John Mel: he is 11

Kolohe Andino and Tatiana Weston Webb have triumphed in the Under 18 division of the 2011 Quiksilver USA Championships, at Huntington Beach and Lower Trestles, California.

Eight Under 18 USA Champions were crowned in a solid south swell built up to the finals as the most important and prestigious annual event in American surfing came to a dramatic close.

Young rippers like John Mel (Boys U12 Champ), Seth Moniz (Boys U14 Champ), Meah Collins (Girls U12 Champ), and Mahina Maeda (Girls U14 Champ), all put on stellar performances throughout the contest. 11-year old, John Mel, in particular, surfed well beyond his years and wowed the beach with a long series of consistent backhand hacks that led to a perfect ten and victory in the Boys Under 12 Final.

In the Boys Under 16 Final, mainlanders Parker Coffin and Cam Richards went up against Hawaiians Ian Gentil and Kain Daly. But it was the Santa Barbara goofyfooter, Coffin, who went away with the title in a buzzer beating display of shock and awe power surfing. I've never been chaired up the beach before," beamed Coffin. "I've never really won anything this big ever. It feels so good!"

The Girls Under 16 and Girls Under 18 Divisions both saw the same smiling face on the winner's podium as Hawaiian Tatiana Weston-Webb claimed both Championship trophies-just as she did last year in the U14 and U16's. This, despite a perfect ten scored by Girls Under 18 favorite, Lakey Peterson, earlier in the day. Weston-Webb acknowledged the competition when receiving her awards and Governor's Cup trophy as she said, "It was a stacked heat and all the girls could've won. I guess got lucky and got the best waves."

The shot heard round the world had to be Kolohe Andino's perfect ten in the final seconds of the final heat in the event. The San Clemente local took off on a bomb righthander and threw three aerials in what many are calling the most incredible display of progressive surfing ever witnessed at the Lowers venue.

With that performance, Andino handily won the Under 18 Division and the prestigious Governor's Cup. There was no question; all five judges' scores were unanimous in their perfect ten assessment. And that's how it ended-the perfect finish to the perfect event in perfect conditions.

2011 Quiksilver USA Championship Results:

Boys under 18
1st - Kolohe Andino, San Clemente, CA (Governor's Cup)
2nd - Ian Gentil, Maui, HI
3rd - Colin Moran, Costa Mesa, CA
4th - Derek Peters, Huntington Beach, CA

Girls under 18
1st - Tatiana Weston Webb, Kauai, HI (Governor's Cup)
2nd - Leila Hurst, Kauai, HI
3rd - Jasset Umbel, Florida
4th - Lakey Peterson, Santa Barbara, CA

Boys under 16
1st - Parker Coffin, Santa Barbara, CA
2nd - Ian Gentil, Maui, HI
3rd - Cam Richards, Garden City, SC
4th - Kain Daly, Maui, HI

Girls under 16
1st - Tatiana Weston Webb, Kauai, HI
2nd - Kulia Doherty, San Clemente, CA
3rd - Harley Taich, La Jolla, CA
4th - Nikki Viesins, Indialantic, FL

Boys under 14
1st - Seth Moniz, Oahu, HI
2nd - Jacob Davis, Capistrano Beach, CA
3rd - Kanoa Igarashi, Huntington Beach, CA
4th - Griffin Colapinto, San Clemente, CA

Girls under 14
1st - Mahina Maeda, Oahu, HI
2nd - Dax McGill, Oahu, HI
3rd - Tia Blanco, San Clemente, CA
4th - Meah Collins, Costa Mesa, CA

Boys under 12
1st - John Mel, Newport Beach, CA
2nd - Finn McGill, Oahu, HI
3rd - Tyler Gunter, Newport Beach, CA
4th - Luke Gordon, South Carolina, CA

Girls under 12
1st - Meah Collins, Costa Mesa, CA
2nd - Honolua Blomfield, Oahu, HI
3rd - Brissa Hennessy, Oahu, HI
4th - Moana Jones, Oahu, HI

Adult and Longboard Division Final Results:

Men 18 - 29
1st - Kylen Yamakawa - HI
2nd - Gavin Klein - HI
3rd - Chad Eastman - CA
4th - Ricky Lovato - CA

Masters 30 - 39
1st - Paul Pugliesi - CA
2nd - Mike Reilly - CA
3rd - Yari Vodraski - CA
4th - Tiago Monteiro - HI

Senior Men 40 - 49
1st - Pedro Diaz - CA
2nd - Chas Wickwire - CA
3rd - Richard Patey - HI
4th - Mike Estrada - CA

Legends 50+
1st - Allen Sarlo - CA
2nd - Mike Lamm - CA
3rd - Steve Mendelson - CA
4th - Dale Baker - CA

Women 18+
1st - Sophia Tiare - HI
2nd - Wes Noble - CA
3rd - Crystal Hoskins - CA
4th - Jennifer Argenti - CA

Girl's Longboard U18
1st - Tory Gilkerson - CA
2nd - Honolua Bloomfield - HI
3rd - Natalia Smith - HI
4th - Lianna Patey - HI

Women's Longboard 18+
1st - Sophia Tiare - HI
2nd - Kaitlin McGuire - CA
3rd - Erin Lewis - CA
4th - Amy King - CA

Jr. Longboard U18
1st - Kris Williams - CA
2nd - Shaun Thompson - CA
3rd - Steve McLean - FL
4th - Crispin Nakoa - HI

Men's Longboard 18+
1st - Mike Gillard - CA
2nd - Cody Canzoneri - TX
3rd - Terry Gillard - CA
4th - Brandyn Garske - CA

Senior Longboard
1st - Richard Patey - HI
2nd - Terry Gillard - CA
3rd - Mike Gillard - CA
4th - Albert Shannon - TX

It produces a characteristic sound that immediately takes us to tropical environments. The ukulele was born in Hawaii but has its roots in Western Europe.

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