The regular season schedule of the Western Surfing Association was completed this weekend with event number 9 at Salt Creek. It was the last chance for surfers on the fringe of making the end of the season championships to sneak into the cut line.
All surfers that participated in at least six of the nine events are eligible for the West Coast Championships that will be held at Chruch Beach in San Clemente on May 6 and 7th.
All eligible surfers will get points for their top 6 finishes throughout the year and that will determine who gets invites for the championships. The end of the line goal is to be invited to the USA Surfing championships in June and a berth into the USA Prime Series in 2023-24.
With that said, let's go the Salt Creek Beach and see who ended the season with a top performance.
IT WAS A HAPPY DAY FOR SAGER
Happy Sager, who previously had two second and one third place finishes this season, finally broke through in the season ender and won her first championship.
Seager put it all together in a full day of great surfing.
" When I won this contest, I was so stoked to be able to win at least one contest this season. I have come so close this entire year but kept coming up short. But, winning this competition meant a lot to me because I knew I could do it and I finally did," Sager said.
Sager spent time at Dana Point getting used to the Salt Creek swell and it paid off for her.
" The thing that helped me get this win was being able to surf Salt Creek almost every day the past two weeks. I even went if there were barely any waves just so I could get a feel for it in all conditions," she said. "I used my LOST board (sub driver 2.0) in my first two heats and then the CI board (fish beard) in the finals because the waves were softer and mushier, and it helped get thru the soft spots."
Sager placed 2nd earlier in the season at both San Clemente and Oceanside.
Bailey Turner finished second and Hayden Suess had a 3rd place result.
MCNULTY CAPS OFF SOLID SEASON WITH WIN
15-year-old Shane McNulty overcame a slow start to the season and over the past 5 events has been one of the top surfers in the U16 division.
Saturday, he won for the second time in the past 5 weeks to maintain his top three ranking in the division. Over the past seven events he has 5 top five finishes.
"My number one goal for this season is to qualify for USA Prime," McNulty said. "Overall, I am happy with this season. My results have improved quite a bit. I will be really happy if I end up number 1. Certain things have to happen, but it is within reach."
On Saturday McNulty left no doubt it was his day, as he took first in all four of his heats.
" The key on Saturday was studying the sets before my heat and sitting in the best spot," said McNulty. "My first wave of the final was a beast. It eventually closed out, but I made the most of it. It turned out to be the highest scoring wave of the final. "
Sutton Tudor was runner up and Noah Lavik finished third.
FAURE MAKES IMPACT IN SHORT TIME
Milo Faure surfed just the last three events of the WSA season but came away from the final event with his first championship.
After a 13th and 7th place finish in his first two events, the 17-year-old took first in his first heat, advanced in third in round two and had a second-place finish in his semifinal heat to make the finals.
Once there he came away with the top scores and the title.
"In the morning the waves were pretty fun, but in the afternoon the waves got smaller, and it got windy, " Faure said. " I got a couple good scores by catching the smaller waves that stood up better. The key to winning was picking the right waves and surfing them as best as possible."
Since Faure only surfed three events, he isn't eligible for the West Coast Championships but has his mind set on big goals, nonetheless.
"My goal during these events was to get some good contest practice, and my goals for the rest of the year are to do good at NSSA regionals and nationals and qualify for Usa Surfing Prime next year. For the rest of the year, I just want to improve on my contest consistency."
Finn Murphy was second best on the day and Ryder Smith finished third.
Other Salt Creek highlights;
U7 MINI GROM
Maverick Suess took home title number 7 on the season with a sweep of all three scorecards. Second was Shane Lavik, who recorded his best finish of his three career contests and Uriah McDonald had a solid third place finish.
U9 MICRO GROM BOYS
Zackery Taylor won his 6th title of the season and third in the last four weeks, to keep the top seed for the season. Cash Jonez-Miller was second, the eighth time he has finished first or second in nine events.
Last Week, Troy Ponteres won his first title of the season, this week, he did it again. He took first on all three scorecards for the sweep. Waylon Brennan continued his consistent surfing, keeping his streak alive of finishing first or second in all nine events this year.
U10 MICRO GROM GIRLS
Teagan Sandvig was victorious for the 6th time this season in her 8 events. She took first on 2 of the 3 judges' scorecards. Harper Olenik was second, as she took first from one of the judges. Alana Harp finished third for the 3rd time this season.
U12 AND U14 BOYS
10-year-old King Nicol played spoiler once again as for the second time this season, he took home double titles against his older opponents.
In the U14, Nicol came out on top in a close final with Jaime Veselko (2nd) and Kai Thompson (3rd).
In the U12, he narrowly beat out Finn Castle and Zion Walla (2nd and 3rd respectively).
The win was Nicol's 6th win this season between the two divisions.
Ruby Stringfellow won her fourth straight title and 7th in the 9 weeks of competition to head into the championships as the solid top seed. Zoe Panetierre was second for the fourth time this year and Teagan Meza was third, her 8th time in the top three.
U 6 GIRLS
Top Seed Bailey Turner continued her winnings ways with her fourth title in the last 5 contests. She also had a solid second in the Girls U14 group for a great day of surfing. Hayden Suess was second and newcomer Jasmine Studer was third in her WSA debut.
Eden Walla continued on her hot streak, as she took the title for the fifth time in her 6 events surfed. Last month's winner, Ava Wagester, was second while Veronica Hughes placed in third.
U14 GIRLS LONGBOARD
Standout Elizabeth Carroll made it 8 wins in nine weeks by again sweeping all three scorecards. Carroll will be the top seed going into next month's championships. Ella Anderson and Blayke Southern finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
U14 BOYS LONGBOARD
Sawyer Southern made it 5 wins on the year, sweeping the scores from all three judges. Southern was number one in the division coming in and will stay there for the championships. Kai Landers had his best finish of the season, with a 2nd place result, while Slater Van Bruggen was third.
U18 BOYS LONGBOARD
Noah Hogle continued his red-hot longboarding with his 4th straight win in the division he currently holds the top spot in. It was his 5th win of the year overall. Lote Harvey, second in the rankings finished second and Jake Reisender, third overall for the season finished third.
U18 GIRLS LONGBOARD
Stella Landers won her second title of the season and Allegra Barzan had her best finish of the year. Landers had a win in week 2 for her previous win, and Barzan's runner up placing bettered her two third-place finishes.
In a few weeks the invites will be sent out for the West Coast Championships.