Mixed bag for Jamaica on World Surfing Games day one
LA BONACA, EL Salvador:
JAMAICA’S ICAH and Imani Wilmot had mixed results on the opening day of the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games (WSG) following opening-round action at two venues, EL Sunzal and La Bocana in Surf City, La Libertad, EL Salvador.
Veteran Icah Wilmot advanced to round two of the men’s open after finishing second in heat 17 at EL Sunzal, while his sister Imani failed to advance to the next round after finishing fourth in Heat 22 on the women’s open, which was held next door at La Bocana.
It was sweet redemption for Icah Wilmot, who was eliminated in the opening round at last year’s WSG in Huntington Beach, California, as the seasoned surfer racked up his two best waves to score 4.13 and 3.00 for a score of 7.13, which was good enough for second place and an automatic spot in the second round.
“The heat was good and the waves were a little shifty, and it took a little time to figure out where the good ones were. I managed to get a couple of good ones because the confidence and the surfing is there, it was just a matter of finding the right ones,” said Wilmot.
The United States’ Tyler Gunter took first place in the heat after racking up his two best scores of 7.40 and 7.17 for a top score of 14.57.
Yu Chaia Chi of Chinese Taipei was third with a score of 6.70.
Icah’s sister, Imani, wasn’t as lucky as she had a tough heat, which saw her finishing fourth when her first two waves, eventually her best, were scored at 1.77 and 1.23 for a total of 3.00.
Indonesia’s Taina Angel took the heat with scores of 5.67 and 5.33 for a total of 11.00. Erin Brooks of Canada secured the other automatic qualifying spot with a score of 8.33.
For Imani, a battle with a stomach and flu virus didn’t help in putting together her best in the opening round.
“The conditions were a bit tough and the waves were smaller than I anticipated as it was a lot bumpier and more difficult to get into the waves, but I still stuck with the strategy and got some early waves, but sometimes the conditions are not always in your favour.”
Imani will get the next chance to try and advance as she will surf in Heat 11 of the repechage, the ‘second chance heat’ for surfers who failed to advance from round one.
Today’s second day will see Jamaica’s two other competitors, Elishama Beckford and Javaun Brown, competing in the continuation of the men’s open opening round.