After an intense selection process, the newly invigorated US Team – now incorporating all major US amateur organizations — gets their first chance to redeem their formerly embarrassing showing’s (like last year’s 19th place finish). Coach Peter “PT” Townend gives a firsthand account from the first day of competition.
A couple of good days for the new American Team.
With opening ceremonies and the parade of nations on Sunday, which was attended by the President of Tahiti and the mixing of the world’s sands, after two days of first round competion the USA SurfTeam has showed the world that we’re back.
The Americans faced the number one ranked team from Brazil in the opening round and the level of competition was intense.
Led by a startling performance Tuesday by Palos Verde’s Alex Gray in the Under 18’s, the Team Captain posted scores in the 9s and 7s to register the highest scoring heat of all first round heats.
Equal to that was the performance of Karina Petroni in the final heat of the opening rounds when she scored the best combined Girls score in first round competition.
So far the USA Surf Team’s other win has been by Marty Weinstein in the Under 16’s and second place results by Dane Ward and Jeremy Johnston in the Under 18’s, Dane Gudauskas in the Under 16’s and Erica Hosseini and Connie Arias in the Girls. The Americans are now in great position to capture their first ISA medal in nearly ten years.However, stiff competition will come from the Brazilians and Australian’s who have been dominant, as well as the Hawaiians and South Africans.