San Clemente, California (June 25, 2021) – Conditions were classic Lowers just in time for Toyota USA Surfing Championship finals day, where the best Under 18 surfers competed for national titles and positions on USA Surfing’s elite junior teams.
This year surf legend Peter “PT” Townend awarded Girls and Boys U18 champions Sawyer Lindblad and Shion Crawford the Terry McCann memorial trophy and a Murf electric bike. Along with PT and Dick Baker, McCann is responsible for creating Surfing America, the Olympic National Governing Body and organization that would become USA Surfing.
“It is a privilege to honor Terry, and our two U18 champions, with this award given on the year Olympic surfing makes its debut,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse. “As an Olympic gold medal wrestler and founder of Surfing America, he understood what Olympic sport makes possible for up-and-coming-surfers. It is a tide that pushes opportunities up through all levels of surfing – from beginners to the most elite levels.”
The young surf talent flared in exciting exchanges on some of Lowers' finest canvasses. See event champions and finalists below:
After getting most of her big scores on her backhand all week, Sawyer Lindblad clinched the win on her frontside. Coach Brett Simpson said the goofy footer “sniffs out Lowers’ lefts. It was cool to see her local knowledge coming into play to win the coveted Girls U18 title.”
1st Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
2nd Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
3rd Alyssa Spencer, Carlsbad, Calif.
4th Nora Liotta, Maui, Hawaii
The Boys U18 heat was a blitzer! Florida’s Ryan Huckabee had the lead most of the heat, but Hawaii’s Shion Crawford built up his score line and ended up getting a left late under priority to get a high 8 in one of the most exciting finals for the coveted Terry McCann memorial trophy and a Murf electric bike.
1st Shion Crawford, Oahu, Hawaii
2nd Ryan Huckabee, Flagler Beach, Fla.
3rd Brodi Sale, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
4th Levi Young, Maui, Hawaii
The girls in the U12 heat final surfed well beyond their years. After getting a 10 in her semi-final heat, Hawaii’s Chesney Guinotte put together impressive combination maneuvers to clinch the win. It was awesome to see so many more competitors in the Girls U12 in this year’s event.
1st Chesney Guinotte, Hawaii
2nd Alana Lopez, Ponce Inlet, Fla.
3rd Kaia Howard, Encinitas, Calif.
4th Kadyn Persidok, Encinitas, Calif.
Hawaii’s Vaihiti Mahana Inso took the Toyota USA Surfing Championship Girls U14 crown after putting on a forehand clinic standing out in the heat of talent. She’s four-time world champion and Olympic surfer Carissa Moore’s protégé and it showed. She surfed a nearly perfect final heat with a 9.77 and 8.77.
1st Vaihiti Mahana Inso, Oahu, Hawaii
2nd Kylie Pulcini, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
3rd Avery McDonald, San Clemente, Calif.
4th Mia McLeish, San Clemente, Calif.
The Girls U16 was a repeat of the West Coast back and forth between Sawyer Lindblad and Caitlin Simmers all season. Caity came out strong with her first two waves - a 9.5 and 8.5. Coach Brett Simpson said Caity’s style, technique, and big critical moves stood out for the judges.
1st Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
2nd Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif
3rd Betty Lou Sakura Johnson, Oahu, Hawaii
4th Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.
The grom froth in this age division is next level. The final was a back-and-forth exchange that had many holding the lead for at least a few minutes. Maui’s Kai Nelson locked up the win and title with a 7.6 at the end of the heat. Congrats boys!
1st Kai Nelson, Maui, Hawaii
2nd Finn McCarty, San Clemente, Calif.
3rd Merrick Mochkatel, Hawaii
4th Brody Price, Soquel, Calif.
The Boys U14 final was one of the most fun heats of the event with down-to-the-wire results. With a minute left Rex Hennings got the score to take the lead. Lucas Senkbeil Cassity only needed a high six and got an 8.17 in the dying seconds with two big combination maneuvers on a set wave right.
1st Lucas Senkbeil Cassity, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
2nd Rex Hennings, San Clemente, Calif.
3rd Chase Burnes, Paia, Hawaii
4th Charlie Stevens, San Clemente, Calif.
Oceanside’s Lucas Owston started his Boys U16 final with a 9.43 for a blistering series of power turns. His performance earned him the Toyota “Drive for Gold” athlete for his relentless drive to learn and improve.
1st Lucas Owston, Oceanside Calif.
2nd Shion Crawford, Oahu, Hawaii
3rd Cole McCaffray, Cardiff, Calif.
4th Rylan Beavers, Kilauea, Hawaii
The Toyota USA Surfing Championship is the season finale of Prime Series events on both coasts, and other qualifiers across the Mainland and Hawaii.
The USA Surfing Championship titles earned through the history of the event have gone on to the World Surf League Championship Tour and now the Olympic Games this summer. Read A Front Row Se at to the Future of USA Surfing.
A special thank you to the sponsors of Toyota USA Surfing Championships:
Toyota, Sun Bum, GoGoSqueeZ BlastZ, Carver Skateboards, Got Milk?, Hot Shoppe Designs, HydroFlask, Blue Diamond Almonds, Jacuzzi, Rise Brewing Company, DSC Performance, DJO Global, Oakley, Oura Ring, Vessel Health, Murf Electric Bikes, American Optometric Association and AirBnB
Contact: becky (at) usasurfing (dot) org
USA Surfing is the National Governing Body for surfing in the United States, recognized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USA Surfing’s mission is to promote and grow the sport of surfing and support United States athletes of all backgrounds to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American competition. USA Surfing will oversee and support America’s Olympic team as surfing makes its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and surfing and stand-up paddleboarding athletes compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.
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