Although the waves were far from classic Seaside in the dying hours of the event, the talented crop of Pro Junior surfers seemed unfazed as they continued to pull impressive maneuvers in the onshore surf to earn equally impressive scores up until the final horn. On the men's side of the event, tight turns by Chase Wilson and aerial acrobatics by Dane Zaun captivated the crowd throughout the final day, but it was clear from early on that the final would come down to the event's most in-form surfers, Evan Geiselman and Kolohe Andino.
The Floridian turned San Clemente transplant, Evan Geiselman, was on fire throughout the event with huge tail wafts and air rotations, and he managed to keep his momentum going through the final to defeat good friend and current Pro Junior ratings leader Kolohe Andino. "I think the final got a little trickier, and everyone was a little tired, but I kind of felt like I had a little rhythm through the whole event," says Geiselman. "Surfing with Brother [Andino] definitely puts in a little something extra, and makes me want to win a little more. I'm sure it's the same for him. We compete in everything, so it's just good to get one up on him." Although both were hungry for the win, Andino took the loss in stride. "He's probably the person I want to beat most. Even though I didn't, I had a lot of fun," says Andino.
In the women's competition, Lakey Peterson rose to the occasion and dominated the final as the waves picked up for the last heat. "Not once was there really a lull where I was sitting for more than a minute and a half. That was really nice and it kind of showed all of our surfing because we all got so many waves," says Peterson. "I really wanted to win, and I haven't won a big event in awhile, so I'm really excited." The Santa Barbara native was on a roll for the entire event, posting high scores in earlier heats before peaking in the final with a combined score of 14.76, defeating the other event standouts Nage Melamed, Leila Hurst, and Taylor Pitz.
Men's Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior Final Results:
1 - Evan Geiselman (USA) 11.17
2 - Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.67
3 - Chase Wilson (USA) 8.47
4 - Dane Zaun (USA) 7.26
Women's Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior Final Results:
1 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.76
2 - Nage Melamed (HAW) 11.10
3 - Leila Hurst (HAW) 6.60
4 - Taylor Pitz (USA) 6.40
For more results and highlights, go to www.robmachadoprojr.com.