San Onofre, Calif. (April 1, 2018) – The waves were pumping, the sun was shining and surfers’ performances were on fire at the second-to-the-last stop of the West Coast Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series presented by Got Milk? at San Onofre’s Church.
Surfers tore up the three-to-five-foot plus conditions both days. USA Surfing’s junior national team coach Brett Simpson said Church’s long rights were fun ramps for big maneuvers.
“What an event!” Simpson said. “Jett Schilling set the tone early with the highest heat total of 19.1 with two 9.5’s in his round two U16 heat. He had an amazing left with a huge first snap then went straight into a full-rotation air reverse and stuck it with ease.”
Other highlights included Taro Watanabe’s perfect 10 in the U18 quarterfinal. “Taro’s 10-point wave featured two of the biggest maneuvers of the event on solid set waves that he tied together perfectly,” Simpson said. Watanabe would go on to win the Boys U18 division.
“Caity Simmers saved the best for last and dropped a near perfect 9.77 for some seamless surfing,” Simpson said. “Amazing flow with two dynamic first turns and a big finishing reentry!”
Thirteen-year-old Simmers swept both girls U18 and U16 divisions with a solid surfing weekend. Full results below:
1st Taro Watanabe, Malibu, Calif.
2nd Jett Schilling, San Clemente, Calif.
3rd Dimitri Poulas, Ventura, Calif.
4th Jackson Butler, Encinitas, Calif.
1st Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
2nd Olivia Pessanha, San Diego, Calif.
3rd Makena Burke, Ventura, Calif.
4th Samantha Sibley, San Clemente, Calif.
1st Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
2nd Makena Burke, Ventura, Calif.
3rd Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
4th Keanna Miller, Santa Cruz, Calif.
1st Levi Slawson, Encinitas, Calif.
2nd Jo Jo Whelan, Costa Mesa, Calif.
3rd Taj Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
4th Cole McCaffray, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
1st Dane Matson, San Clemente, Calif.
2nd Cole McCaffray, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.
3rd Ben Brantell, San Clemente, Calif.
4th Jake Chandler, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The Prime Series at Church was part of No. 2-ranked Lakey Peterson’s path to the World Surf Leagues Championship Tour. She competed in the 2009 Prime Series at Church – the same year she performed the first female aerial maneuver in competition to take the NSSA Open Women’s Surf title at age 14.
More than 100 of the best under 18 surfers on the West Coast competed in Primes for cumulative points that qualify to surf at USA Surfing national championships in June at Lower Trestles. The final Prime Series event will be held May 4 – 5, 2019 at T Street in San Clemente.
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, 16-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.
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.