Peru climbs back from 5th to win it all at home break
It wasn’t to be for the Hawai‘i team, which entered the final day of competition hoping to move from second into first place. In the end, it was the host nation of Peru that was celebrating gold, jumping all the way from fifth to first for the 2011 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.
Saturday’s final day of competition in Punta Hermosa, Peru began with 32 surfers left out of the 279 that began the week. The Hawai‘i team had four still in the mix and was trailing the first-place Australia squad, which had won five consecutive ISA junior championships.
But four of the five Peruvian surfers made final heats in their respective divisions, with Cristobal de Col taking gold in the Boys Under 18 final, having dominated for much of the event.
“The gold is Peruvian, the Cup stays at home,” De Col said in an International Surfing Association press release. “Many people told me this was my tournament and I felt it inside, I even dreamed about it, and now here I am. I’ve surfed all my life; it’s my source of fun and I know this is just the beginning of everything. This gold is historic for my country and I’m happy for the teamwork we showed in the last days.”
The Hawai‘i team was shut out of the final heats and finished the competition with the copper medal for fourth place overall, tallying 4,546 points. South Africa moved up from third into second (4,860), while Australia (4,651) fell into third place. The United States rounded out the top five in fifth place (4,164).
Peru’s 5,123 points solidified the gold.
Things looked good for Hawai‘i in the early going, when Tatiana Weston-Webb and Brianna Cope each took part in the sixth round for the Girls Under 18 division. With the top two finishers advancing to the final, Weston-Webb took the early lead with a 7.50 on her first wave.
But Australia’s Codie Klein, who caught just two waves in the heat, exploded a 9.40 on her second ride and took second place with a 13.50 total.
That second was only because fellow Aussie Nikki Van Dijk jumped from third into first and overtook both Weston-Webb and Klein with a 7.06 on her fifth wave, finishing with a 13.76.
Weston-Webb didn’t find a second wave big enough and ended up with a 12.36 for third, while Cope had small rides and took fourth with a 4.60.
Each moved into the repechage bracket, still with a chance at the final, but some more bad luck prevented that from happening. France’s Cannelle Bulard added a 4.32 score on her fifth wave to the 7.52 she notched earlier, which slid her into second place with an 11.84 total, past the two Kaua‘i riders. Weston-Webb just missed out with an 11.44 total and Cope wasn’t far behind with her 10.74. Russia’s Bianca Buitendag had taken command early with 14.66 points on her first two waves.
That gave Weston-Webb fifth place overall for the event, with Cope just behind in sixth place.
Keanu Asing, who won the Boys Under 16 gold medal in 2009, was a heat away from the final in the Boys Under 18 division. But his route to the podium was sidetracked with a third-place finish in the sixth round of the main draw, moving him into the repechage.
In another close heat that featured Asing against three Peruvian contenders, he finished third again with a 10.74 total behind eventual champion de Col (13.60) and Miguel Tudela (12.14). Tudela overtook him for second with his final wave, adding a 6.54 to advance to the final.
The result gave Asing a fifth-place finish in the Under 18 competition.
Hawai‘i’s Kain Daly was in the sixth round of the Boys Under 16 event, but he too was relegated to the repechage draw with a fourth-place finish in that heat, then came up short in the elimination round, taking sixth place for the event.
The Peru comeback follows its win at the 2010 ISA World Surfing Games and gave the hometown team plenty to cheer about with the local supporters.
Those final results were unknown to the competitors until they were announced during the closing ceremonies at the Caballeros break, which had provided consistent 8 to 10-foot waves all day, according to the ISA.
Peru became just the fourth nation ever win the ISA team championship. Brazil won the inaugural competition in South Africa in 2003 and Hawai‘i won it in 2005 at Huntington Beach. Australia had won the other six events and the past five, prior to 2011.
“We have had the largest amount of junior surfers from around the world in history,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre, his words read by ISA Director General Bob Mignogna. “We have had the most consistent and powerful waves. We have the largest media audience in history, with over 100 percent more webcast viewers than last year. And the organizers working together with the ISA have hosted an impeccable event.
“The ISA belongs to all of us here today, but also to the millions of surfers around the world who are the solid foundations of the ISA, and to their family and friends,” Aguerre wrote. “We are all working together for a better surfing future, and this event is a confirmation that we are on the right path. The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is the true and only coming together of surfers from the five continents.”
Final individual results:
Girls Under 18
Gold: Canelle Bulard (FRA)
Silver: Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Bronze: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Copper: Codie Klein (AUS)
Boys Under 16
Gold: Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Silver: Dylan Lightfoot (RSA)
Bronze: Joaquín del Castillo (PER)
Copper: Juninho Urcia (PER)
Boys Under 18
Gold: Cristobal de Col (PER)
Silver: Vasco Ribeiro (POR)
Bronze: Davey Brand (RSA)
Copper: Miguel Tudela (PER)