Quarterfinalists Determined At Vans Pro Junior, New Winner Awaits Crowning

Courtesy of WSL North America

  • Defending Event Winner Alves Eliminated By San Clemente Duo
  • Slawson Continues To Surge 
  • Afternoon Storms And Dropping Swell Cut Competition Day Short
  • More Available At WorldSurfLeague.com
Pictured: Crosby Colapinto (USA) debuted with a comeback performance to take a vital win in Round 2 Heat 1.
Credit: © WSL / Ferguson

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Wednesday, August 21, 2019) – The World Surf League (WSL) Vans Pro Virginia Beach, VA, a Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event and Pro Junior, continued action today with more from some of the best juniors in North America 18-and-under in one-to-two foot conditions to get Round 2 underway. A hold to competition during high tide eventually turned to the event being called off for the day due to afternoon storms with Round Heat 7 awaiting completion to finalize Quarterfinal draws. The Men’s QS 3,000 was called off for the day.

One of the spotlight heats so far kicked off Round 2 of the Pro Juniors featuring current North America No. 1 Kade Matson (San Clemente, Calif.), fellow San Clemente, California, native and top-tier threat Crosby Colapinto taking on defending event winner Cole Alves (HAW) and one of yesterday’s performers Aaron Ramirez (CRI). Matson held an early lead with a battle for second ensuing until Alves took over the advancing position before Colapinto’s last scoring ride of a 4.93 (out of a possible 10) was enough to push him to first — eliminating Alves.  

The 18-year-old fell in the Quarterfinals at this event last year and looks to find his first Final of 2019.

“It was super fun to have that heat with Kade but also really nerve-racking surfing against Cole when we had really small waves to work with,” Colapinto said. “Keeping my composure in the last seconds because I had no time to make any mistakes. I haven’t done well here in the past few years but I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m ready for the Quarterfinals after that heat today.”

CAPTION: Levi Slawson kept his momentum alive with another excellent 8.50 to add to his scoreline.
CREDIT: © WSL / Ferguson

Yesterday’s top performer Levi Slawson (San Diego, Calif.) picked up right where he left off with an excellent 8.50 and 13.17 (out of a possible 20) heat total. The 16-year-old came in all smiles once more with 1st Street Jetty providing opportunities for him to take advantage of to eliminate Virginia Beach’s own Blayr Barton and high-seed Kyle Tester. Now, Slawson just looks to keep the momentum alive heading into vital Quarterfinal match ups.

“That was a fun heat this morning and I’m just stoked to grind it out and find a some fun waves,” Slawson said. “I got really lucky again and found one of the bigger waves of the morning which just helps my confidence. I’ve been having a rough year in the Pro Juniors but definitely looking to have a better result here. It’s just about staying present and focusing on the opportunities as they come.”

Caption: Sebastian Mendes made his presence known in a stacked heat to begin his Vans Pro Junior campaign.
Credit: WSL/ Ferguson
Sebastian Mendes’ (Ventura, Calif.) experience at Virginia Beach paid dividends in his Round 2 debut and helped eliminate one of the event threats Taro Watanabe (Malibu, Calif.). The 17-year-old’s 7.33 all but solidified his first Quarterfinal appearance of 2019 and looks to crack into the Semifinals for the first time in his young career.

“It’s a big confidence builder and I’m stoked to have taken the win in that round,” Mendes said. “I have a lot of support here in VB and I’m still really excited about these junior events as I start to focus more on the QS to build a seed for next year. I’ve been in the Quarters once before and I still have another year in the Juniors so I’m giving it my all. Just have to keep my head down, build scores, and stay loose and while wave selection is key, over selection can end you in these conditions.”
Also making their way in to the Quarterfinals, two more San Clemente surfers Taj Linblad and Jett Schilling also made their way through Round 2 with victories along with Panama’s Tao Rodriguez

Top seeds awaiting their debut include Mexico’s, and current North America No. 3 Alan Cleland, East Coast natives Micha Cantor (Surfside Beach, S.C.) and Blake Speir (Melbourne Beach, Fla.), and California’s Max Beach

Event organizers will reconvene at 7:00am EDT to determine a possible 7:30am EDT start for Round 2 Heat 7 of the Vans Pro Junior with Vans Pro Virginia Beach, VA QS 3,000 Round 1 on standby.

The events will run August 20 – 25 at 1st Street Jetty, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com

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