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Surfing: Pismo Beach Open called on as youngster excels

Pismo Beach surf competition called on
A youngster is dominating the men’s competition at the Pismo Beach Open in California. Picture: WSL.

USA: The World Surf League (WSL) Pismo Beach Open, a Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event was called back on today for both men’s and women’s competition, on the north side of the Pismo Beach Pier. In consistent 3-5’ surf, courtesy of a building south west swell, two rounds of Men’s competition were completed, as well as the Women’s Quarter finals, setting up final’s day tomorrow.

Leading the pack with the highest heat score and wave score in Men’s Round 4 was 16-year-old Kade Matson (USA) from San Clemente, Ca. The powerful teenager has won all three of his heats thus far in the event with a mixture of power and progression that is undeniable.

“It’s always good to start off with a good first heat and then to keep the momentum going today was really what I needed,” said Matson of his progress so far. “I wasn’t really trying to go on the rights out there, but I saw one that was a little further off the pier on a different part of the sandbar and I just thought I’d see what it would do. It ended up being the best wave of the heat for my 9.00, which really made the difference.

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“I’m most excited for finals day and the man-on-man heats,” continued Matson, in anticipation for tomorrow’s match-ups. “It’s such a different scenario when you only have to beat one guy and I love it. Everyone that’s left in the draw is surfing so well, so I’ll just bring my best and do everything I can to win.”

As one of the veteran competitors in the field, 37-year-old Nathan Yeomans (USA) from San Clemente, Ca is once again showing his savvy against the youth. Looking for his second QS win of 2018, Yeomans has been able to get the scores required to advance in all conditions this week.

“Just to be out there is still so fun for me,” offered Yeomans. “I haven’t surfed an event in a long time where the waves have been so fun, with so many options in our heats and that in itself is just enjoyable. To be able to compete against the kids and put on a show is what it’s about for me. My family is here and we’re having a blast.

“(Kevin) Schulz has been absolutely ripping,” Yeomans said, in anticipation for their Quarterfinal match-up. “There is a strategy going into finals day to be sure you have a little more to show for the win. I’m looking to kick into another gear tomorrow and up my performance and see if I can take another event this year.”

Huntington Beach surfer Matt Passaquindici (USA) came out on top of a very hotly contest match up with Michael Dunphy (USA) finishing in second place, and Brett Simpson (USA) and Jackson Butler (USA) missing advancement in third and fourth respectively. Passaquindici’s inspired performance earned him his best result in a QS event to date and an opportunity to compete in a man-on-man heat for the first time.

“I started pretty well, but I look up to both Simpson and Dunphy, so I knew I couldn’t get comfortable and just needed to keep building my scores through the whole heat,” said Passquindici, after his Round 4 heat win. “I’m stoked I pulled the airs because it was risky to do them on the first maneuver and could have really cost me if I’d fallen. It was a goal of mine to make it past this round and get to the man-on-man heats, which is my best QS result ever. I’m psyched.”

Representing Germany, but residing in Costa Rica, 21-year-old Leon Glatzer (DEU) continued to implement his stellar aerial game taking two heat wins today. Glatzer is competing in his first QS in California this week and is enjoying his experience so far in Pismo Beach as he builds momentum into finals day.

“My homebreak is a left and I couldn’t be happier to have this swell giving us such great lefts this weekend,” Glatzer commented. “Everyone here is ripping. There is so much talent in the US, which I knew, but now I’m here too and just going to give it my all and try to win a few more heats. I’m feeling good and know what I need to do going into the next round.”

Finishing the day’s action was the Pismo Beach Women’s Open Quarterfinals. At the optimal tide, the conditions and swell continued to deliver for the final four heats of the day and the women competitors put on an outstanding display for the crowd that had gathered on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Central California.

Hailing from Carlsbad, Ca, 15-year-old Alyssa Spencer (USA) set the pace for the women this afternoon, posting both the highest heat score and wave score in Quarterfinal 1. After recently suffering a broken bone in her leg, Spencer has shown no signs of a lapse in performance with the second straight day of dominating form.

