Epic Conditions Greet World’s Best Junior Surfers in the Azores on Day 5 of 2016 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

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Top five teams remain unscathed heading into final four days of competition

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On the fifth day of competition at the 2016 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, the world’s best junior surfers were greeted with epic conditions in the Azores. A large swell pounded the beach break of Praia do Monte Verde, rewarding the surfers who could read the unruly waves.

The top five teams from Tuesday, USA, France, Japan, Australia and Hawaii, remained unscathed, having all of their athletes alive in the competition with four days remaining.

Puerto Rico’s Gabriel San Miguel finds a gaping barrel with the increased swell on Day 5 of the 2016 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA / Rezendes

On Wednesday morning the U-18 and U-16 Boys were first to take to the water, each completing Round 2 of the Main Event. While seemingly perfect waves were rolling through, managing the current and being in the correct spot was no easy task.

Japan’s Yuki Nakashio (10.53) and Tahiti’s Warren Packett (13.50) managed to find workable waves with scoring potential, marking the highest heat totals in their division’s Main Event heats.

The world’s best junior surfers took full advantage of the excellent conditions on offer in the Azores. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The day proceeded with a marathon 25 heats of Boys U-18 and Boys U-16 Repechage Rounds. Winners of the Repechage Round 2 advanced back into Round 3 of the Main Event, where the event will continue with an elimination format.

Brazil’s Raul Bormann took first place in the opening heat with a score of 9.33, advancing back into the Main Event along with Morocco’s Badaoui Abderrahim (6.37). Germany’s Lenni Jensen (6.23) and Chile’s Nicolas Canelo (3.23), placed third and fourth, resulting in their elimination from the competition.

Bormann spoke about his gratitude to be representing his country of Brazil at the world’s highest competitive stage of junior Surfing.

“Being in the Azores and competing in an event this big is an incredible opportunity. Through all of the hardship that we go through to get here, it’s a surfer’s biggest dreams. Winning the ISA World Junior title would be the greatest honor for me.

“There are a ton of teams on the beach and it’s amazing to see how the event promotes peace between nations. It’s undoubtedly a moment to remember.”

France’s Marco Mignot finds some shade, advancing through Round 2 of the Main Event. Photo: ISA / Miguel Rezendes
France’s Marco Mignot finds some shade, advancing through Round 2 of the Main Event. Photo: ISA / Miguel Rezendes

In a day where high scores were hard to come by, Tahiti’s Kauli Vaast notched the highest heat total of 15.44. Vaast connected two solid waves worth 7.67 and 7.77 points that proved to be the best performance of the day.

Costa Rica’s Esteban Chaves, who passed through his U-18 Round 2 Repechage heat back into the Main Event spoke about his experience during Wednesday’s competition.

“Yesterday was a hard day with big waves, today is slightly smaller and improving really fast. I’m happy because each competitor can perform to the best of their ability. Nothing comes easy here. It’s hard, so our team does our best as a family to represent Costa Rica.

“It’s an amazing feeling to give it all for my nation and now that the 2020 Olympics are coming, I have to train hard to compete in Tokyo.”

More than a few boards fell victim to the heavy conditions at Praia do Monte Verde. Photo: ISA / Miguel Rezendes

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The top teams, USA, France, Hawaii, Japan and Australia, have put on amazing performances thus far, but the competition is still anyone’s game. These five teams with all of their surfers in the competition that will be looking to put it all on the line for the Gold Medals. We have some crucial heats and the ISA Aloha Cup on tap for the coming days, which will maintain the level of intensity and excitement in the Azores.”

Surfline, the official forecaster, is calling for the current Northwest swell to continue on Thursday, slowing fading through the day. The remnants of this powerful swell will provide plenty of surf for the rest of the contest period through Sunday, September 25th.

View the full Surfline forecast here: http://isaworlds.com/juniors/2016/en/surfline-forecast/

The full results from the fifth day of competition can be viewed here: http://isaworlds.com/juniors/2016/en/results/

The schedule for Thursday’s competition is the following:

Podium 1

• 8:00am – 1:20pm: 16 heats Main Event Round 3 Boys U-18
• 1:20pm – 4:00pm: 8 heats Main Event Round 4 Boys U-18

Podium 2

• 8:00am – 11:00am: 9 heats Repechage Round 2 Boys U-16
• 11:00am – 5:00pm: 18 heats Main Event Round 3 Boys U-16

Times in Azores Standard Time.

Tune in to watch the live action on www.isaworlds.com.

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Layne Beachley (AUS), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).