2005 Quiksilver ISA Junior World Champs Update – 10/13/05

Day Four Midweek Update

Surf: 2-3 ft, peaky conditions. Glassy early on with moderate sideshore winds later on.
Events held: Boys Under 18: Repercharge Round 2; Boys Under 16: Round 3 and Repercharge Rounds 2 and 3; Girls Under 18: Repercharge Round 2
Nature's Call: Smaller peaky conditions with light Santa Ana winds.
Predicted: Brazilians won't quit.The ISA World Junior Championships isn't your run of the mill amateur contest. Surfing is normally an individual sport, but for this week, these kids aren't surfing for themselves, their parents, or their sponsors. Instead they're surfing as teams representing their entire country. It's a mini Olympics of sorts—they even kick off the event with an opening ceremony and parade, team members in uniform, marching with their respective country's flag. This year the US team is lucky enough to host the Championships on familiar grounds at the Huntington Beach Pier while 28 other participating countries flew over, some of whom (like Jamaica) had government funding. Along the stretch of beach south of the pier, groups of surfers huddled around flags from countries like Australia (the defending champs from last year), Tahiti, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Japan, Chile, Canada, the UK—the list goes on to cover even more of Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Beyond luck, the US has a strong team…finally. With surfers like Tanner Gudauskas, Dane Ward, Karina Petroni, and Courtney Conlogue, they'll be hard to beat. "We're in really good shape," said their coach, PT. As of yesterday, he had three Under 18 boys go through, three under 16 boys go through, only two in repercharge, and all but one girl go through. His goal is to go home with a medal. He keeps his team together at all times, no nonsense. "But Brazil's in really good shape," he said, "and Hawaii's in really good shape."
"Brazil's doing really well," USA's Connie Arias agreed. "They win every heat—they're the best. They have really good strategy. They have a gnarly coach; he's this crazy guy. He's always down at the water yelling, whistling, waving. He's gnarly." So far the Brazilians have been going strong and there weren't many in the repercharge rounds, but this morning, USA's Jordan Gaudet "was just blowing up," according to PT. He scored the highest heat score of Qualifier Round 3, Boys Under 16, right in front of Hawaii's Clay Marzo (who dominated at this year's NSSA Nationals), both easily winning their heats. Later in the moning, Hawaii's Mason Ho, son of legendary Michael Ho, made it out of his repercharge heat, as did USA's Hunter Heverly. Jadson Andre made his Brazilian team proud with a total heat score of 17.33.The Australians provided one of the most surprising upsets of the week by losing four to the repercharge rounds. "Australia got whacked yesterday. We whacked them. That's a good thing, because they usually whack us," PT said—but don't count them out. They're always strong. Tomorrow, in perhaps even better conditions, the qualifier rounds continue, with finals on Sunday.