(Salinas, Ecuador) The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships returned to Playas de la FAE today for the second day of competition. Girls Under 18 made their grand debut, running all 24 heats of round one at the secondary contest site – a right and left beach break on the south end of the beach. Contest organizers also held the remaining heats of round one and all of round two for Under 18 Boys at the main contest site at the point. The surf was two to three feet in the morning but steadily rose throughout the day to a solid four-to-five feet by the afternoon.
Tyler Wright (pictured) opened up the Australian girls’ campaign with an impressive heat win and total combined wave score of 17.16, so far the highest for the Girls Under 18 and the second highest of the entire contest. Australian teammates all followed suit with Laura Enever, Paige Haggerston and Tylers sister Kirby Wright taking the first place spot in their respective heats.
“I felt really great out there in my heat today,” said Wright, the youngest ASP World Tour event winner in history having won the Layne Beachley Classic last year at 14. “I’m having a great time in Ecuador and am enjoying these waves.”
The Japanese Girls Under 18 team came out strong on their first day of competition with three of the team’s four surfers advancing on to the next round. In heat four, Japan’s Nao Omura won over Brazilian Isabela Lima and Venezuelan Rosanny Alvarez. Later in the day, in heat 21, Japan’s Minami Takechi overtook Brazilian Barbara Muller and Ametza Nichols of Barbados for the win.
South African Bianca Buitendag posted a high 15.17 for the win in heat 15, leaving second place Liza Caban of Puerto Rico needing nearly a perfect 10 point ride to take the lead.
Gabi Rowe and Karma Worthington kept the Great Britain team in the main rounds, taking second place in their heats. Many of the team’s Boys Under 18 surfers made it through round one but were unable to advance through round two and must now battle it out in the grueling repercharge rounds.
In the Boys Under 18 division, Chilean team member Guillermo Satt won his heat with Costa Rican Danny Bishko coming in a close second over Tahiti’s Jocelyn Poulou and USA’s Evan Thompson in third and fourth. Thompson was the first USA team member to go down to the repercharge rounds. Yesterday and today, the USA team had the strongest start of all the teams with every single surfer in all three divisions taking first place in their first round.
In heat three, Brazil and Hawaii, both ISA Junior World Title holders, lost two surfers to the repercharges. Alex Dive from New Zealand and Matthew Bromley of South Africa advanced on to the next round, taking first and second respectively over Brazilian Felipe Braz and Hawaiian Tanner Hendrickson.
The ISA hosting country Ecuador fared really well overall today, with Under 18 Boys David Villaroel and teammates Jaime Guzman, Johnathan Zambrano taking the top spot in their heats. Their local supporters filled the beach, cheering with flags raised high.
Competition will resume tomorrow at 8:00am at Playa de las FAE beach in Salinas, Ecuador with all three divisions returning for another round. The repercharge rounds will also begin tomorrow.