“The wave right next to the pier has been so fun,” said Spencer, with a big smile. “I’ve been lucky to have my heats on the higher tide when it’s been working. My best wave was on the right, which was my plan, but I was able to get my back up score on a left which finished the heat nicely for me. I had seen some good lefts and wanted to get one in a heat.”

Spencer will meet fellow goofy-foot Samantha Sibley (USA) in Semifinal 1.

WSL North America Junior Women’s Regional Champion Kirra Pinkerton (USA) was able to withstand a hard-fought battle against Bailey Nagy (HAW) to advance through to tomorrow’s Semifinal. Sitting in second place and requiring a score in the dying seconds of the heat, Pinkerton consolidated a two-turn combination that just earned her the score needed, taking the heat by a mere .01 over her opponent.

“I knew a wave could come at any time and I just needed to wait for my opportunity,” said a relived Pinkerton. “When Bailey got her seven, I knew it would be a good score and it was going to be a matter of having a chance to get the score I needed. Once the wave came, I just needed to not overdo it and make sure I did the turns I wanted and finish the wave. I had some similar scores already, so I knew what it was going to take.”

New to WSL competition in 2018, 15-year-old Mathea Dempfle-Olin (CAN) took the heat win in the final match-up of the day. Earlier this summer at the Los Cabos Open of Surf, Dempfle-Olin came onto the scene in fine form with a strong opening performance, earning a 25th place finish at the QS 6,000 rated event. She now heads into finals day with nothing but experience to gain in only her second QS appearance.

“I like the right that is going into the pier, but I wasn’t feeling any pressure and just wanted to surf the best I could,” said Dempfle-Olin. “It feels good to get a pretty good score with just one turn. I have a coach and we’ve been working on doing that, so I can make something from each opportunity. It’s all very new to me and I’m learning every time I surf a heat. I’m having fun.”

Event organizers will reconvene for tomorrow’s 8:00am PDT call to determine a possible 8:30am start for the Men’s Quarterfinals.

Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA), Rubiana Brownell (CRI)
Heat 2: Samantha Sibley (USA), Bethany Zelasko (CAN)
Heat 3: Kirra Pinkerton (HAW), Bailey Nagy (HAW)
Heat 4: Mathea Dempfle- Olin (CAN), Makena Burke (USA)

Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 Men’s Round Four Results:
Heat 1: Kade Matson (USA), Kevin Schulz (USA), Rylan Rubens (USA), Kaito Ohashi (JPN)
Heat 2: Nathan Yeomans (USA), Jake Marshall (USA), Kilian Garland (USA), Jordy Collins (USA)
Heat 3: Matt Passaquindici (USA), Michael Dunphy (USA), Brett Simpson (USA), Jackson Butler (USA)
Heat 4: Leon Glatzer (DEU), Taylor Clark (USA), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Braden Jones (USA)

Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 Men’s Round Three Results:
Heat 1: Kade Matson (USA), Kilian Garland (USA), Taro Watanabe (USA), Jacob Szekely (USA)
Heat 2: Kevin Schulz (USA), Nathan Yeomans (USA), Kevin Cortez (NIC), Liam Murray (USA)
Heat 3: Jordy Collins (USA), Kaito Ohashi (JPN), Jeremy Carter (USA), Victor Done (USA)
Heat 4: Jake Marshall (USA), Rylan Rubens (USA), Ben Coffey (USA), Austin Neuman (USA)
Heat 5: Brett Simpson (USA), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Nolan Rapoza (USA), John Mel (USA)
Heat 6: Matt Passaquindici (USA), Braden Jones (USA), Che Allan (BRB), Colt Ward (USA)
Heat 7: Taylor Clark (USA), Jackson Butler (USA), Jackson Obando (NIC), Skip McCullough (USA)
Heat 8: Leon Glatzer (DEU), Michael Dunphy (USA), Tyler Gunter (USA), Cory Arrambide (USA)