Cover photo: Philippe Demarsan
Perfect conditions, big waves and little wind marked a perfect morning for the start of the Women’s Shortboard.
The wind in the afternoon made the conditions difficult for SUP Surf Men.
The fourth day of the Pan American Surfing Games (PASG) Panama 2023, by the Pan American Surf Association (PASA), marked the start of the competition for the athletes of the Women’s Shortboard and Men’s SUP Surf categories, in the changing conditions and waves of Santa Catalina, Panama.
The Women’s Shortboard has the participation of Olympic, Pan-American, and Latin American athletes, as well as future stars, and for its morning start, Santa Catalina provided perfect size conditions, calm seas, and radiant sun.
This is how Round 1 of this category began, with 16 competition Heats of high technical level, mixing styles and aggressiveness in maneuvers by the athletes.
Larissa Dos Santos from Brazil, Lorena Fica from Chile and Dominic Barona from Ecuador were the first athletes to enter the water. Barona from the beginning made the difference from the beginning marking a wave of 7.50, moving away from his rivals. The Ecuadorian advanced in first place, followed by Fica and in third, closed Dos Santos, finishing her participation in the event.
In Heat 3, Isabella Gómez from Colombia showed all her potential and level as one of the most complete athletes today, being the Lima 2019 Pan American and World SUP Champion and a big wave surfer.
The Colombian scored a total of 13.84 points, the highest combination of the day. In this Heat she faced Candelaria Resano from Nicaragua who advanced with good surfing with good lines and vertical rollers. In third and fouth place finished Flavia Cianciarulo from Argentina and the local Enilda Alonso from Panama.
Heat 5 was another standout. Here Melanie Giunta from Peru, Rosanny Álvarez from Venezuela, Leilani McGonagle from Costa Rica and Sanoa Olin from Canada faced each other to decide who would advance and who would be going home.
The Canadian scored the highest individual wave so far in the event (8.50 pts), showing vertical cuts in the most critical part in good size waves. The Venezuelan, South American multi-champion, was not far behind, scoring 11.27 points in total to keep the second place and advance.
Photos Michael Tweddle / @nat.wild.photos
Another of Canadian sisters, Mathea Olin, showed an excellent level of surfing in her Heat, as we saw verticality in her maneuvers. In her 5 waves, her highest was 7.50 pts; achieved with cut after cut, at a point where the rocks of Santa Catalina were already peeking out. Argentine Ornella Pellizari also advanced to the next Round in this heat.
Havanna Cabrero from Puerto Rico was aggressive and consistent in her Heat, with cuts in the critical part and a good choice of waves. Her total score was 11.23 pts, closely followed by the Mexican Regina Pioli.
For Heat 8, with the participation of the experienced Silvana Lima from Brazil and Jessica Anderson from Chile, the conditions began to change due to low tide. The Brazilian, with aggressive surfing and fast cuts, scored total of 10.66 pts and the Chilean, with a good choice of waves, taking more open and medium-sized waves, scored 7.40 pts in total, both advancing to Round 2.
In the next heat, Brazil’s Alexia Leal showed why she could be a Gold Medal favorite, by showing risky maneuvers into shallow waves. The Chilean Estela López scored enough points in the few waves that opened up to her, with smart surfing doing cutbacks and small cuts, she managed to advance to Round 2.
The waves rolled in, just like long calms moments, a difficult situation when it comes to proposing a good strategy. In these conditions is how Mia Calderón from Puerto Rico and Summer Sívori from Mexico advanced to the next round; first place for the Puerto Rican (5.67 pts) and second place for the Mexican (4.83 combined pts).
Sol Aguirre from Peru, the current athlete in the Challenger Series of the World Surfing League, showed her level with two waves ridden, both of 5 pts (5.50 and 5.33 pts). She advanced along Canada’s Ocean Green to the next Round.
Chelsea Roett from Barbados and Nataly Bernold from Costa Rica advanced in Heat 12, with single-maneuver waves and risky drops in front of the rocks.
In the following Heat, Daniella Rosas from Peru, Valeria Ojeda from Venezuela, Marcela Machado from Uruguay and Erin Brooks from Canada, showed their high level of surfing despite the conditions.
They all performed cuts in the critical zone, with speed and strength, and dazzling surfing in the case of the young Canadian; but the one that took first place was the Peruvian (current Lima 2019 Pan American champion) by scoring a total of 12.17 pts based on cuts with wide and marked lines.
“The first Heat is always full of nerves. I had already been here in Panama for a few days and wanted to compete. Demonstrating once again that with a cool head you can do more. We continue and go for more”, said Daniella Rosas.
Due to the low tide and the difficult conditions, the event directors decided to pause the event until the afternoon, when the tide rose, so Heat 14 was the last in the morning and here Lucia Indurain from Argentina and the representative of Barbados, Chelsea Tuach.
Once the event resumed in the afternoon, the last two Heat of round 1 of the Women’s Shortboard entered the water, with very different conditions than in the morning. With waves of 1.5 meters and constant wind.
Joining Round 2 are Angelina Decesare from Colombia and Ana Laura González from Mexico. And Julia Duarte from Brazil and the Ecuadorian Génesis Borja, advanced in the last Heat.
In the Men’s SUP Surf, we were able to see Giorgio Gómez from Colombia in action, who opened the first round with a level of surfing and good use of the paddle, a level worthy of the current Lima 2019 Pan American Champion. The Colombian scored a combination of 15.33 pts. The Argentine Franco Faccin, who last Sunday managed to qualify for Santiago 2023 in the SUP Technical Race, also advanced to Round 2 in this category.
Tamil Martino from Peru was another standout of the day, displaying good use of the rails and agility as he navigated the changing waves, earning him a combined 16.07 points.
The Brazilians were not far behind in terms of scores. In Heat 2 and 3, Wellington Reis and Luiz Diniz scored high. Diniz, the current 2022 Pan American champion, surfed a wave of 7.67 pts, one of the highest scores in the discipline so far in the tournament.
“I had a good wave to perform a very good maneuver. I broke my board when I finished a strong maneuver, I ran into a famous tiger rock, but I am ready to keep moving forward”, indicated Diniz.
Max Torres from Puerto Rico and Sebastián Gómez continue in the event, while Benjamín Álvarez from Mexico and José Ruíz from Costa Rica completed the athletes who advanced today to Round 2.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 26, will be the start of the Men’s Shortboard Heat (24 heats), starting at 7:00 a.m. local time, until 3:00 p.m., conditions permitting (every schedule is subject to change).
Follow the live broadcast and results at www.pasasurf.org.
The XVI edition of the Pan American Surfing Games is possible thanks to:
• Panama Tourism Authority
• Psycho Tuna
• Amstel Ultra
• COS channel
• COPA Airlines
We also thank the Media Partners Surfing República, Canal PX Sports and Super Deportes.