Makka Beach 

Seventeen year old Shane Simmonds walked away with the 1000 points on offer to the winner of the second event of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 National Open Surf Series. The event which was contested at the Makka surfing beach at Southaven in St Thomas on Saturday March 7, was supposed to have been run on the previous Saturday and was rescheduled due to small surf. The organizers could not have been happier with the decision as beautiful 4’ to 6’ surf rolled in at the world famous surfing beach all day.

Twenty four surfers from both the northeast and southeast divisions registered to compete. They were divided into 6 heats from which the top twelve advanced to round 2. Four heats took the field down to the top eight surfers for the two semi finals.

Semi final 1 was between Inilek Wilmot, Luke Williams, Ackeam Taylor and Jason Pusey. The 15 minute heat saw 20 waves ridden with Inilek nabbing an 8.0 from the judges for his best wave which put him out in the lead. Second place changed hands a number of times but Inilek solidified his lead with a 7.5 and booked his place in the final. The judges had their work cut out for them in selecting the second surfer to advance as all were surfing well, but when the scores were tallied Luke squeaked by Ackeam and Jason to make the final.

Semi final 2 was a unanimous decision by the judges when Shane Simmonds, Icah Wilmot, Eneson Lightbourn and Ackeam Phillips paddled out for their 15 minute heat. They rode 23 waves between them but Shane made his statement with fast crisp manoeuvres to the delight of the crowd on the beach and secured the first spot in the final. Icah was constantly nipping at his heals but when the horn sounded he had to settle for the second spot in the final ending Eneson and Ackeam’s journey.

It seemed the sea had saved the best for last. As Shane, Icah, Inilek and Luke paddled out a majestic wave rolled down the beach to the great excitement of all the surfers present. The horn sounded for the beginning of the ultimate heat of the day and it was on in earnest. The sun glistened on the turquoise waves as the offshore wind fanned their quivering crests. Shane had not lost his edge from his semi final heat and continued to dominate the waves with immaculately executed turns. Icah was there also showing why he is the most “sponsored” Jamaican surfer. His brother Inilek off his win in his semi final was also on fire drawing eye-pleasing flowing turns and throwing lots of spray. Luke was surfing strong pulling off some impressive “floaters” and “Lip bashes”.

When the final horn sounded it was up to the judges and the crowd waited as scores wee tallied. Shane had done it with Icah second, Inilek third and Luke fourth.

The next event in the series will be held at COPA surfing beach on March 21 2009 beginning at 9:00am

2009 JASURF RANKING

1 Shane Simmonds  1860
2 Inilek Wilmot  1730
3 Icah Wilmot   1590
4 Luke Williams  1340
5 Eneson Lightbourn 1193
6 Ackeam Phillips  1165
7 Jason Pusey  1110
8 Ackeam Taylor  1060
9 Garren Pryce  1055
10 Shama Beckford  950

Source: Jamaican Surfing Association