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WSA at the Pismo Beach Pier gets hit with first winter weather of the season, locals excel
By Andrea Swayne
For the 370 Western Surfing Association Championship Tour competitors who made the trip to Pismo Beach last weekend—hoping for the best but expecting the worst in terms of weather—it was their first taste of winter surfing of the season.
Trophies went to 33 tri-city area surfers, with division wins by five: Ezra McPhillips (San Clemente) Girls U10; Ryann Daly (Dana Point) Girls U12; Kai McPhillips (SC) Boys U16; Kevin Skvarna, (San Juan Capistrano) Jr. Longboard U18 and Ocean Tsutsui (SC) Girls Longboard U18.
Day one, Saturday, Nov. 14, ended up being sunny and competitors in the longboard and 16+ shortboard divisions enjoyed consistent, although occasionally dumping, waves in the 4- to 5-foot range with 7-foot sets. And although the sun was shining, many donned 4/3 wetties and booties, unaccustomed to 60-ish-degree ocean after the extended summer of water in the 74-degree-plus range.
By the end of the day, the weather forecast for Sunday wasn’t looking good, with predictions of heavy rain and winds in the range of 25 mph expected to arrive by noon. The wave forecast in the area also showed nearby breaks being pounded with 15- to 20-foot and bigger waves.
Sunday morning started under ominously cloudy skies that by mid-morning had gone a thick, dark gray and then dumped a torrential squall. Contest officials battened down the hatches in the judging, tabulating and check-in tents and crew and competitors pressed on. The rest of the day brought intermittent showers and a few brief moments of sunshine. Luckily, Pismo’s nearly south-facing direction provided an angle adequate to hold off the really big waves hitting just up the coast, instead attracting waves in the 5- to 6-foot range with occasional sets 7 to 8 feet in size.
As if on cue, shortly before 3 p.m. following the trophy presentations and the final sign-off, the wind made its presence known, swooping in with gusts to 35 miles per hour, maybe more.
“What is this El Niño?” yelled a tiny unidentifiable grom in a wetsuit, Ugg boots and parka hood string pulled so tightly around his face he could scarcely see, as he made his way off of the pier clutching his 4-foot-something potato chip board to keep it from flying away. “Welcome to winter, yew!”
WSA Championship Tour, Event No. 4, November 14-15, Pismo Beach, Pier
MICRO GROM BOYS U9: 1. Chase Niemann, Carlsbad; 2. Timothy Simmers, Oceanside; 3. Taylor Francis, Carlsbad; 4. Nicholas Carroll, Moorpark; 5. Dane Morris, Encinitas; 6. Loyal Cash Kenworthy, DP.
MICRO GROM GIRLS U10: 1. Ezra McPhillips, SC; 2. Bella Kenworthy, DP; 3. Addie McPhillips, SC; 4. Helena Graney, Carlsbad; 5. Maile Garrett, Cardiff-by-the-Sea; 6. Hayden Suess, Oceanside.
BOYS/GIRLS U10: 1. Hudson Saunders, Laguna Beach; 2. Makai Bray, SC; 3. Jonas Meskis, Moorpark; 4. Maddox Bray, SC; 5. Timothy Simmers, Oceanside; 6. Bryse Celaya, Huntington Beach.
BOYS U12: 1. Lucas Owston, Oceanside; 2. Jake Chandler, Pacific Palisades; 3. Ethan Prestage, Carlsbad; 4. Brayden Burch, SC; 5. Dax McPhillips, SC; 6. Hayden Rodgers, Laguna Beach.
BOYS U14: 1. Arashi Murata, Japan; 2. Kai McPhillips, SC; 3. Jack Stewart, Imperial Beach; 4. Nolan Rodgers, Laguna Beach; 5. London Almida, SC/Hawaii; 6. Mon Yahagi, Japan.
BOYS U16: 1. Kai McPhillips, SC; 2. Noah Hohenester, SC; 3. Taro Watanabe, Malibu; 4. Ethan Mudge, CB; 5. Nolan Rodgers, Laguna Beach; 6. London Almida, SC/Hawaii.
BOYS U18: 1. Arashi Murata, Japan; 2. Noah Hale, El Segundo; 3. Noah North, Laguna Beach; 4. David Economos, SC; 5. London Almida, SC/Hawaii; 6. Kiko Nelsen, Laguna Beach.
GIRLS U12: 1. Ryann Daly, DP; 2. Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside; 3. Mara Morales, Huntington Beach; 4. Sawyer Lindblad, SC; 5. Reese Hartnett, SC; 6. Makayla Moss, SC.
