ISA World Junior Championships

The wild weather continued at the pinnacle junior event for surfers under 18 years, with day three of the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being completed at Piha in New Zealand today.

Rising to somewhat calmer conditions, contest organizers decided to push through with the qualifying round two Under 16 Boys followed by repercharge one Under 18 Boys heats on the tournament's main event podium.

Although small in stature, the under 16's tore into the stormy 5-7 foot (2.0m) faces beach break waves on offer.

The Tahitian pairing of Mataiea Hiquily and Tefaafana Arihoe set the performance bar for the day's action in heat three of the morning. Hiquily, who only rode two waves in the 25-minute exchange, made the most of his waves, netting a 7.00 and 8.25 to claim the morning's highest two-wave combined total of a 15.25 (out of a possible 20).

Arihoe finished in second, relegating Indonesia's Jeren King and France's Ugo Robin into the repercharge round.

Hiquily said he was happy to progress into the next round despite the bumpy conditions. “It was very hard to get to the peak of the wave,” said the young Tahitian. “I just tried not to think too much and just surfed. The waves are different in New Zealand compared to at home. The waves are quite messy and we're not used to it.”

The talented goofy foot added that he's enjoying being a part of his country's team. “I really appreciate coming with the Tahitian team to the event,” he said. “It's a good experience for me. I've been getting a lot of advice from my fellow team members.”

Fellow Tahitian Braye Mihamana joined his teammates in round three, finishing behind South Africa's Steven Sawyer in heat five of the day.

Team USA enjoyed a strong day in the Under 16 Boys with Kolohe Andino, Parker Coffin, Trevor Thorton and Jake Halstead all scoring wins.

San Clemente star Andino, who is competing in his fifth Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship event got busy in the improving conditions, netting both the event's highest individual wave score (9.00) and two-wave combined total (15.75) to advance through to round three ahead of Australian Creed McTaggart (Margaret River). With South Africa's Dylan Lightfoot and Tahiti's Massin O'Neil finishing the heat in third and fourth respectively.

Post heat, Andino said he felt lucky to get his 9-point ride. “I just lucked into that wave,” he said. “Creed McTaggart kind of paddled wide and I just hung where I was. The wave doubled up and I got two good turns in.”

Andino added that he was pleased with USA's performance today. “Team USA had a really good day,” he said. “We won all of our heats to go through to the qualifying round. We'll just keep trucking along.”

New Zealand ace Ben Poulter (Raglan) continued his hot run of form, downing no.1 seed Matt Banting (Port Macquarie) to storm into round three of the under 16 boys.

“I'm really stoked,” said Poulter. “It was so good to take down the top seed.” It wasn't too bad out there. It was 4-5ft, maybe a little bigger on the sets. But if you got the right wave you could take it right to the beach.”

But it wasn't all smiles today, with repercharge one of the Under 18 Boys division being completed this afternoon. Third and fourth from each heat were eliminated from the prestigious event.

Surfers who were lucky to survive this afternoon included the United Kingdom trio of Alex Baker, Nathan Elms and Matt Chapman, along with Sebastian Correa (Peru), Sidney Grimares (Brazil), Charles Teiki (Tahiti) and Jose Ferreira (Portugal), who all recorded repercharge one wins. All the top seeded nations were able to stay with all their surfers alive in competition.

Contest organizers are highly likely to run round one and two of the U/18 Girls division on the main podium tomorrow, with repercharge one and two of the U/16 Boys and repechage two of the U/18 Boys on podium two.


SOURCE: ISA World Juniors