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Final Day is ON LIVE for Sunday at the ISA World Juniors in Panama


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Surf News, 20 April update...Only 13 of the 31 Nations Competing in Panama Have Athletes Remaining in the Competition. Hawaii on top as of Friday but anything can happen.
While Peru was struggling, Hawaii and Australia situated themselves out front in the race for Team Gold and the IOC President’s Trophy. The Aussies have eight athletes remaining, while the Hawaiians have nine, including Koa Smith, who won one of the most exciting heats of the day. Smith relied on fierce, gouging turns on some of the choice waves of his heat, holding off a late-heat charge by Australia’s Eli Steele. Both surfers advanced.

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“The 15 minute heats are so difficult. I’m used to doing them back home, but especially with the live scoring, they can’t keep you updated because everyone’s getting constant waves. You’ve just got to be in your own mind,” Smith said. “I do think about [my competition in a heat]; having an Australian (Steele) in a heat, an American (Trevor Thornton) in a heat, and a guy from past champion Peru (Joaquin del Castillo), that’s as stacked as you get, so it feels good to come out on top.”

Frequent flyer, Michael Rodriguez (BRA), found in this aerial what was looking for: a heat win. The Brazilian made it through Boys Under-18 Repechage Rounds 5 and 6, and kept his hope for Gold alive. Photo: ISA/Rommel González

While Peru was struggling, Hawaii and Australia situated themselves out front in the race for Team Gold and the IOC President’s Trophy. The Aussies have eight athletes remaining, while the Hawaiians have nine, including Koa Smith, who won one of the most exciting heats of the day. Smith relied on fierce, gouging turns on some of the choice waves of his heat, holding off a late-heat charge by Australia’s Eli Steele. Both surfers advanced.

“The 15 minute heats are so difficult. I’m used to doing them back home, but especially with the live scoring, they can’t keep you updated because everyone’s getting constant waves. You’ve just got to be in your own mind,” Smith said. “I do think about [my competition in a heat]; having an Australian (Steele) in a heat, an American (Trevor Thornton) in a heat, and a guy from past champion Peru (Joaquin del Castillo), that’s as stacked as you get, so it feels good to come out on top.”

Steele’s last wave bumped him into advancing position over Castillo. “I’m still shaking,” said Steele, minutes after coming out of the water, and waiting to hear his scores.

In Boys Under-16 competition, Michael Wright was one of the other standouts for the Aussies. He competed in and advanced through three Repechage rounds over the course of the day. His older siblings, Owen and Tyler, are both former ISA Gold Medalists and are competing on their respective ASP World Tours.

“[The family ISA legacy is] in my head; they’ve been sending little things and rooting for me,” said Wright, whose voice was coarse after engaging in two ‘Ring of Fires.’ After every Aussie heat win, the team circles around the athlete screaming “Aussie-Aussie-Aussie,” followed by a piercing “Come on!” Wright found himself in the middle of the circle on two occasions Friday.

In the Girls competition, much like Wright, Chelsea Tuach battled through and survived three tense heats in the Repechage. She is the lone surfer representing Barbados still in the event.

“This is where I wanted to be. Every heat [in the competition] is going to be better and better,” said Tuach, who finished in the top 10 last year. “I just want to make Barbados proud and get us as far up [the rankings] as we can get.”

Tuach is one of just five athletes who are the lone surfers remaining representing their country. The others include Ella Williams of New Zealand and Lucia Cosoleto of Argentina in the Girls division, and Costa Rica’s Noe Mar McGonable and Portugal’s Vasco Ribeiro, who are still in the Main Event in the Boys Under-18.

Only 13 teams of the original 31 nations still have surfers in the fight for the podium.

Surfing action resumes tomorrow morning, April 21, with Boys Under-16 Repechage competition. The event webcast will be live beginning at 7:40am local time (5:40am PST; 12:40pm in London) at www.dakineisawjsc.com/live.

At 1:00pm local time, competition in the ISA World Juniors will cease, and the first heats of the ISA Aloha Cup will begin. The unique event will include the host country, and the top seven nations from last year’s ISA World Juniors event in Peru. Each team will have five surfers, with four boys and one girl. Tagging one another into the water, each surfer is allowed to catch two waves and the total combination of scores determines the winners. Two four-team semifinal heats will be followed by a four-team final. This original and dynamic format for surf competition is one that the ISA believes surfing can use whenever it is in the Olympics.

Team Points After Day 6:
1- Hawaii. 7770
2- Australia. 7440
3- USA. 6700
4- Brazil. 5970
5- Peru. 5163
6-France. 4980
7. Japan 4498
8- South Africa. 4325
9- Portugal. 3623
10- New Zealand. 3590
11- Costa Rica. 3160
12- Argentina. 2866
13- Tahiti. 2473
14- Barbados. 2440
15- Great Britain. 2220
16- Venezuela. 1926
17- Panama. 1856
18- Mexico. 1852
19- Germany. 1732
20- Ecuador. 1688
21- Uruguay. 1480
22- Puerto Rico. 1436
23- El Salvador. 1160
24- Spain. 1040
25- Guatemala. 952
26- Jamaica. 904
27- Italy. 720
28- Chile. 692
29- Canada. 544
30- Switzerland. 384
31- Nicaragua. 336

On behalf of the global surfing community, before Day 6´s heats began, ISA President Fernando Aguerre shared his thoughts and feelings on the tragic passing of David Lilienfeld (RSA). The South African Bodyboarding National Team member was killed in a shark attack, while surfing at home two days ago. All of the 31 nations competing in Panama joined for a moment of silence to show respect for the loss of a member of the surfing tribe. Photo: ISA/Rommel González

On behalf of the global surfing community, before Day 6´s heats began, ISA President Fernando Aguerre shared his thoughts and feelings on the tragic passing of David Lilienfeld (RSA). The South African Bodyboarding National Team member was killed in a shark attack, while surfing at home two days ago. All of the 31 nations competing in Panama joined for a moment of silence to show respect for the loss of a member of the surfing tribe. Photo: ISA/Rommel González


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