Surfing America’s third Prime event of the season held in San Clemente
By Andrea Swayne
The third event of the six-contest Surfing America Prime West series went down December 8 and 9 at T Street Beach in San Clemente with plenty of success for local surfers, a live webcast and a charity toy drive.
Two of five divisions and five of 20 trophies were won by local surfers as a worldwide audience looked on via a live webcast. The annual Prime Series tradition of hosting a Camp Pendleton Marines’ Toys for Tots toy drive also showed the generosity of competitors as they filled the giant ‘toy box’ with new, unwrapped toys as they checked in for their heats.
The waves were on the weak side, and true to form for T Street, a bit tricky. But that didn’t hamper the performances by this talented group of surfers as they displayed wave after wave of high scoring maneuvers both critical, in the classic style, and progressive, with high-flying aerials.
San Clemente’s Tia Blanco (Girls U16) and Colt Ward (Boys U18) capitalized on the home break advantage, battling their way through heats filled with some of the best surfers under 18 on the West Coast to win their divisions at the invitation only event.
Blanco also took a second-place finish in the Girls U18 and was joined on the podium by fellow San Clemente surfer Malia Osterkamp in fourth. Josh Benjoya of Dana Point took the fourth-place spot in Boys U18.
Day two of the event was webcast live through a partnership with iBN Sports Network and The Surf Channel. The play-by-play was expertly called by PacSun USA Surf Team coach Ryan Simmons and big wave pro surfer Peter Mel. Surf Channel network reporters were on hand to interview heat winning surfers following each round, as well.
If you weren’t able the action live, no worries, all of the exciting footage will be available on demand via a link through the Surfing America website at www.surfingamerica.org or directly via the iBN Sports Network YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ibnsportsnetwork. The Surfing America website and Facebook page have also been loaded up with great photos from the event, thanks to official photographer Jack McDaniel.
Wildcard slots into the upcoming event No. 3 of the three-contest American Pro Surfing Series set for Saturday in Huntington Beach were up for grabs, raising the stakes a bit for the eldest age divisions in the Prime contest. The wildcards were awarded to Girls U18 winner Samantha Lamirand of Cardiff and Boys U18 winner Kanoa Igarashi of Huntington Beach.
The next Surfing America Prime West contest is set for January 20 and 21 in Santa Cruz.
Surfing America Prime West, Event No. 3, December 8-9, San Clemente, T Street
Boys U18: 1. Kanoa Igarashi, Huntington Beach; 2. Parker Coffin, Santa Barbara; 3. Andrew Jacobson, Malibu; 4. Josh Benjoya, Dana Point.
Girls U18: 1. Samantha Lamirand, Cardiff by the Sea; 2. Tia Blanco, San Clemente; 3. Danielle Wyman, Laguna Niguel; 4. Malia Osterkamp, San Clemente.
Boys U16: 1. Colt Ward, San Clemente; 2. Kanoa Igarashi, Huntington Beach; 3. Jake Marshall, Encinitas; 4. Nolan Rapoza, Long Beach.
Girls U16: 1. Tia Blanco, San Clemente; 2. Kylie Loveland, Carlsbad; 3. Meah Collins, Costa Mesa; 4. Steffi Kerson, Pacific Palisades.
Boys U14: 1. Eithan Osborne, Ventura; 2. John Mel, Newport Beach; 3. Zach McCormick, Encinitas; 4. Ryland Rubens, Pacific Beach.