With the first round of Under 18 and Under 16 mens complete the USA Surf Team advance it's full squad with outstanding performances from Under sixteeners Jacksonville's Evan Thompson and San Clemente's Kolohe Andino who both had convincing wins.
In difficult small offshore conditions on the changing sandbars due to the huge European tide changes, the rest of the team Cory Arrambide, Trevor Saunders, Cody Thompson and Michael Dunphy in the Under 18's and Evan Geiselman and Dane Zaun in the Under 16's took seconds mainly to a much improved New Zealand squad who only a year ago finished seventh in Brasil only one behind the USA.
As a result of those seconds those USA team-members will run into a bunch of winning Aussies, Brasileros and Hawaiians in round two winners on day two.
If the USA Surf Team is to contend here for the team medals they will have to raise their game to compete with the elite nations of Australia, Hawaii, Brasil, South Africa and France who all had good opening days. Australia was best with a near perfect seven out of eight wins
On the positive side, the USA Team were better off than a year ago when they had already lost a team-member to the Repercharge/Loser rounds in the ISA double elimination format.
Second day competition will see the women hit the water for the first time with Sage Erickson up first for the USA Surf Team.
PT in PORTUGAL.
NATIONS ON PARADE!
Here I am in Portugal, thirty-five years after I came to America for the first time representing Australia. I know what it feels like to represent your country and it's the spirit I try to in-still in the USA Junior Surf Team that is here in Portugal to try and and bring home medals for their country. It's a great feeling, I did it when I won a Bronze that year '72 in San Diego.
The Hotel Costa Da Caparica.is a hive of activity, a majority of the national teams are housed here, twenty-eight nations ready to lead their countries to the podium and be declared the world champions. In recent year's the Aussies have owned this event having made the podium(Top 4 nations) the last three year's since the new look USA Surf Team has returned to be contenders, those Aussie having won the Gold in two out of three. Then there are the Brasilero's, the Hawaiian's(Gold medal Champions in HB in '05) and the rising French(Silver in '06) and South African's.
The host hotel is right on the beach with rock jetties out front provide ample training ground for contestants who'll compete about two miles up the beach.