Surf City, El Salvador — June 2nd 2022 — Dramatic moments defined the sixth day of competition in Surf City, El Salvador, with tensions rising as the ISA World Juniors moves ever-closer to the podium. Round 4 was held for all divisions in the Main Event, with Repechage Round 3 also completed across the board.
After delivering the high point on Day 5, Team USA captain Ryan Huckabee was knocked out in a nailbiter in Boys U-18 Repechage Round 3. Romeo Chavez (COL) continued his string of wins, advancing along with Finn Vette (NZL) in second place, leaving Huckabee scratching for a score he couldn’t find.
Sneaking through on a well-timed single turn that garnered her a 6.75, Aelan Vaast (FRA) is feeling the weight of performing for her team.
“It was a really difficult heat,” Vaast said. “I surfed with so much pressure, but I made it through so I’m happy.”
Lucas Owston (USA) reconnected with the form that found him success early in the event in Boys U-18 Repechage Round 3. His super-sharp backhand attack provided the high mark of the division for the day, finding an 8.83 combined with a 7.07 for a 15.90 heat total.
Huge end section turns are proving to be the successful formula for Hans Odriozola (ESP), who has scored waves in the excellent range (8.00-10.00) in every heat he has surfed so far in Boys U-16.
“The trainer told me before to take rights because they were cleaner. So I stayed there and I waited for it and I took it and had one good carve and then a finish and I got the score,” Odriozola said. “It was an important heat against tough competitors.”
Hans Odriozola - Spain. Photo: ISA / Mike Rodriguez
Further highlights came from repechage heats surfed at El Sunzal, including a 9.25 from Arena Rodriguez (PER), and 8.75’s from Leonardo Apreda (ITA), Laura Raupp (BRA) and Sarah Scott (RSA).
Defined by the grace of her Hawaiian heritage, Puamakamae Desoto is breezing through heats as easily as her effortless style is making sense of the shifting conditions.
“Surfing, which was created in Hawaii, started as a cultural practice. Now it’s turned into a sport as it was shared around the world by Duke Kahanamoku and amazing other people,” Desoto said. “It’s an honor to be able to represent Hawaii, my kulaiwi (my home), and my lāhui (my people).”
But even her calm nature and humble confidence is not immune from the pressures of international competition.
“I definitely feel the pressure. La Bocana is a really good wave but sometimes it can be tricky with the winds and the conditions. I think everybody here is surfing so awesome. Watching all the other girls and even the guys just rip, it’s inspiring for when I get out there. I mean there’s always pressure but I’m definitely having fun.”
Puamakamae Desoto - Hawaii. Photo: ISA / Mike Rodriguez
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“As the competition moves closer to the medals rounds, the pressure of the international stage grows. Every surfer comes to the ISA World Juniors with big hopes for themselves and for their team. While there can only be a handful of medalists, every one of these athletes has achieved huge success just by being present at this historic championship. It will be so exciting to see who rises to the top.”
The event schedule is as follows:
June 3 – June 5 – Competition at La Bocana and El Sunzal
June 5 – Closing Ceremony at El Sunzal following the close of competition