An unusually wet past few months have played havoc with surfing events around the country, but the USA Surfing Prime East Surfing Series reached the halfway mark last week with event number 2 at new Smyrna Beach in Florida.
The opening event took place the first week in November and they were off until the last week in February. However, action finally got back underway and many surfers who hope to make their way to the USA Surfing National Championships (June 20-24 at Lower Trestles).\ were showing their best surfing maneuvers.
Good scores and buzzer beaters were the thing of the day so lets go to new Smyrna Beach;
BURGER USES BUZZER BEATER TO GET WIN
After Sailing through three rounds, Carl Burger put his metal to the test in the finals and came through in buzzer beating fashion.
Heat leader Will Deane held an advantage thanks to his earlier 8.17 and had a 14.44 total when Burger took off on his final wave in the final seconds, needing a 6.67 for the title.
"I just tried to put the most into my turns on that last wave and get the score i needed, " Burger said.
His score dropped as a 6.87, just enough to deny Deane from trying to capture his second title of the day. (having already won the U16)
"This is a really great competition to learn from, especially these past three years doing Prime makes me feel I have improved surfing against great competitors," Burger said.
"This is my last year in it, and I'm going strong in every event. I'm going to miss competing in it for sure but it's all about progression and getting older which makes me more confident. I'm getting ready for the QS events and hoping for the ISA."
Other scores of note: Benji Lange dropped scores of 8.50 and 8.00 for a 16.50 in a semifinal win; Deane scored 8.00 and 7.07 for a 15.07 in the semifinals, Logan Radd had a 15.07 total in a round 2 win with wave scores of 8.07 and 7.00; Braeden Kopec dropped a 7.33,and 6.83 in a 14.16 first round heat win.
Finalists: Carl Burger 14.64, Will Deane 14.44, Benji Lange 12.94, Braedon Kopec 11.17
Benedetto Breezes to Win in Goodbye Event
Zoe Benedetto, currently number 3 on the WSL Qs rankings, caught just three waves in the final, but she got scores of 7.83 and 7.50 to win handily with a 15.33 total. Runner up Kylie Pulcini had a 11.57 heat total.
It was her last USA Prime qualifier as she will now turn her attentions to more national events.
"I'm super pumped that I ended my last east coast Prime event with a win that I definitely won't forget," Benedetto said. "USA Surfing Prime has been a huge part of my amateur career and I can genuinely say it has shaped me to be the surfer that I am today and prepared me going into my next chapter. Super happy and thankful."
Benedetto advanced through the semis with scores of 6.97 and 8.50 for a 15.47.
Other noteworthy scores: Kylie Pulcini had scores of 8.00 and 5.43 in a 13.43 semifinal heat; Lanea Mons had a 6.67 and 5.00 in a 11.67 semifinal win.
Finalists: Zoe Benedetto 15.33, Kylie Pulcini 11.57, Niyah Rosen 8.16, Lanea Mons 6.84
Deane Takes Crown for the Second Time This Year
Will Deane won back-to-back championships in the East Prime U16 division with his win at New Smyrna Beach.
Dean took command early in the final with a 7.67 and then got the backup he needed toward the end then he dropped a 5.93 for a 13.60 heat total.
Gavin Bren and Teddy Witteman were in a close battle for second that went to Bren.
Earlier, he dropped a 9.17 score in a 16.00 round one victory.
Deane also was runner up in the U18 division making it quite a successful weekend.
"I was riding a sub driver 2.0 by Mayhem, it was very good," Deane said. I was just trying to get on a couple good waves in the shortened 15-minute heats."
Deane has become a force in all his USA events and is someone to deal with come nationals.
"It's the highest level of amateur surfing on the East Coast," Deane said. "So, you have to bring your best surfing every time, that's for sure."
Other scores of note: Gavin Bren had a 7.50 and 6.00 in a 13.50 semifinal heat win; Luke Lopez dropped an 8.00 in a 12.40 quarterfinal heat win; Teddy Witteman had a 7.00 and 6.00 in a 13.00 round one win; Vance Weyandt had a 7.00 and 6.23 in a 13.23 quarterfinal win.
GIRLS U16 and U14
Lopez Doubles Her Pleasure With Double Titles
We can safely say that Alana Lopez is on some kind of roll right now.
After winning the U14 at the first event in New Jersey, she won both U16 and U14 this weekend at New Smyrna.
In the U16 division, she rolled scores of 7.90 and 7.50 for a 15.40 to easily hold off the competition. Daya McCart was second best with an 11.40 heat total.
In the quarterfinal, Lopez dropped scores of 8.17 and 6.83 and had a 13.60 semifinal mark.
In the U14, Lopez had a 7.83 wave score in a 14.00 final heat winning score, holding off Sofia Gamboa, who finished with a 12.63 total.
Other scores of note:
U14 Auburn Hilley had an 8.83 and 7.83 for a huge 16.66 in a round 1 win; Lola Fleming had a 7.40 and 5.23 in her 12.63 round one heat; Sienna Fleming had a 6.17 and 5.83 for a 12.00 semifinal score.
U16 Daya McCart scored an 8.17, 6.83 for a 15.00 semifinal win, Lanea Mons had a 7.40 and 7.33 in a 14.73 quarterfinal win.
U14 Finalists: Alana Lopez 14.00, Sofia Gamboa 12.63, Lola Fleming 8.96, Sienna Fleming 8.83.
U16 Finalists: Alana Lopez 15.40, Daya McCart 11.40, Auburn Hilley 8.64, Kylie Pulcini 8.26
Cash Nipper Was Cash Money at the Buzzer
With only seconds remaining in the final, Cash Nipper knew the time was right for the come from behind win.
Nipper caught a wave and rode it in as the final second ticked off the clock and his reward was a 5.20, enough to take the win and narrowly beat runner up Shea Edwards, 11.20 to 10.66.
Nipper had the highest wave score of the heat, but needed that solid back up to nail down the win.
Going into the final Luke Lopez was rolling through his heats, winning three rounds with scores of 13.57, 15.33 and 14.44. Nipper also won all three of his earlier heats.
Lopez had won the event in New Jersey and was trying for back-to-back wins.
Other Scores of Note: Athan Robertson dropped scores of 7.83 and 6.83 for a 14.66 in a first-round win; Gavin Bren had scores of 7.50 and 6.90 in a 14.40 first round win; Sebastian Peters had a 14.93 quarterfinal win with scores of 7.83 and 7.10.
Finalists: Cash Nipper 11.20, Shea Edwards 10.66, Sebastian Peters 9.40, Luke Lopez 8.27
After a quick turnaround, the East Prime is back in the water this weekend at Ponce Inlet in Florida for event number 3 of the season.