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By Andrea Swayne
Winter-like waves, summer-like weather and super-athletic talent—in perfect proportions—was the recipe for an exciting and entertaining event at Surfing America Prime event No. 5 at Seaside Reef, Feb. 6 and 7, but in this case, too many cooks didn’t spoil the broth; it took it to new heights. And for San Clemente-based surfers, that meant claiming 11 of 20 podium spots.
The entire field of talented Surfing America Prime surfers made the most of the clean, consistent 3- to 5-foot surf, spicing up their heats with an entertaining mix of committed rail surfing, vertical hacks and aerial maneuvers, in what was arguably the most exciting event of the season, so far.
Seaside Reef at Cardiff State Beach was working fabulously, delivering wave after rippable wave during the entirety of the two-day event. Surfers had their choice of long, clean-faced rights and lefts for the entirety of the contest. The only exception came late Saturday, when the tide shut off the rights during the final few hours of the event but left plenty of great lefts for everyone.
Griffin Colapinto bested the field in Boys U18, taking a convincing win over runner-up Jordan Collins (Carlsbad), 15.17 to 12.34. Fellow San Clementeans Kei Kobayashi took third and Kade Matson came in fourth.
Matson was the lone local in the Boys U16 final, taking the fourth-place finish. In his main division, Boys U14 on Saturday, Matson opted to skip Prime in favor of earning needed points in the National Scholastic Surfing Association event at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. His absence did not affect his standing in that division, as he has already clinched the Boys U14 season title. Boys U14 top honors went to Jett Schilling, 12.43, followed by Taj Lindblad, 12.07, in second, both from San Clemente.
In Girls U18, Meah Collins of Costa Mesa took the win, followed by second through fourth-place trophies being awarded to San Clementeans Caroline Marks (recent Florida transplant), Samantha Sibley and Kirra Pinkerton, respectively.
Alyssa Spencer (Carlsbad) was the big winner in Girls U16, clinching the season title with her win. Pinkerton was runner-up and Marks finished in fourth.
The date and location of the final event of the six-contest regular season of Surfing America Prime is yet to be determined.
Surfing America Prime, Event No. 5, February 6-7, Encinitas, Seaside Reef
1. Griffin Colapinto, San Clemente, 15.17
2. Jordan Collins, Carlsbad, 12.34
3. Kei Kobayashi, San Clemente, 11.17
4. Kade Matson, San Clemente, 9.34
BOYS U16: 1. Noah Hill, Venice, 16.93
2. Eithan Osborne, Ventura, 14.33
3. Taro Watanabe, Ventura, 12.44
4. Kade Matson, San Clemente, 12.03
1. Jett Schilling, San Clemente, 12.43
2. Taj Lindblad, San Clemente, 12.04
3. Dimitri Poulos, Ventura, 11.86
4. Taro Watanabe, Ventura, 7.93
1. Meah Collins, Costa Mesa, 16.16
2. Caroline Marks, San Clemente, 15.16
3. Samantha Sibley, San Clemente, 10.90
4. Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, 8.93
1. Alyssa Spencer, Carlsbad, 12.40
2. Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, 10.06
3. Tiare Thompson, La Jolla, 9.50
4. Caroline Marks, San Clemente, 8.77