The PacSun USA Surf Team will board a flight to Panama in the wee morning hours of April 12 en route to the Dakine/Billabong International Surfing Association World Junior Surfing Championships at Playa Venao, April 14-22.
Surfing America, the ISA-recognized national governing body for the sport of surfing in the United States, is sending a travel team of 12 boys and five girls to test their skills among a field of the best U18 surfers from 30 countries around the world.
Excitement and nervous energy has been building in the days leading up to the team’s departure. But that hasn’t interfered with their stepped-up training schedule to prepare for, what for most, will be their first time facing international-level competition against the sport’s most elite talent on the planet.
The event is the closest thing to the Olympics that the sport of surfing has and is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee, said Surfing America Executive Director Greg Cruse.
“The team has been training hard as a cohesive unit and everyone is supporting one another, really working as a team,” said Cruse “I think we have the talent and the depth to do well and we’re excited to take on the best in the world.”
The team includes talented local surfers Jake Davis of Capistrano Beach and from San Clemente Trevor Thornton, Colt Ward and Griffin Colapinto.
The balance of the team is made up of Colin Moran (Costa Mesa), Cam Richards (South Carolina), Kanoa Igarashi (Huntington Beach), Jake Marshall and Taylor Clark (Encinitas), John Mel (Newport Beach), Nic Hdez (Santa Cruz), Jake Halstead (La Jolla), Nikki Viesens and Emily Ruppert (Florida), Quincy Davis (New York), Frankie Harrer (Malibu) and Harley Taich (La Jolla).
The team will be accompanied by four team parents, Cruse, head coach Ian Cairns, assistant coaches Sean Mattison and Jim Hogan, girls chaperone Chloe Cruse and medical director Kevyn Dean.
To watch the event, log on to www.isasurf.org and click on the live webcast link. The link can also be found on the Surfing America home page at www.surfingamerica.org.