THE NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: DAY TWO

posted by / News / June 23, 2004

SURF: Decent head-high to overhead (depending on your division) sets on a slowly fading south swell at Lower Trestles; chunky faces, but decent size and plenty of rippable sections.
EVENTS HELD: {{{Explorer}}} Boys Rounds One and Two; Explorer Juniors Round Two, Quarters and Semis; Explorer Womens Semis; Explorer Menehune Quarters.
NATURE’S CALL: Moody, but cooperative. Lowers wakes up early; first cup of coffee and she’s hot-to-trot for a couple hours. By ten or eleven though, she’s ready for her mid-day nap. Afternoons generally hinge on how smooth her nap goes. Today she woke up grumpy, but still went back to work.
PREDICTED: A slight decrease in swell, but an increase in surfing intensity. Perhaps even a bit of sunshine (hope, hope).
HEAT OF THE DAY: While watching South Bay charger Alex Gray continue his solid attack while Dylan Graves worked his way back from a flustering start in the Juniors Semi Heat Two was a highlight of the day, the waves were pretty chunked up and funked out by that time of day. The best surfing really went down before noon, when Gray and Trestles local Dane Ward went head-to-head, regular vs. goofy, in Round Two Heat Five. The waves were on. The boys were on. If it wasn’t for the announcer snoring over the PA, you might have mistaken it for the finals.
PERFORMER OF THE DAY: March SURFING cover-boy Alex Gray killed it in three straight heats today, drawing long lines with styling floaters, vertical snaps, and ending most of his waves with clean little airs off the inside section. For the girls, Karina Petroni dominated her heat, surfing each of her waves with confidence and authority – a solid bet for the title.
COMPETITIVE HIGHLIGHT: Kai Ellison found himself in last place with one minute to left in his Quarterfinal Juniors Heat when he bagged a nice set wave, surfed it well but pulled out early in order to catch the second half of the wave behind it, chalking up two scores in less than a minute and launching himself into first place at the buzzer.
SHOCKERS: Gulf Coast hopeful {{{Sterling}}} Spencer and Hawaiian prodigy Mason Ho both had disappointing results in Round Two of the Juniors. Spencer couldn’t seem to find the right wave, while Mason (whom the announcer kept calling “Michael”) picked off the best set waves of his heat, but kept coming unglued. Nick Rozsa surfed well throughout the day, but shot himself in the foot with an interference on Ricky Whitlock in the Semis.
STAY TUNED FOR: Saturday’s Junior Explorer Final is an NSSA Superheat if there ever was one: Alex Gray, Dylan Graves, Tanner Gudauskas, Hank Gaskell, Kilian Garland and TJ Barron all have legit shots and a very legit title.
QUOTABLES: “Looks like the wave of the day out the back.” –announcer Ryan Simmons’ call on virtually every decent set that came through.

Spectator #1: “Is that Coco Coco? Coco Ho?”
Spectator #2: “Yeah.”
Spectator #1: “Ho Ho?”
Spectator #2: “Yeah.”
Spectator #1: “As in, Michael Ho?”
Spectator #2: “Awww, she’s so little.”
– Nathan Myers

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