Hawaii World Junior Team Day Four in New Zealand

leilahurst_1955The winds blow all dayŠ onshore creating waves and unpredictable conditions at Piha, site of the ISA JUNIOR WORLD SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS. And so far the Verizon Wireless Hawaii Junior Surf Team has not lost anyone to the chop and inconsistencies.

In the much dreaded Repercharge rounds at podium 2 on Sunday Keanu Asing eliminated the team USA #1 seed Conner Coffin. Ezekiel Lau scored a solid 6.0 with seconds left in his heat, leaping from oblivion, to first place in his 20 minute segment. Kaimana Jaquias appears at home with the wind in his face riding the slop and advancing towards shore and into the next round.
Tanner Hendrickson saved the best for last boosting a 9.25 on one wave coming the closest to a perfect ten at the event thus far. All the older boys continued along the tight rope heading towards a finals finish line, with no casualties.

In the boys under 16 division Isaiah Moniz negotiated some turns at just the right time and he too advanced thru a repercharge, while the remaining 3 boys under 16 eagerly wait a Monday run in the undefeated column. Ian Gentil, Koa Smith, and Kain Daley all look relaxed and focused.

The girls monopolized podium One on Sunday and though Leila Hurst was relegated to the repercharge rounds the other three girls advanced undefeated thru 24 heats of competition. Alessa Cuizon was unstoppable.
Malia Manuel did the most she could with 25 mile an hour onshore breeze blown swells and Nage Melamed stood her ground while paddle battling Bianca Butendtag a South African foe who was about a foot taller than Nage. Both advanced.. Leila will be surfing the repercharge on Monday while Malia and Nage team up against two U.S surfers Courtney Conologue and Taylor Pitz in a heat that might display some additional paddling strategies.

Field General Rainos Hayes, coaches Megan Abubo, and Kahea Hart weathered another full day of onshore squalls on Sunday. Thankfully no Hawaiians have bowed out from the competition.

Once again the Australians as well as the U.S. team appear most formidable with some very strong individual surfers from Brazil, Tahiti and South Africa. The host country New Zealand is displaying a comfort level and a definite home seas advantage that compliments the hospitality they have exhibited. This is a rebuilding year for the Hawaiians and yet the building has a solid foundation. And all have their eyes peeled to the horizon for some additional swells as well as some nasty rumors about offshore winds and epic conditions for the last few days of the event.