New Smyrna Beach, Fla. (March 1, 2020) – There was strong surfing and some of the East Coast’s best small-wave wizardry at the second stop of the 2020 East Coast Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series. After a slow start, New Smyrna Beach delivered some fun-size waves for finals day and the groms took full advantage.
Highlights included Outer Banks’ Willie Deane’s first Prime Series win in Boys U14. Ava McGowan tore up her home break to take the Girls U16 win. Ryan Huckabee took the highest wave score– 9.33 – and heat total (16.33) for boys. Palm City, Florida’s Zoe Benedetto had the highest wave score for girls – an 9.07.
“Conditions were small and challenging all weekend,” said USA Surfing CEO and beach marshal Greg Cruse. “Luckily the waves bumped up a notch and cleaned up on Sunday, giving the finalists decent scoring opportunities.”
The Prime Series draws the best junior surfers from New York to Florida, competing for East Coast titles and qualification into the Toyota USA Surfing Championships at Lower Trestles in California.
See event results below and posts on Instagram and Facebook.
1st Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.
2nd Ava McGowan, New Smyrna, Fla.
3rd Sarah Abbott, Jupiter, Fla.
4th Abbie Yates, Satellite Beach, Fla.
1st Ryan Huckabee, Flagler Beach, Fla.
2nd Owen Moss, Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
3rd William Hedleston, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
4th Charles Oblinger, Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
1st Ava McGowan, New Smyrna, Fla.
2nd Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.
3rd Taylor Green, Milton, Fla.
4th Sophia Whelan, Ocean City, N.J.
1st William Hedleston, Cocoa Beach, Fla.
2nd Blayr Barton, Virginia Beach, Va.
3rd Owen Moss, Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
4th Ryan Huckabee, Flagler Beach, Fla.
1st William Deane, Nags Head, N.C.
2nd Braeden Kopec, Flagler Beach, Fla.
3rd Logan Radd, Satellite Beach, Fla.
4th Teddy Wittemann, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series is the highest level of junior surfing in the nation, featuring the best under 18 surfers who have proven themselves in local and regional competitions. The elite contest series is designed to prepare young surfers for the big leagues of surfing.
Surfers competing in the Prime Series experience an event with judging, announcing and organization consistent with WSL pro events, including four-person heats with priority, computer scoring live on the STACT App and instant replay for the judges, and professional WSL/ISA judges and announcers.
The Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series makes stops along both East and West coasts and culminates in the USA Surfing Championships in June. The competition was created to bridge the gap young surfers experience when trying to make the leap from pro junior competition to next-level competition opportunities, including a position on the USA Surfing national teams, the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series and potentially the Olympics and WSL Championship Tour. The Prime Series champion and podium roster is a who’s who in American surfing.
Florida native and member of Team USA’s first Olympic team Caroline Marks qualified for the WSL Championship Tour while still competing in the Prime Series at age 15. Caroline holds the most USA Surfing Championship titles for junior girls.
In addition to Caroline Marks, several current WSL pro surfers honed their competitive skills through USA Surfing’s Prime Series, including 3rd-ranked Lakey Peterson, 5th-ranked Kolohe Andino, 2018 US Open champions Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi, fan favorites Conner Coffin and Griffin Colapinto. New Jersey’s Ben Gravy (Graeff) was on the USA Surfing national team that competed in ISA World Championships in Australia in 2005. Wildwood Crest’s Maddie Peterson was on USA Surfing’s 2014 ISA World Junior Championship team. The Prime Series champion and podium roster is a who’s who in American surfing.
The next East Coast Prime Series events will be at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the Outer Banks on March 28thand 29th. And a final event at the American Dream Wave Pool in East Rutherford, N.J. April 25th and 26th.
Media 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 and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). 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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