Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, earned the day’s highest scores with big backhand aerials.
JOAQUINA BEACH, Florianopolis/BRA (Friday, November 1, 2013) – The 2013 HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa returned to Joaquina Beach for the fourth consecutive day, completing Rounds 3 and 4 to decide the Men’s Quarterfinalists in three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, mounted an incredible comeback in his Round 3 clash against Jake Sylvester (AUS), 20, during a high scoring battle that would see the two competitors go blow for blow on the steep lefts and rights of Joaquina. The Brazilian prodigy was in need of a near-perfect 9.51 in the dying moments of the heat and would launch a massive backside full-rotation followed with an additional air-reverse. Medina would earn a 9.57 for the ride to keep his hopes of an ASP World Junior Title alive.
“That was a hard heat against Jake (Sylvester),” Medina said. “I didn’t know much about him, but I tried to do some airs because the wind is good for airs on the rights. He left me needing a 9 at the end and I just stayed calm and waited for a wave. I was able to get that right and get the mid 9.”
Medina’s success would continue in Round 4 when he would dispatch of talented young Californian Kanoa Igarashi (USA), 16, compliments of another aerial display.
“That was a tough heat against Kanoa (Igarashi),” Medina said. “I know his surfing and he rips. In the beginning of the heat I couldn’t catch any waves, but eventually put some scores on the board and then got the two 8s. I’m stoked to be in the Quarterfinals and of course I want to win, but there is still a lot of surfing to go.”
Matt Banting (AUS), 19, continued his successful run at the HD World Junior Championships, dismantling the rights at Joaquina Beach to eliminate Japanese surfer Reo Inaba (JPN), 16, securing his position in to the Quarterfinals.
“It’s really tough conditions and I made a couple of little mistakes,” Banting said. “I thought I’d go down on the rights and have to make the most of the conditions out there and I’m stoked to finally get a couple down there on the rights. I’ve been training a lot and getting a bit stronger and I’m feeling good.”
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 20, would take out a close heat victory while securing a Quarterfinals berth, narrowly edging out Takumi Nakamura (JPN), 16. Boukhiam has been competing through a recent ankle injury, but is showing no signs of discomfort due to the setback.
“I’ve been watching Takumi (Nakamura) surf for the last few years and he’s really stepped up a lot and was surfing good the whole contest,” Boukhiam said. “I saw him get that one wave and I knew he needed a 5.14 and he was so close. It was a super hard heat for me. I have this brace on my ankle, but it feels solid. It does feel painful sometimes, but it’s not too bad.”
Boukhiam, who finished equal 3rd at last year’s ASP World Junior Championships, is currently competing in his last year of eligibility in the series and the Moroccan is hungry for a win entering the final day of competition.
“I got third last year and this year I want to at least make the final,” Boukhiam said. “I really want to pass the Semis and after, if I could win, that would be a bonus for me.”
Slade Prestwich (ZAF), 18, would take two solid heat victories today, besting Hawaiian Keanu Asing (HAW), 20, and American Cam Richards (USA), 18, to secure his Quarterfinals berth and feels comfortable in the Joaquina Beach conditions similar to his local break in Durban.
“I was watching conditions before and saw the lefts were still going off of the same bank off of the rock,” Prestwich said. “I thought I’d get my score there and then once you get over to the right, that’s where you can start doing the airs. I can’t wait til the wind starts hitting the rights better for air sections. Durban is almost exactly the same to this. I don’t think where I surf at home in any different.”
Oney Anwar (IDN), 20, has been quietly navigating through the early rounds and is finding comfort in conditions similar to his current training grounds of Palm Beach in Australia. Anwar would go on to secure a Quarterfinals berth by defeating Portuguese talent Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), 18, in a rematch from the 2012 ASP World Junior Championships.
“Last year I had Vasco (Ribeiro) in my heat and he beat me and I really wanted to get him back,” Anwar said. “I live in Australia in Palm Beach and I’m used to surfing in these conditions, but it is tricky out there, especially when you need a score in the last five minutes.”
Anwar, who has been building a name for himself on the global stage, is hungry to earn a top result at the HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa to guarantee a position in the 2014 ASP Prime events.
“Being Indonesian, I really want to get the Indonesian flag in to those Prime events next year,” Anwar said. “I really want to be the first Indonesian to qualify for the WCT, so a result here in important to me.”
Hiroto Ohhara (JPN), 16, would also take two heat wins today to cap off the international list of Quarterfinalists. Ohhara would top Brazilian standout Jesse Mendes (BRA), 20, in their Round 4 clash and the natural-footer’s advancement in to the Quarterfinals represents the strongest showing by a Japanese surfer in ASP World Junior Championships history.
“I’m just happy,” Ohhara said. “There are some fun waves out there and I knew it wouldn’t be easy surfing against Jesse (Mendes). I’m happy to make the Quarters, but I hope I can keep going to the Semis and Final.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am local time for a possible 8am start and expect to crown both Men’s and Women’s champions by day’s end. Watch the HD World Junior Championships LIVE via http://www.hd-wjc.com/.
HD WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS PRES. BY DEVASSA ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Matt Banting (AUS) 15.93 def. Reo Inaba (JPN) 5.86 Heat 2: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.20 def. Juninho Urcia (PER) 7.13 Heat 3: Oney Anwar (IDN) 11.90 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 11.40 Heat 4: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 10.26 def. Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 10.20 Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.00 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.20 Heat 6: Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 14.77 def. Cam Richards (USA) 8.03 Heat 7: Vehiatua Prunier (PYF) 11.67 def. JOshua Moniz (HAW) 7.90 Heat 8: Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 13.60 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.77
UPCOMING HD WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS QUARTERFINALS MATCH UPS:
QF 1: Matt Banting (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) QF 2: Oney Anwar (IDN) vs. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Slade Prestwich (ZAF) QF 4: Vehiatua Prunier (PYF) vs. Hiroto Ohhara (JPN)
UPCOMING WOMEN’S HD WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS QUARTERFINALS MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Frankie Harrer (USA) QF 2: Chelsea Tuach (BRB) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) QF 3: Mahina Maeda (HAW) vs. Ella Williams (NZL) QF 4: Stephanie Single (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)