAT 2: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 14.56 DEF. Maya Glasenapp (REU) 8.07
HEAT 3: Mason Schremmer (USA) 16.50 DEF. Chloe Coleman (USA) 10.93
HEAT 4: Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) 13.04 DEF. Roisin Carolan (AUS) 8.40
HEAT 5: Liv Stokes (CAN) 13.23 DEF. Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 13.13
HEAT 6: Luana Soares (BRA) 13.26 DEF. Kirra Molnar (AUS) 11.40
HEAT 7: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 16.10 DEF. Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 13.44
HEAT 8: Avalon Gall (USA) 13.17 DEF. Haley Otto (HAW) 7.06
Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Men's Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Jack Van Wagoner (USA)
HEAT 2: Kevin Skvarna (USA) vs. Edouard Delpero (FRA)
HEAT 3: Declan Wyton (AUS) vs. Kai Ellice-Flint (AUS)
HEAT 4: Tony Silvagni (USA) vs. John Michael Van Hohenstein (HAW)
HEAT 5: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) vs. Troy Mothershead (USA)
HEAT 6: Taka Inoue (JPN) vs. Steven Sawyer (RSA)
HEAT 7: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Rogelio Jr Esquievel (PHL)
HEAT 8: Kai Sallas (HAW) vs. Richie Cravey (USA)
Watch LIVE: Huntington Beach Longboard Classic The Wallex US Open of Surfing Presented by Pacifico and Huntington Beach Longboard Classic holds a competition window through Sunday, August 6, 2023. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners. The Wallex US Open of Surfing presented by Pacifico is proudly supported by Wallex.US, Pacifico, Cup Noodles, Hurley, 805 Beer, Red Bull, Sambazon, Shiseido, Surfshark, YETI, Aloha Collection, Aventon E-Bikes, Board & Brew, Boxed Water, Deville Canned Cocktails, Feelgoodz, Flexfit, Fuji Film, Huntington Surf & Sport, Jack’s Surfboards, Nixon Watches, Pura Vida, Ralphs, Tractor Beverage Company, USAF 330th Special Warfare, Visit Huntington Beach, William Grant & Sons, Professional Teqball, Tractor Soda, Victoria White, and Youtheory.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.