San Clemente, Calif. (October 8, 2018) – Final preparations are underway to defend USA Surfing’s International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championship title. Over the next three weeks leading up to the October 29 Championships in Huntington Beach, Team USA will hold a mini camp with surf offs, make its final 12-person team selection, scrimmage with Team Japan and participate in the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations.
“These final steps are capstones to the hard work, dedication and smart preparation the team has invested this whole season,” said head coach Joey Buran. “With ISA World Junior Championships now being an Olympic-sanctioned event, we are relishing these moments knowing that we are working to fulfill our goal of a repeat gold medal with possible 2024 and 2028 Olympians.”
The World Junior Surfing Championship is the largest junior surfing competition in the world. USA Surfing’s team won team gold in 2017 in Hyuga, Japan, where 306 surfers competed from a record-breaking 41 nations across all continents of the globe. “To be defending USA Surfing’s gold medal on our home beach in Surf City, USA is next-level exciting,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse, who helped develop the winning proposal for Huntington Beach to host the prestigious global event.
Buran said the athletes have been given several opportunities to learn, grow and rise to meet challenges under pressure throughout the season. The mini camp and surf offs this week are designed to dial in contenders and clarify qualifiers. “We look forward to defending our world title with a blockbuster team,” Buran said. “This will be without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of their surfing careers and lives.”
The events leading up to competition day include:
October 8-9: Huntington Beach mini camp training and surf offs for USA Surfing’s World Junior Surf Team at Golden West Street
October 10: Final selection of the six men and six women who will surf for Team USA at the October 29 ISA World Championships. The final 12 will be drawn from the current 16-member World Junior Surf Team listed below. The four athletes not selected will be Team USA alternates. Criteria for making the final selection includes personal character, team cohesion, individual surfing performances at team trainings and recent competition results.
Cole Houshmand, San Clemente, Calif.
Crosby Colapinto, San Clemente, Calif.
Kade Matson, San Clemente, Calif.
Taro Watanabe, Malibu, Calif.
Levi Slawson, Encinitas, Calif.
Jett Schilling, San Clemente, Calif.
Taj Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
Owen Moss, Wilmington, N.C.
Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, Calif.
Alyssa Spencer, La Jolla, Calif.
Samantha Sibley, San Clemente, Calif.
Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside, Calif.
Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif.
Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.
Makena Burke, Ventura, Calif.
Olivia Pessanha, San Diego, Calif.
October 22: Team training and orientation to a competition that will include 362 surfers from 44 nations
October 25: Scrimmage with Team Japan at Huntington Beach's 9th Street
October 27: Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations down Main Street Huntington Beach.
October 28 – November 4: ISA World Junior Surfing Championship competition
After taking home the bronze medal at the ISA World Surfing Games in Tahara, Japan last month, the coaching staff and team recognize the intense level of competition they will face and are feeling momentum build into these final weeks of preparation for ISA World Junior Championships in Huntington Beach.
Contact: Becky Fleischauer, 302-588-0671, 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.