Local surfers travel to Steamer Lane for a Surfing America Prime contest, claim nearly half of finals spots
By Andrea Swayne
A group of elite local surfers under the age of 18 cruised north to Santa Cruz for the fourth event of the 2012-2013 Surfing America Prime invitation only competition series, January 20 and 21. The group brought home nine of the possible 20 trophies awarded in five divisions.
Mother Nature cooperated, sending sunny skies and waves in the 4- to 6-foot range, with 6- to 8-foot sets, giving the talented boys and girls plenty to work with.
Competitors produced heat after heat of action-packed entertainment for the crowds lined up along the cliff top overlooking the famous Steamer Lane surf break.
Many of the contestants—members of the PacSun USA Surf Team—made the trip early to attend team training on Saturday, Jan. 19. Others took full advantage of the long holiday weekend to practice for the contest, and the extra time they put in showed from the first buzzer to the last.
Jacob Davis of Capistrano Beach was the big winner in the Boys U18 division. Davis impressed the judges and wowed the crowd with his powerful carves and committed maneuvers neatly placed in the most critical section of nearly every wave he chose to ride. San Clemente surfers Griffin Colapinto and Kevin Schulz claimed the second- and third-place trophies respectively.
No local girls made it to the U18 podium, but the Girls U16 division saw San Clemente’s Tia Blanco come away with a second-place finish and Malia Osterkamp, also from San Clemente, in fourth.
In Boys U16 action, San Clemente surfers claimed the top three trophies. Griffin Colapinto—in his second final of the day—came in first, followed by Colt Ward in the runner-up position and Colin Deveze in third.
Crosby Colapinto of San Clemente took the fourth-place spot in Boys U14.
Some of the biggest news of the day came from Half Moon Bay, where the Mavericks Invitational was running concurrently with the Prime on Sunday. Pro surfer Peter Mel of Santa Cruz—now living in Newport—won at Mavericks, then looked on as his son John Mel won the Boys U14 division on Monday.
BOYS U18: 1. Jacob Davis, Capistrano Beach; 2. Griffin Colapinto, San Clemente; 3. Kevin Schulz, San Clemente; 4. Nolan Rapoza, Long Beach.
GIRLS U18: 1. Meah Collins, Costa Mesa; 2. Steffi Kerson, , Pacific Palisades; 3. Danielle Wyman, Laguna Niguel; 4. Frankie Harrer, Malibu.
BOYS U16: 1. Griffin Colapinto, San Clemente; 2. Colton Ward, San Clemente; 3. Colin Deveze, San Clemente; 4. Nolan Rapoza, Long Beach.
GIRLS U16: 1. Meah Collins, Costa Mesa; 2. Tia Blanco, San Clemente; 3. Kylie Loveland, Carlsbad; 4. Malia Osterkamp, San Clemente.
BOYS U14: 1. John Mel, Newport Beach; 2. Noah Hill, Venice; 3. Ryland Rubens, Pacific Beach; 4. Crosby Colapinto, San Clemente.