Huntington Beach, Calif. (February 10, 2018) – The Huntington Beach Toyota USA Prime Series presented by Got Milk? delivered some wild weather and surf conditions this weekend. More than 100 of the best under 18 surfers from across the nation faced downpours, howling south winds that switched offshore within 20 minutes creating some chaotic wave conditions.
Even two-time US Open winner and USA Surfing junior national team coach Brett Simpson was surprised by Surf City’s wild swings in weather and waves. “The kids really had to adapt to changing two-to-four feet conditions,” said Simpson. “They had to keep their headspace positive and ready to seize opportunities, and there were plenty.”
ISA U16 World Junior Champion Caitlin Simmers scored a perfect 10 on a squeaky clean air reverse. Sixteen-year old Samantha Sibley saved her best for last, surfing an excellent U18 final to capture the win with power-packed 8.83 and 8.3 wave scores. The boys U18 final was a great battle with everyone putting up good scores, but Ventura’s Jabe Swierkocki clinched the win with some solid combos. Ventura’s Makena Burke took the win in the girls U16 divisions finding scores in choppy, rainy conditions. San Clemente’s Taj Lindblad waited patiently to score an 8 in the final minutes to win the boys U16. And in the final heat of the day, Santa Barbara’s Jak Ziets posted an 8.77 and a 5 to win the boys U14.
1st Samantha Sibley, San Clemente, Calif.
2nd Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
3rd Ella McCaffray, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
4th Makena Burke, Ventura, Calif.
1st Jabe Swierkocki, Ventura, Calif.
2nd Taro Watanabe, Malibu, Calif.
3rd Kade Matson, San Clemente, Calif.
4th Jackson Butler, Encinitas, Calif.
1st Makena Burke, Ventura, Calif.
2nd Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
3rd Ella McCaffray, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
4th Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
1st Taj Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
2nd Hayden Rodgers, San Clemente, Calif.
3rd Trevor Berry, Ventura, Calif.
4th Lucas Owston, Oceanside, Calif.
1st Jak Ziets, Santa Barbara, Calif.
2nd Lucas Owston, Oceanside, Calif.
3rd Cannon Carr, San Clemente, Calif.
4th Callan Emery, Dana Point, Calif.
Surf City was the sixth of nine stops in the elite, 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. Participation and wins at each Prime Series event earn points that cumulatively determine national rankings and a chance to compete at national championships for positions on the national USA Surfing teams.
Several current WSL pro surfers honed their competitive skills through USA Surfing’s Prime Series, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Sixteen-year-old 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.
The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series continues in venues across the country including:
The series culminates with USA Surfing Championshipsin June – the pinnacle competition with 250 of the nation’s top surfers competing for national titles and spots on the USA Surfing team at one of the world’s best surf breaks – Lower Trestles.
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.