|Boston Bay Surfers Dominate At Third National Open Series|
After a late start the third event of the Jamaica Surfing Association National Open Series ran to conclusion at the Copa surfing Beach in Bull Bay on Saturday 10 March in chest to shoulder high surf.
The event which ran from 2:00pm till sunset saw 30 surfers registering to compete for the 1000 points on offer for the win.
The first round saw six 15 minute 5-man heats in windy shoulder high surf. The competition was fierce as only the top three surfers from each heat would advance into the three 6-man heat semi-final rounds. The youngsters were making a statement with National Junior Team members Shama Beckford, Akeem Taylor and Ivah Wilmot all winning their respective first round heats. The other three top performing first round surfers were Inilek Wilmot, Ackeam Phillips and Michael Panton who also won their heats.
The sun was sinking fast and the next three heats were run back to back to try and get through the event by sundown. It was agreed that in order to complete the event only the top two surfers from each of the three heats would advance to a final thus eliminating the semi final round.
The wind started to die off, the conditions got cleaner and some of the day’s best performances were witnessed. The first heat of the round had Shane Simmonds from Boston Bay putting on a phenomenal performance of powerful controlled surfing giving him the heat win and marking him as one to beat. 15 year old Shama Beckford from Bull Bay took second and advanced. Inilek Wilmot of Bull Bay had a come-from-behind win in his heat, grabbing a wave right before time that earned him the top spot over Eneson Lightbourn in the second heat. Then seventeen year old Akeem Taylor from Boston Bay in Portland continued on his first round winning streak in round two dominating the heat with a display fast, powerful surfing far in advance of his tender years. 17 year old Garren Pryce held on to second and the last spot in the final.
With the juniors solidly represented in the final it was just a matter of 20 minutes to see who would be 1000 points richer. 44 waves were ridden by the surfers during the heat. Shane was impressive, showing great control through the sections and pulling tight wrapping roundhouses. Akeem waited a while to open up his account but did so with authority getting a 7 for his opening ride. Shama was flying all over the lineup grabbing the smaller waves that reformed on the inside reef. Eneson seemed to be in the right spot at the right time for most of the sets and was surfing them well but not selecting the best waves of the set. Inilek was hunting for the right waves but couldn’t find them. Garren was getting a few but was having trouble completing his maneuvers.
It was anyone’s race but young Ackeam got a backup score and moved out in front. Time started to wind down and Eneson got 2 good waves that put him into contention. Shane then got a beauty and executed an air reverse which put him into second as the clock ran down. When it ended Akeem took the win, Shane second, both from Boston Bay, Eneson third, Inilek fourth, Shama fifth and Garren sixth.
“I think it is wonderful to see three junior surfers making it to the final of a National Open Championship event and one winning it!...” said JSA president Billy Wilmot. “It authenticates the JSA’s Youth Development Program, and is very encouraging at this time as we prepare to send the junior team off to the International Surfing Association’s World Junior Surfing Championships in Panama next month...”
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