Ponce Inlet, Fla. (March 6, 2018) – The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series presented by Got Milk? – is coming to Ponce Inlet, Fla., on March 9 and 10. This elite surf competition features the best under 18 surfers on the East Coast.
“Winter waves on the East Coast can be super rippable and fun,” USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse said. “But the real joy comes from seeing these athletes bring their best to the Prime Series, where they are pushed by the best surfers in the region and get feedback from WSL judges and officials.”
The Surfline forecast calls for conditions to pick up through the weekend. The long stretch of beach south of a short jetty has a nice set of sandbars and fairly consistent surf.
Ponce Inlet is the seventh of nine stops in the cross-country Prime Series competition. The invite-only Prime Series is a competition among surfers who placed highest in regional competitions held by USA Surfing’s affiliate organizations – the Western Surfing Association, Eastern Surfing Association, National Scholastic Surfing Association and Texas Gulf Surfing Association.
USA Surfing’s Prime Series was created to bridge the gap young surfers experience when making the jump to the bigger leagues of surfing, including a position on the USA Surfing national teams, the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series, the WSL Championship Tour and potentially the Olympic Games. The Prime format provides surfers with an experience similar to WSL pro events with professional WSL/ISA judges and announcers, four-person heats using priority, computer scoring live on the STACT App and instant replay for the judges.
Several current WSL pro surfers honed their competitive skills through USA Surfing’s Prime Series, which celebrates its 10thanniversary this year.Florida native Caroline Marks, currently ranked No. 6 in the WSL, qualified for the Championship Tour while still competing in the Prime Series. Other greats include No. 2 Lakey Peterson, 2018 US Open champions Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi, Conner Coffin, Kolohe Andino, and Griffin Colapinto.
Most of these Championship Tour surfers were also members of USA Surfing’s elite junior national team in their younger years. The 2018-19 junior national and developmental teams will hold practice session in Cocoa Beach following the Prime Series. Two-time U.S. Open winner and junior team head coach Brett Simpson said he is looking forward to working with the nation’s best talent.The team trainings are timed to coincide with the March 14-17 Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro, Junior and Roxy Junior Pro, which draws the best surfers from across the nation.
“These groms work hard in all kinds of gnarly conditions,” Simpson said. “There’s a grit and work ethic we love to see. They’re frothing to learn and improve.”
The developmental team will hold their practice on March 11; the junior national team will practice March 12. See team lists below.
Seamus Carey, Linwood, N.J.
Cannon Carr, San Clemente, Calif.
William Hedleston, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Kai Kushner, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Dane Matson, San Clemente, Calif.
Cole McCaffray, Encinitas, Calif.
Sterling Makish, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Lucas Owston, Oceanside, Calif.
Hayden Rodgers, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Hudson Saunders, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Luke Wyler, San Clemente, Calif.
Jak Zietz, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Sarah Abbott, Palm Beach, Fla.
Cascia Collings, Dana Point, Calif.
Taylor Green, Milton, Fla.
Julia Guild, San Clemente, Calif.
Bella Kenworthy, Dana Point, Calif.
Isabelle Kryger, Santa Fe, Tex.
Lillie Kulber, Los Angeles, Calif.
Marlee Lovell, Oceanside, Calif.
Keana Miller, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Syd Ott, Encinitas, Calif.
Bree Smith, San Clemente, Calif.
Junior national team
Boys Under 18
Crosby Colapinto, San Clemente, Calif.
Tommy Coleman, Vero Beach, Fla.
Caleb Crozier, Encinitas, Calif.
Noah Hill, Venice, Calif.
Cole Houshmand, San Clemente, Calif.
Nick Marshall, Encinitas, Calif.
Kade Matson, San Clemente, Calif.
Laird Myers, Virginia Beach, Va.
Taro Watanabe, Malibu, Calif.
Girls Under 18
Kayla Coscino, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Maddie Garlough, Port Aransas, Tex.
Olivia Pessanha, San Diego, Calif.
Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, Calif.
Coral Schuster, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Samantha Sibley, San Clemente, Calif.
Tiare Thompson, La Jolla, Calif.
Boys Under 16
Blayr Barton, Sandbridge Beach, Va.
Nico Coli, San Clemente, Calif.
Robbie Goodwin, Jacksonville, Fla.
Ryan Huckabee, Flagler Beach, Fla.
Taj Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
Owen Moss, Wilmington, N.C.
Jett Schilling, San Clemente, Calif.
Levi Slawson, Encinitas, Calif.
Girls Under 16
Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.
Makena Burke, Ventura, Calif.
Ryann Daly, Dana Point, Calif.
Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
Ella McCaffray, Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.
Ava McGowan, New Smyrna, Fla.
Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
Alyssa Spencer, Carlsbad, Calif.
The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series continues in venues across the country including:
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.