Day Four Midweek Update
Events held: Boys Under 18: Repercharge Round 2; Boys Under 16: Round 3 and Repercharge Rounds 2 and 3; Girls Under 18: Repercharge Round 2
Nature’s Call: Smaller peaky conditions with light Santa Ana winds.
Predicted: Brazilians won’t quit.The ISA World Junior Championships isn’t your run of the mill amateur contest. Surfing is normally an individual sport, but for this week, these kids aren’t surfing for themselves, their parents, or their sponsors. Instead they’re surfing as teams representing their entire country. It’s a mini Olympics of sorts—they even kick off the event with an opening ceremony and parade, team members in uniform, marching with their respective country’s flag. This year the US team is lucky enough to host the Championships on familiar grounds at the Huntington Beach Pier while 28 other participating countries flew over, some of whom (like Jamaica) had government funding. Along the stretch of beach south of the pier, groups of surfers huddled around flags from countries like Australia (the defending champs from last year), Tahiti, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Japan, Chile, Canada, the UK—the list goes on to cover even more of Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Beyond luck, the US has a strong team…finally. With surfers like Tanner Gudauskas, Dane Ward, Karina Petroni, and Courtney Conlogue, they’ll be hard to beat. “We’re in really good shape,” said their coach, PT. As of yesterday, he had three Under 18 boys go through, three under 16 boys go through, only two in repercharge, and all but one girl go through. His goal is to go home with a medal. He keeps his team together at all times, no nonsense. “But Brazil’s in really good shape,” he said, “and Hawaii’s in really good shape.”