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Fog delays sideline 17 of 26 divisions at WSA event in Huntington Beach, locals bring home nine trophies
By Andrea Swayne
A thick fog bank greeted Western Surfing Association competitors upon arrival to the Huntington Beach Pier on Saturday, Feb. 13, setting the two-day event No. 7 back by four and a half hours right from the start.
On day two, Sunday, Feb. 14, the plan to make up the fog-delayed heats of the previous day by running three competition areas, looked as if it was going to work, as competition started on time that day. However, as the morning heats went on, the fog rolled in once again, resulting in another delay or three and a half hours. Finally, shortly before noon, the fog had lifted to a point where competition could resume and local competitors did not disappoint.
Behind the fog, the swell was pumping out waves in the 3- to 5-foot range with occasional outside sets in the 6- to 7-foot range, and the surfers took full advantage of the waves.
Only nine of the 26 divisions were completed, with nine trophies awarded to surfers from the tri-city area.
The weekend’s top honors went to Bethany Zelasko of Dana Point who won the Open Women Shortboard division and Kevin Skvarna (San Juan Capistrano) the Open Men Longboard division winner. Skvarna also took home a runner-up trophy in Junior Longboard U18.
Other local finalists were Capistrano Beach’s Ethan Mudge, who took fourth in Junior Longboard U18 along with San Clementeans Jaime Linnes (second place, Open Women), Aidan Sautner (second place, Boys U14 Longboard), Rhyn Chambers (third, Boys U14 Longboard), Cole Thompson (fifth, Junior Longboard U18) and Hana Catsimanes, the third-place finisher in Girls U14 Longboard.
A number of local surfers had advanced on in the competition and will continue their run at the podium when the event resumes next month.
The remainder of the event will be scheduled to run alongside WSA Event No. 8 set for March 12 and 13 in Oceanside. Make-up heats from Event No. 6 in January, postponed due to large, unruly conditions, will also be made up on March 12 and 13.
WSA Championship Tour, Event No. 7, February 13-14, Huntington Beach, Pier
MASTERS: 1. Kale Shannon, Ventura; 2. Philip Salick, Los Angeles; 3. David Morgan, Los Angeles; 4. James Flores, Colorado; 5. Tyler Benoit, Ucluelet, B. C. Canada; 6. Ryan Goerig, Laguna Niguel.
OPEN WOMEN: 1. Bethany Zelasko, Dana Point; 2. Jaime Linnes, San Clemente; 3. Maya Saulino, San Marcos; 4. Sierry Garcia, Long Beach; 5. Maile Davis, Carlsbad; 6. Claire Loughlin, Ventura.
BOYS U14 LONGBOARD: 1. Cash Cherry, Manhattan Beach; 2. Aidan Sautner, San Clemente; 3. Rhyn Chambers, San Clemente.
JUNIOR LONGBOARD U18: 1. Alex Fry, Manhattan Beach; 2. Kevin Skvarna, San Juan Capistrano; 3. Benjamin Goldstein, Carlsbad; 4. Ethan Mudge, Capistrano Beach; 5. Cole Thompson, San Clemente; 6. Orion Lehrmann, Carlsbad.
SENIOR LONGBOARD 40+: 1. Lance Albright, Huntington Beach; 2. Jorge Barba, Oceanside.
OPEN MEN LONGBOARD: 1. Kevin Skvarna, San Juan Capistrano; 2. Trevor Anderberg, Encinitas; 3. Jorge Barba, Oceanside; 4. Shane Smith, Huntington Beach.
GIRLS U14 LONGBOARD: 1. Brooke Carlson; 2. Sive Jarrard, Carlsbad; 3. Hana Catsimanes, San Clemente; 4. Molly Tuschen, San Diego.
OPEN WOMEN LONGBOARD: 1. Betsey Lee, Topanga; 2. Cate Stokes, Aliso Viejo; 3. Alexa Ross, Laguna Niguel; 4. Brooke Carlson, Calabasas; 5. Aine Dwyer, Coronado; 6. Niki Katz, Hidden Hills.
ADAPTIVE: bye, equal points awarded.
Partial results only. WSA event No. 7 was not completed due to fog delays. Remaining divisions will be completed at event No. 8, March 12-13.