Jr. Championships Open In Jamaica

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: July 7, 2008

KINGSTON — 11-year-old Ivah Wilmot of Bull Bay in Saint Andrew and Shane Simmonds, 17, of Boston Bay in Portland were respective winners in the under-16 and under-18 divisions at the first event of the of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2008 National Junior Surfing Championship Series.

Only nine young surfers registered for the event which was contested in light onshore winds in 3′ waves at the Makka surfing beach in Southaven, Yallahs Saint Thomas this past Saturday.

There were six entrants competing in the under-16 division. Two first round heats were held from which the top four would advance to the final.

Heat one saw Ivah Wilmot up against Leon McKenzie and Armani Green. The surfers rode 26 waves between them. Ivah picked off the best wave of the heat which earned an 8.7 from the judges and was the highest scoring wave of the event. Ivah advanced to the final with Armani.

Heat Two saw Garren Pryce, Ronald Hastings and Ackeam Anglin facing off for the two remaining spots in the under 16 final. Twenty eight waves were ridden between the contestants in a very tight heat.

But at the final horn, Garren had managed to use a few nicely timed “off the top’s” to secure the victory. Young Ronald Hastings out pointed his other opponent and nabbed the other available slot in the under 16 final.

The Final was exciting and saw Ivah, Garren, Armani and Ronald paddling out to challenge for under-16 national glory. The wind had picked up which made wave selection a vital tactic in each surfer’s battle plan. The horn sounded and the 20 minute final was on.

26 waves were ridden with a number of excellent rides being demonstrated by the young athletes. It was close but when the scores were tallied Ivah held on to first by a thread from Garren in second, Armani in third and Ronald fourth.

The Under 18 division was also in contention and only three contestants registered for the one heat final. Shane Simmonds from Boston Bay in Portland was up against Ackeam Phillips and Ronley Lewis both of Bull Bay in Saint Andrew.

The wind had picked up and was making the conditions a bit more challenging as the better waves were harder to find. The twenty minute heat saw 22 waves ridden by the bigger boys.

It was touch and go with great exchanges between the top young under-18′s.

At one stage Shane took off on a right breaking wave and executed a “360″ and on the very next wave Ackeam also executed one of his own to the great approval from the crowd on the beach.

Shane continued to attack the waves and eventually caught a nice wall that provided the canvas for him to sketch out a commanding lead on Ackeam and Ronley.

When the final horn sounded Shane had won with Ackeam 2nd and Ronley 3rd.

The next event in the series will be held at the Copa surfing beach in Bull Bay on Saturday beginning at 9 am.