Competitors were greeted with beautiful five-to-six foot waves pouring into the Playa Hermosa beachbreak line-up. With quality surf on offer, event directors pushed ahead running the girl’s Round 2, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals. As well as boy’s Round 2 to set up tomorrow’s Finals Day in highly anticipated pumping surf.
It was a day of upsets as a majority of the female top seeds had trouble finding scores needed to advance past the Quarterfinals as Molly Picklum (AUS), Alyssa Spencer (USA), and Mathea Olin (CAN), were knocked out of the draw. Today’s standouts in the girl’s consisted of Melania Suarez (ESP) and Juliette Lacome (FRA), however the two of them failed to advance out of crucial Semifinal heats. This left two standing in the draw; Caitlin Simmers (USA), and local sensation Valeria Ojeda (CRI).
When asked about her event highest wave score (9.33) and combined heat total (17.00), 13-year-old American phenom, Caitlin Simmers explained, “I was just in rhythm, I’m feeling good, and I’m having fun. I’m really excited to be into the final. My goal is to take the win here in Costa Rica.”
Joining Simmers in the final is wild card, Valeria Ojeda, who fought her way from the local trials to guarantee herself a spot on the prestigious GromSearch International Final podium. “I’m really stoked and grateful this event is here, near where I live, and I got the opportunity to compete in the trials. Yesterday didn’t go so well for me, but I knew I had another chance and I was ready today.”
On the boy’s side of the draw the event saw its first competitors eliminated in Round 2, as all Quarterfinalists are now set. Stand out performances included Taro Watanabe (USA), who secured today’s highest Boy’s heat total (15.50), Sam Reidy representing Costa Rica, Spaniard Adur Amatriain, and a very exciting performance by Alfoso Antunes (PRT).
“I got lucky because there was one wave that came in when Kyllian (Guerin) had priority, it looked like a closeout, but it stayed open and I was able to do an air and make my heat. I’m stoked,” explained Antunes.
All eyes are now focused on the boy’s Quarterfinals, and girl’s Final which are set to commence during tomorrow’s Finals Day. With the field narrowed down to 8 boy’s and 2 girl’s we shall soon see who will be crowned GromSearch International Champions for 2019 and join the storied past Champions list.