Just three days until the finals, the action on Day 5 of the Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship continued to reduce the number of competitors and further intensified the battle for Team Gold and the perpetual Eduardo Arena Trophy.
Heats started two hours later this morning to allow for optimal tide and winds, in order to equip the world’s best over-35-year-old surfers with ample opportunity to find the waves with the highest scoring potential at Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana. Waves remained in the three to four-foot range, with plenty of long, open faces for big turns and the occasional barrel.
Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Japan and USA remain solidly in contention for the Team Medal podium. However, with the level of surfing from some of the remaining athletes from Costa Rica, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela – each of which has four remaining athletes – upsets are certainly possible. And then there’s the luck factor that comes into play: being in the right place when the right wave comes through.
The Americans remain as the only squad with a full team still in contention. Of the 26 teams that began the ISA World Masters, just 14 still have athletes in the event.
“We just finished the fifth day; it was hot as usual, but luckily for us, a little cloudier. The swell conditions changed substantially and we went from very fast tubes with some closeouts to absolutely makeable lefts and rights at two peaks,” explained Fernando Aguerre, the President of the ISA. “Due to the tide conditions we delayed the start, which was a good decision and allowed us to run a very diverse type of surfing contest.”
The stars of the day were the Hawaiian duo of Sunny Garcia and Kaipo Jaquias. They were paired together in both their Men’s Masters (over-35) and Grand Masters (over-40) Main Event heats, and came out one-two in both instances. Jaquias finished in first in both heats, which included a score of 17.33, the highest two-wave total of the event thus far.
“This opportunity came [to compete for Hawaii at the ISA World Masters], and it was something special. I have never been to Nicaragua and I just wanted to experience something new, and also to compete with the Hawaii team that we put together. It’s exciting. I’m very happy and just want to surf and go back home with this feeling,” Jaquias said. “The warm weather here is like Hawaii and the people make us feel like we’re at home – I think that’s a big plus.”
Garcia seemed perfectly content to finish behind his teammate. Ultimately, as long as they were both advancing, the plan was working.
“We just started off on both sides of the beach trying to catch our waves and if the other one needed help, we got there and did so without putting any pressure on anybody,” Garcia explained.
Martin Passeri was one of the victims who fell short to the Hawaiians in his Masters heat. He won his Repechage heat later in the day to remain in contention for a medal.
“Earlier I had a good heat, but I couldn’t make it. I was surfing against Kaipo, Sunny and Shea (Lopez, USA). I grew up watching those guys and they inspired me. I went to the Repechage, where I knew I needed to do my best, and ride a lot of waves and luckily I won the heat,” Passeri said. “For me, the opportunity to represent Argentina is an honor. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Masters team or the Men’s Open (in the ISA World Surfing Games), we always do our best, and work to get the best result for our country.”
While a lot of the talk and focus has been on the Americans and Hawaiians competing, Brazil has quietly asserted itself as one of the strongest contenders for a medal. Armando Daltro is one of the former professional surfers who’s managed to steadily work his way through the Masters division Main Event.
“In every event, I want to win. Here, it is going to be a little bit difficult because there are a lot of really good surfers and the road to the top of the podium is very long. I’m just going to continue to surf the best I can and see what happens,” Daltro said.
ISA veteran Magnum Martinez (VEN) has also been one of the standouts in every heat he’s competed in throughout the event. Martinez has proven an ability to shine whether the surf is overhead and barreling, or shoulder-high and super rippable.
Action resumes tomorrow, July 20, with a full day of Repechage heats. The day will conclude with the ISA Aloha Cup, a tag-team event unique to ISA events, featuring eight invited nations. Each team includes four athletes (three men, one woman) to compete in the semifinal/final format.
The event webcast will be live beginning at 7:40am local time (6:40am PST; 9:40am EST; 2:40pm in Paris; and 11:40pm in Sydney) with The Morning Show at www.isawmsc.com/live.
