2012 was another down year for the East Coast contingent at the Surfing America U.S.A. Championships, held June 15th-17th at Huntington Beach Pier and June 19th-23rd at Lower Trestles in Southern California. In fact, the contest yielded only one champion, and that came in the new SUP divisions, with Izzi Gomez, younger sister of ripping Jupiter shortboarder Giorgio Gomez, claiming victory in Women’s U18 SUP.
In marquee Boys shortboard competition, South Carolina standout Cam Richards was the lone finalist, logging a close 2nd in Boys U18 to Huntington Beach grom Kanoa Igarashi. On the women’s side of the shortboard equation, New Jersey wahine Maddie Peterson held it down for the Right Coast by finishing 4th in Girls U14. And in Longboard competition, Virginia Beach’s Ricky Judalena matched Cam for the highest East Coast result of the entire contest by placing 2nd in Senior Longboard 40+, while South Florida’s Willy Cole placed 3rd in Men’s Longboard 18+ and St. Augustine’s Jazmine Dean finished 4th in Women’s Longboard U18. Meanwhile, back in the SUP ranks, Giorgio Gomez finished 2nd in U18 SUP, while Fisher Grant finished 3rd.
Other top finishers (quarterfinals or better) included Tristan Thompson and Daniel Glenn in Boys U16, Luke Gordon, Chris O’Donnell, and Luke Marks in Boys U14, Stevie Pittman in Boys U12, Nikki Viesins, Jessica Kwiecinski, and Grace Muckenfuss in Girls U18, Jazmine Dean and Maddie Peterson in Girls U16, Avery Aydelotte in Girls U12, and Fisher Grant in Open SUP and Junior Longboard.
On a brighter note, five Rightside surfers made the 2012-13 PacSun U.S.A. Surf Team: Daniel Glenn and Cam Richards in Boys U18, Quincy Davis and Nikki Viesins in Girls U18, and Maddie Peterson in Girls U16. All five, along with their Californian counterparts, will start working immediately with new U.S.A. Surf Team coaches Ryan Simmons and Micah Byrne towards the goal of bringing home a gold at next year’s ISA World Junior Surfing Games.
Also, Quiksilver held its King Of The Groms U.S. qualifier at Huntington Beach Pier immediately after the Surfing America Champs wrapped up, and Daniel Glenn capped off his epic 2012 trip to California by winning six skins and $600 there, earning himself a free trip to France later this fall for the King Of The Groms international final. “It was one of my goals to win that contest, and I knew I could beat anybody out there,” Glenn said. “I surfed smart, strong, and to the best of my abilities, and I can’t wait to get to France.” Other top East Coast finishers at King Of The Groms were South Florida’s Chris O’Donnell, who copped one skin, and Barbados’ Josh Burke, who also stole away with one.
Visit www.SurfingAmerica.org for more, and stay tuned later this week for coverage of these same East Coast surfers and many more duking it out at the NSSA National Championships. So far we have four confirmed Rightside champs: Nikki Viesins in High School Girls, Tony Silvagni in College Men’s Longboard, Amy Nicholl in College Women’s, and Steven McLean in Explorer Longboard. Here’s hoping many more will surf to victory today.