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By Jake Howard

The Pacific Ocean delivered for the opening event of the 2022 USA Surfing West Coast Prime Series.

Landing at the Huntington Beach Pier last weekend, the event saw some of the biggest surf it has ever seen for a Prime contest, and America’s brightest—and hard-charging—talent got right after it.

Taking a well-earned win in the Girls Under 16 division was San Clemente’s own Eden Walla. Undaunted by the heavy surf, she more than held her own in challenging conditions.

In a stacked final, Walla was able to hold off Victoria Depart, who finished runner-up in only her second Prime event. Rounding out the podium  were Mia MacLeish and Remy Todd, both savvy San Clemente competitors.

Eden Walla. Photo: Courtesy of USA Surfing/@kurtsteinmetz

Walla was fresh off the “trip of a lifetime” to Indonesia with her family, and the time in the heavy, hollow Indian Ocean waves clearly paid off. Comfortable in the barrel, above the lip, and even behind the wheel of a boat, Walla’s a full-on young water woman.

Her brother, Zion, also put on a strong show in Surf City. Tallying a 9-point ride on one wave, there’s not much about the ocean that scares the kid.

It was a great weekend for local San Clemente and Dana Point surfers, with our recent Grom of the Week Lucas Senkbeil Cassity keeping his winning ways going with a victory in the Boys Under 18 division.

If you have a candidate for Grom of the Week, we want to know. Send an email to jakehoward1@gmail.com.

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