Men’s Masters Qualifying Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Magnum Martinez (VEN), 11.84; Rick Takahashi (USA), 9.70; Dean Hall (AUS), 6.77; Andrés Fernández (ECU), 5.43
Heat 2: Armando Daltro (BRA), 10.90; Carlos Cabrero (PUR, 10.83; Jojo de Olivenca (BRA), 7.13; Alejo Martínez (ARG)
Heat 3: Kaipo Jaquias (HAW), 13.07; Sunny Garcia (HAW), 12.67; Martin Passeri (ARG), 8.63; Shea Lopez (USA), 8.07
Men’s Kahunas Qualifying Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Mike Latronic (HAW), 12.10; Cardoso Junior (BRA), 11.97; Cesar Aspillaga (PER), 7.76; Masahisa Sakamoto (JPN), 6.73
Heat 2: Ricky Schaffer (USA), 12.57; James Hogan (USA), 12.00; John Schmidenberg (AUS), 9.60; Yoshihiro Nakamura (JPN), 5.83
Men’s Grand Masters Qualifying Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Hans Hagen (USA), 11.67; Dean Randazzo (USA), 10.53, Mark Cameron (AUS), 8.60; Víctor Peralta (DOM) ,6.80
Heat 2: Junior Maciel (BRA), 12.60; Sebastián Galindo (ARG), 9.40; Sergio Noronha (BRA), 8.17; Randall Chaves (CRI), 7.26
Heat 3: Kaipo Jaquias (HAW), 17.33; Sunny Garcia (HAW), 12.50; David Hammond (AUS), 8.34; Pascal Luciani (TAH), 7.37
Women’s Masters Qualifying Round 2 Results
Heat 1: Rochelle Ballard (HAW), 16.44; Alisa Cairns (USA), 8.93; Akiko Kiyonaga (JPN), 6.97
Heat 2: Sandra English (AUS), 6.06; Lucila Gil (ARG), 5.50; Andrea Díaz (CRI), 4.10
Men’s Grand Kahunas Qualifying Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Craig Schieber (CRI), 16.00; Oalto Castro (BRA), 9.40; Glen Pang (HAW), 6.03
Heat 2: Allen Sarlo (USA), 12.10; Rod Baldwin (AUS), 9.97; Javier Gorbea (PUR), 7.10
Men’s Masters Repechage Round 4 Results
Heat 1: Ronald Reyes (VEN), 9.77; Heriberto Ramirez (MEX), 9.20; Dean Hall (AUS), 7.67; Alejo Martinez (ARG), 6.63
Heat 2: Martin Passeri (ARG), 12.00; Hiroki Watanabe (JPN), 10.30, Andres Fernandez (ECU), 8.97; Hugo Camacho (MEX), 7.06
Heat 3: Jojo de Olivenca (BRA), 11.94; Shea Lopez (USA), 8.07; Norberto Pena (PUR), 7.00; Yoshio Ishida (JPN), 5.83
Men’s Grand Masters Repechage Round 4 Results
Heat 1: German Aguirre (PER), 11.54; Mark Cameron (AUS), 10.63; Olivier Salvaire (FRA), 8.30; Randall Chaves (CRI), 5.83
Heat 2: Yasunori Isobe (JPN), 9.83; David Hammond (AUS), 7.83; Santiago di Pace (ARG), 7.34; Víctor Peralta (DOM), 2.91
Heat 3: Sergio Noronha (BRA), 11.66; Juan Ashton (PUR), 11.23; Pascal Luciani (TAH), 6.13; Richy Arosemena, 5.03
Day 6 Heat Schedule
– Repechage 5 of Men’s Masters (Heat 1-2)
– Repechage 4 of Men’s Kahunas (Heats 1-2)
– Repechage 5 of Men’s Grand Masters (Heats 1-2)
– Repechage 4 of Men’s Grand Kahunas (Heats 1-2)
– Repechage 2 of Women’s Masters (Heats 1-2)
– Aloha Cup Semifinal 1 (USA, HAW, CRI, VEN)
– Aloha Cup Semifinal 2 (PUR, AUS, ARG, PER)
The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is made possible with the backing of the following sponsors: Nicaragua Tourism Institute, Gray Line, AmericanAirlines, Canal 13, Amnet, Hacienda Iguana, Taca, VOS TV, Municipalidad de Tola, Flor de Caña, INISER; the following cosponsors: Movistar, Dollar, Alamo, Comité Olimpico Nicaragüense, Hilton, Nuevo Diario, Guacalito, Condor, Servipro, Aqua Spa, CDNN canal 23, Nicasurfing; and the following supporters: Surfari Charters, Corona, Paso Pacifico, Renisa, Parmalat, Credomatic, Cruz Roja, Pantaleon, Canatur. The media partners are Pasión Xtrema, SurfersVillage and Surfos. The Official Forecaster for the event is Surfline.