The World Surf League (WSL) Ron Jon Vans Junior Pro progressed through Day 2 of competition today, with improved conditions due to an increase in wind swell that delivered 3-4 ft surf throughout the day. Round 2 as well as the Quarterfinals of the Junior Men's, as well as the Quarterfinals of the Junior Women's were completed today. North America's top surfers Under 20 put on a fantastic display of progressive surfing in the peaks off Shepard Park, Cocoa Beach, Fl.
San Diego's Taylor Clark posted the highest heat score of the day in the Men's Junior Pro, with a couple of impressive air rotations in his Round 2 heat early in the day. The goofy-foot, who is known for his progressive approach, won both his heats today and is carrying momentum into the Final day.
"It was really fun this morning. I've been here for a few days, the waves have been good and I was really ready to surf my heat," said Clark, reflecting back on his heat this morning. "I got a good left that had a perfect little air section, with the wind going right into me, so I decided to go for it and it ended up being a pretty cool air."
"I haven't been surfing too many contests this year, so I'm real excited to be here surfing heats." Clark continued. "We had a few hour break between heats, so by the time my Quarterfinal came around I was so amped to surf. I was actually really glad I free surfed before my second heat because the conditions changed quite a bit. It got a lot softer than this morning, and I was able to adjust. But, I got another couple lefts and a fun right and got another win and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Fellow Californian Kanoa Igarashi also put on a really strong performance today, taking two heat wins and posting an excellent 8.67 in his Quarterfinal heat this afternoon. Igarashi is hot off a Junior Series victory at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing last month and is feeling confident in a competition jersey.
"The waves are really similar to a lot of days in Huntington Beach, the cross-shore wind and the way they double up, so I feel like I'm able to pick them out," offered Igarashi, following his Quarterfinal heat. "My scores came on the lefts, although I was looking for some rights, but the lefts came to me. On my 8.67 I got two good turns off on my backhand and was able to finish with a final turn in the shore break. It was pretty fun."
In the Women's Junior, Malibu's Frankie Harrer was today's standout performer, posting the highest heat score and waves score in the event thus far, a 15.83 and 8.83 respectively. The goofy-foot has been traveling non-stop this year, competing on both the Juniors Series and Women's Qualifying Series (QS) and is excited to be back in North America competing again.
"I was having a little trouble finding good waves at the start, so I just started catching a bunch of waves, hoping one would work out," admitted Harrer following her heat win. "Finally, I saw this fun left that looked like it was going to have a bit of wall. I was able to get going and finish it with a layback and ride out for an 8.0, which put me in first for the last few minutes of the heat."
"I've been traveling a lot doing the QS events in Australia and China, said Harrer. "So, it's nice to be competing at home in America, not having to travel as far for an event."
In the final heat of the day, San Clemente's Tia Blanco dropped an excellent ride to score an 8.0 and take the win in a seesaw battle, over New Jersey's Maddie Peterson, with both surfers advancing through to tomorrow's Semi-final, in 1st and 2nd place respectively.
"I honestly couldn't hear anything out there, due to the wind, and had no idea what was going on for most of the heat," offered Blanco, with honesty. "I just knew I needed to put up good scores, because all the girls are great competitors. On my eight I just told myself to give it everything I had. It wasn't a set, but it was a medium size left and I was able to get in a few turns and finish it strong.
The Ron Jon Vans Pro Junior will finish tomorrow. The call will be made at 7:30am for a possible 8:00am start.
For more information on the Ron Jon Vans Pro Junior and other events happening at the Beach 'n Boards Fest visit www.beachnboardsfest.com.