Akeem Taylor: jumping over his mates

Akeem Taylor has conquered the third stage of the Jamaica Surfing Association National Open Series, held at Copa Surfing Beach, in Bull Bay. Thirty surfers competed for the 1000 points on offer, in in chest-to-shoulder high surf.


After the initial rounds, the national junior surfers Shama Beckford, Akeem Taylor and Ivah Wilmot were doing their part and made into the semifinal heats. The other three top performing first round surfers were Inilek Wilmot, Ackeam Phillips and Michael Panton who also won their heats.

The sun was sinking fast and the next three heats were run back to back to try and get through the event by sundown. It was agreed that in order to complete the event only the top two surfers from each of the three heats would advance to a final thus eliminating the semi final round.

Shane Simmonds, Shama Beckford, Inilek Wilmot, Akeem Taylor, Garren Pryce and Eneson Lightbourn secured a spot in the final, in which 44 waves were ridden. Shane was impressive, showing great control through the sections and pulling tight wrapping roundhouses.

Akeem waited a while to open up his account but did so with authority getting a 7 for his opening ride. Shama was flying all over the lineup grabbing the smaller waves that reformed on the inside reef.

Eneson seemed to be in the right spot at the right time for most of the sets and was surfing them well but not selecting the best waves of the set. Inilek was hunting for the right waves but couldn’t find them. Garren was getting a few but was having trouble completing his maneuvers.

It was anyone’s race but young Akeem got a backup score and moved out in front. Time started to wind down and Eneson got two good waves that put him into contention.

Shane then got a beauty and executed an air reverse which put him into second as the clock ran down. When it ended Akeem took the win, Shane second, both from Boston Bay, Eneson third, Inilek fourth, Shama fifth and Garren sixth.

"I think it is wonderful to see three junior surfers making it to the final of a National Open Championship event and one winning it!", said JSA president Billy Wilmot. "It authenticates the JSA’s Youth Development Program, and is very encouraging at this time as we prepare to send the junior team off to the International Surfing Association’s World Junior Surfing Championships in Panama next month."

Akeem Taylor leads the Jamaica National Open Series, followed by Shama Beckford and Inilek Wilmot.