Joaquin del Castillo: local star

Smiles and tears marked another day of great waves and surfing performances at the 2011 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, in Peru. Sun and glassy four-foot rides were the perfect ingredients to a decisive moment in the contest.

Señoritas and Caballeros saw 24 surfers in each division making it to the third round with very good shows. As of today, there’s not a single country in the event with all of their surfers in the winners bracket. Hawaii, Brazil, USA have nine surfers on the main event, Australia and South Africa 8, Tahiti, France and Peru follow with seven.

Punta Hermosa’s Joaquín Del Castillo, was the Under 16 Boys standout at Señoritas. Local knowledge proved to be key in the small conditions with Del Castillo nabbing a 13.84 to beat Lucas Silveira (BRA), Kanoa Irigashi (USA) and Dune Kennings (NZL).

"The waves were better yesterday so I had to wait a lot before taking the first one," said del Castillo. "Patience paid off because I ended up surfing a really good one that gave me over seven points. That left me in a good position to wait for another one. I know this wave, that’s why I was able to find the other one that gave me the victory."

Another standout in the division was 13-year-old Nome Mignot from France. He and his fellow countryman Andy Criere won a tight battle against Hawaiians Koa Smith and Kaoli Kahokuloa.

Mignot said, "I feel so happy, I can’t believe it right now, this goes for my team, my family and my friend Andy. I did catch a really good wave, but after that there were no sets coming, so it turned pretty hard for me to grab another wave. It finally came and I made it through!"

Other Under 16 standouts were Felipe Toledo (BRA), Soli Bailey, Juninho Urcia (PER) and Lucca Messinas (PER). All of them posted combined scores of over 11.50.

On the girls side, the main event saw some intense battles with Hawaiians, Australians and South Africans standing up in the scores. Bailey Nagy (HAW) gave the best performance by posting a combined score of 15.83. Her neighbor Tatiana Weston-Webb, came close with a total of 15.44, while Bianca Buitendag (RSA) and Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) nailed combined scores of 14.66 and 13.90 respectively.

"The competition is always difficult", said Buitendag. "But my coach always told me to have confidence in myself. The competitors did a very good job, all the girls are surfing amazing but I stayed calm and focused on what I was doing. This is my first time in Peru, I love it and I am very happy with the results and the waves."

In the do or die efforts of the repecharge, Under 16 Boys’ Elliot Paerata-Reid (NZL) was responsible for the second highest combined score of the day. The Kiwi posted 15.50 to beat Joaquín Juarez (ARG) Manuel Kronfelder (GER) and Donogh Cronin (IRE).

In the Boys Under 18 repecharge, out of the four heats held three were won by Puerto Ricans (Cristian Rivera, Bryan Laide and Jose Claudio). Costa Rican Alberto Muñoz won the other one. The day ended with the Under 18 Girls repecharge. Alexis Poulter (NZL), Leilani McGonagle (CRC), Nikita Kekana (RSA) and Pamela Verboonen were the best surfers of the round.