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By Andrea Swayne
Surfing America Prime hosted a marathon event at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point last weekend, Dec. 12 and 13, and neither waves nor surfers disappointed.
Running two areas can often be problematic, as having two distinct competition zones with consistently contestable waves is more of an anomaly than a guarantee. But much to the delight of event organizers and competitors, the combination of swell and surfing prowess combined to provide an action-packed, fun and challenging event.
Saturday’s swell and weather brought large waves in the 6- to 8-foot range, and occasional sets rising to about 10 feet, giving surfers plenty of opportunity to turn in high-level performances with ample lefts off of the point and long, barreling rights out front.
Event, No. 3 of the regular Prime season began on Dec. 12 alongside makeup heats for the Boys U18 and Girls U18 divisions postponed in October at Event No. 2 at Church Beach.
Local surfers claimed four of the eight trophies awarded in the Event No. 2 makeup heats. Kei Kobayashi of San Clemente came in third in the Boys U18 and in Girls U18, Bethany Zelasko of Dana Point was runner-up behind Tiare Thompson (La Jolla) and San Clemente surfers Samantha Sibley and Kirra Pinkerton took third and fourth, respectively.
Following the conclusion of the makeup event, surfers’ scores were added to the competitors’ records and heat draws were determined for Event No. 3, U18 competition on Sunday.
The swell subsided and cleaned up a bit overnight but continued to deliver excellent conditions for day two.
When all was said and done, local surfers claimed eight more trophies, winning in three of five divisions.
Kobayashi earned his second trophy of the event, with a third-place finish in Boys U18. Malia Osterkamp (San Clemente) won in Girls U18 and Pinkerton came in fourth. Crosby Colapinto (San Clemente) took top honors in Boys U16. Zelasko claimed the third-place spot in Girls U16, followed by Alexxa Elseewi (San Clemente) in fourth. San Clemente surfers Kade Matson and Nicholas Coli took the No. 1 and No. 2 spot in Boys U14, respectively.
Event No. 4 of the six-event Surfing America Prime series is set for Jan. 9 and 10, at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz.
Surfing America Prime, Event No. 3, December 12-13, Dana Point, Salt Creek Beach
BOYS U18: 1. Jake Marshall, Encinitas, 15.36; 2. Tyler Gunter, Newport Beach, 13.17; 3. Kei Kobayashi, San Clemente, 12.17; 4. Nolan Rapoza, Long Beach, 10.93.
GIRLS U18: 1. Malia Osterkamp, San Clemente, 7.40; 2. Tiare Thompson, La Jolla, 6.64; 3. Kayla Coscino, Laguna Beach, 5.50; 4. Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, 2.30.
BOYS U16: 1. Crosby Colapinto, San Clemente, 13.00; 2. Eithan Osborne, Ventura, 12.10; 3. Tyler Gunter, Newport Beach, 11.43; 4. Nick Marshall, Encinitas, 5.56.
GIRLS U16: 1. Tiare Thompson, La Jolla, 8.24; 2. Alyssa Spencer, Encinitas, 7.10; 3. Bethany Zelasko, Dana Point, 4.26; 4. Alexxa Elseewi, San Clemente, 0.67.
BOYS U14: 1. Kade Matson, San Clemente, 13.56; 2. Nicholas Coli, San Clemente, 9.64; 3. Jackson Butler, Encinitas, 7.77; 4. Dimitri Poulos, Ventura, 1.17.
SUN BUM HIGHEST WAVE SCORE AWARD BOYS: Nolan Rapoza, U18 Round 2, 9.50.
SUN BUM HIGHEST WAVE SCORE AWARD GIRLS: Samantha Sibley, U18 Quarterfinal, 8.17.
Surfing America Prime, Event No. 2, Dec. 12, Dana Point, Salt Creek Beach (Makeup event. Two divisions postponed from Oct. 3, San Onofre State Park, Church Beach)
BOYS U18: 1. Jake Marshall, Encinitas, 18.50; 2. John Mel, Santa Cruz, 14.33; 3. Kei Kobayashi, San Clemente, 13.10; 4. Micky Clarke, Ventura, 10.03.
GIRLS U18: 1. Tiare Thompson, La Jolla, 16.73; 2. Bethany Zelasko, Dana Point, 6.83; 3. Samantha Sibley, San Clemente, 2.46; 4. Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, 2.10.