By Andrea Swayne
Karina Rozunko was the youngest surfer representing the United States at the SWATCH Girls Pro, November 21 through 25 in Wanning, Hainan Island, China. The event was the final stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals Women’s World Longboard Tour and open only to season-qualified competitors. For Karina, the contest marked her first time qualifying to compete in an ASP world title event. While she confessed some trepidation in the days leading up to the trip, Karina said focusing her attention on practicing at her local breaks and preparing for the long trip helped to quell her nerves and allowed her to get amped for the challenge. Her extra training and focus paid off. As the event kicked off, Karina advanced out of Round 1 as runner-up to last year’s contest winner, Chelsea Williams of Australia. She then clinched back-to-back wins in her Round 2 and 3 heats, followed by a Round 4 second-place finish behind Justine Dupont of France. Karina edged out fellow San Clementean Tory Gilkerson in Round 5, 12.00 to 10.75 to advance to the quarterfinals. She faced Dupont again in the quarters, taking the win 12.85 to 8.65. Karina’s successful campaign came to an end in her semifinal round as Williams’ runner-up once again. Congratulations go out to Karina Rozunko for her equal-third-place finish in the contest, a result that has landed her the No. 3 spot on the ASP Women’s Longboard World Ranking.