Hawaii takes lead into final day of competition
Hawai'i is leading the team standings entering the final day of competition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.
The seventh day of the eight-day event was completed yesterday in 2- to 4-foot waves at Piha Beach, Auckland, New Zealand.
The contest is considered the world championship for surfers age 18 and younger. More than 200 surfers representing 21 countries/regions are participating.
Five Hawai'i surfers advanced to the final day of competition.
Keanu Asing of 'Ewa and Tanner Hendrickson of Maui remain in contention in the Boys 18 division. They both advanced through three repechage heats yesterday.
"I'm spent right now," said Asing, 16. "I surfed three heats and gave 100,000 percent in each one. I was trying to run up the beach after my last heat and my legs were cramping."
Asing scored a dramatic win in his first heat of the day. He trailed throughout the 20-minute heat, but received a score of 8.86 (out of 10) on a wave he caught just as the final horn sounded.
In his third repechage heat of the day, Asing had wave scores of 9.1 and 8.7 to eliminate Maxime Huscenot of France. Huscenot recently won the world championship for surfers age 21 and younger.
Hendrickson got a significant win when he was seeded against two surfers from France in the same heat and beat them both.
"I thought they might have tried to sit on me or something like that," said Hendrickson, 17. "I had a couple of strategies to hold myself against that. But it worked out. They didn't sit on me."
In the Girls 18 division, Malia Manuel of Kaua'i and Alessa Quizon of Wai'anae remain in contention. Manuel is still undefeated in the double-elimination contest, and is assured a spot in the semifinals.
Quizon advanced through her repechage heat yesterday.
In the Boys 16 division, Koa Smith of Kaua'i remained undefeated yesterday, and has also been assured a spot in today's semifinals.
Surfers from the repechage bracket can still rally to win an individual championship.
Two Hawai'i surfers were eliminated yesterday, both from the Boys 16 division. Ian Gentil of Maui lost in the sixth round of the repechage bracket; Isaiah Moniz lost in the seventh round of the repechage bracket.
Hawai'i has a slim lead in the team standings over Australia and the United States. Australia and the United States each has four surfers remaining.
Hawai'i is recognized as its own region by the International Surfing Association because of its rich history in the sport, and thus is allowed to field a team separate from the United States.
The Aloha Cup tag-team exhibition competition was also completed yesterday. Australia finished first, followed by France, South Africa and Hawai'i. Results of the Aloha Cup do not count toward the team standings.