GIRLS U14: 1. Olivia Pessanha, San Diego; 2. Izzy Hopkins, DP; 3. Kalohelani Danbara, Huntington Beach; 4. Caitlin Simmers, Oceanside; 5. Malia Mauch, SC; 6. Makayla Moss, SC.
GIRLS U16: 1. Kiersten Noonan, Encinitas; 2. Peyton Slater, Carlsbad; 3. Olivia Pessanha, San Diego; 4. Coral McDuffee, Oceanside; 5. Joceline Marchand, Carlsbad; 6. Malia Mauch, SC.
GIRLS U18: 1. Brooke Young, San Diego; 2. Maya Saulino, San Marcos; 3. Chiasa Maruyama, Huntington Beach; 4. Joceline Marchand, Carlsbad; 5. Kiersten Noonan, Encinitas; 6. Estee Lora, Huntington Beach.
BOYS LONGBOARD U14: 1. Jonah Shannon; 2. Jimmy Wynne, SC.
JR. LONGBOARD U18: 1. Kevin Skvarna, San Juan Capistrano; 2. Benjamin Goldstein, Carlsbad; 3. Trevor Anderberg, Encinitas; 4. Ethan Mudge, CB; 5. Cole Thompson, SC; 6. Orion Lehrmann, Carlsbad.
GIRLS LONGBOARD U14: 1. Brooke Carlson, Calabasas; 2. Claire Stokes, Aliso Viejo.
GIRLS LONGBOARD U18: 1. Ocean Tsutsui, SC; 2. Liv Stokes, Aliso Viejo; 3. Brooke Carlson, Calabasas; 4. Betsey Lee, Topanga; 5. Hana McEvilly, Carlsbad; 6. Cate Stokes, Aliso Viejo.
MEN 18-29: 1. Cameron Griggs, Mission Viejo; 2. Drew Stanfield, Westminster; 3. Owen Perry, West Hills; 4. Andrew Fish, Venice.
MASTERS 30-39: 1. Jonathan Warren, Long Beach; 2. Philip Salick, Los Angeles; 3. David Morgan, Los Angeles; 4. Rusty Roland, Ventura; 5. Ryan Aguilar, SC.
SENIOR MEN 40-49: 1. Gavin Haughey, Laguna Niguel; 2. Michael Graney, Carlsbad; 3. Mike Lowthorp, Ventura; 4. Tom Dillon, Ventura; 5. Jason Penning, Huntington Beach; 6. Stephen Fitzsimmons, San Diego.
WOMEN 18+: 1. Rachel Breitner, Virginia; 2. Sasha Natalie, La Jolla.
LEGENDS 50+: 1. Chas Wickwire, Seal Beach; 2. Bill Perry, West Hills; 3. Troy Campbell, Torrance; 4. Dave Hansberry, Los Alamitos; 5. Tom Akins, Lompoc; 6. Mark Tobin, Templeton.
OPEN MEN: 1. Drew Stanfield, Westminster; 2. Cameron Griggs, Mission Viejo; 3. Jonathan Warren, Long Beach; 4. Gavin Haughey, Laguna Niguel; 5. Stephen Fitzsimmons, San Diego; 6. Rusty Roland, Ventura.
OPEN WOMEN: 1. Maile Davis, Carlsbad; 2. Maya Saulino, San Marcos; 3. Estee Lora, Huntington Beach; 4. Jordyn Barratt, Encinitas; 5. Jayme Linnes, SC; 6. Emily Flavin, Santa Monica.
OPEN MEN LONGBOARD: 1. Trevor Anderberg, Encinitas; 2. Kevin Skvarna, San Juan Capistrano; 3. Kurt Greenbaum, Newport Beach; 4. Jorge Barba, Oceanside; 5. Shane Smith, Huntington Beach; 6. Jonas Meisenheimer, San Luis Obispo.
OPEN WOMEN LONGBOARD: 1. Keili McEvilly, Carlsbad; 2. Cate Stokes, Aliso Viejo; 3. Betsey Lee, Topanga; 4. Brooke Carlson, Calabasas; 5. Niki Katz, Hidden Hills; 6. Lexi Morgan, SC.
SR. MEN LONGBOARD 40+: 1. Jorge Barba, Oceanside; 2. Larry Casas, Huntington Beach; 3. Troy Campbell, Torrance; 4. Kurt Greenbaum, Newport Beach; 5. Rodney Way, Pismo Beach.
ADAPTIVE SURFERS: 1. Rodney Roller, Oceano; 2. Matt Foushee, Pismo Beach.