Hyuga, Japan, September 25, 2017 – The Junior Girls got their first chance to compete and stole the show on the second day of competition at the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. The Girls impressed with world-class Surfing, dropping many excellent scores and showcasing high-performance maneuvers at Okagurahama beach in Hyuga, Japan.
The defending U-18 Girls Gold Medalist, Hawaii’s Brisa Hennessy, stood out from the competition and earned the day’s highest heat total (18.07) out of both the Girls and Boys Divisions.
“As a reigning world champion, I feel a little pressure, but I am just having so much fun,” said Hennessy. “Working as a team is such a great experience, which makes the ISA Juniors my favorite event.
“Last year I won on a buzzer beater and I have learned a ton from that event to apply to this year.”
Summer Macedo, Hennessy’s teammate and also a past ISA Junior Gold Medalist also moved through her Round 1 to add to Hawaii’s strong start to the event.
Alyssa Spencer led the charge for the 2015 World Champion Team USA, earning the highest score (16.90) in the Girls U-16 Division. Spencer’s strong performance comes on the back of an incredible performance on Day 1 from her teammate Taro Watanabe in the Boy’s U-16 Division, who earned a heat total of 19.03 that held through day 2 as the highest of the event thus far.
On the Boy’s side of the competition the quality conditions to kick off the day yielded the highest scores. Portugal’s Afonso Antunes led the way with a heat total of 17.33, followed by Japan’s Jon Azuki’s total of 17.17.
One of the many inspiring athletes competing in the event, Uruguay’s Orehana Javiel, displayed courage and perseverance in her Round 1 U-16 and U-18 heats.
Javiel wasn’t able to pass her heats, but expressed her pride and struggle to represent her country of Uruguay in the event:
“In 2015 I was hit by a car while skateboarding and broke my leg. I was at risk of losing my life, and then thought that I might lose my leg.
“I persevered and after only six months I was able to surf. During that time I decided that I wanted to represent my country in the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.
“I had to sacrifice a lot to come here. I skipped a birthday trip to Disneyland with my family to save money and trained every day.
“Now that I made it here, I have learned so much from competing in a World Championship and all the friends that I have made from countries all around the world.
“My goal is to learn from the experience and enjoy the competition.”
Javiel will get a second chance to advance in the World Championship when the Repechage Rounds get underway.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“The girls left it all in the water today, matching the world-class level of Surfing that we saw from the Boys.
“We arrived at the beach today with an incredible sunrise and an increase in swell, providing solid conditions that led to many scores reaching the excellent range.
“Almost all of the current women stars of Surfing came up through the ISA juniors, so the girls that we are witnessing here today will likely rise to the highest ranks and have a chance to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Games.”
The event will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com September 23 – October 1.
The schedule for Tuesday’s competition is as follows*:
Podium 1 (live webcast)
- 7:30am-9:30am – 6 heats Boys U-16 Main Event Round 2
- 9:30am-12:10mp – 8 heats Girls U-18 Main Event Round 2
- 12:10pm-2:50pm – 8 heats Girls U-16 Main Event Round 2
- 2:50pm-4:35pm – 7 heats Girls U-18 Repechage Round 1
- 7:30am-8:10am – 2 heats Boys U-18 Main Event Round 2
- 8:10am-12:10pm – 16 heats Boys U-18 Repechage Round 1
- 12:10pm-4:10pm – 16 heats Boys U-16 Repechage Round 1
- 4:10pm-4:40pm – 2 heats Girls U-16 Repechage Round 1
*All times in Japan Standard Time, UTC +9:00.
The remaining event schedule will be as follows:
September 26 – October 1: Competition at Okuragahama Beach
October 1: Closing Ceremony, Okuragahama Beach