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Simmonds cops trophy
Keisha Hill, Staff Reporter
National junior champion, 17-year-old Shane Simmonds, added another trophy to his coffers by taking home the second event of the Jamaica Surfing Association 2009 National Open Surf Series, held at the Makka Surfing Beach, St Thomas, on Saturday.
Twenty-four competitors partici-pated in six heats from which 12 advanced to round two. Four heats took the field down to the top eight surfers, who advanced to the semi-finals.
Open Series one champion Inilek Wilmot, as well as Luke Williams, Ackeam Taylor and Jason Pusey, paddled out in semi-final one. The 15-minute heat saw 20 waves ridden with Wilmot taking an 8.0-point lead, as Williams nabbed second place from Taylor and Pusey.
Simmonds, Icah Wilmot, Eneson Lightbourne and Ackeam Phillips battled it out in heat two. They rode 23 waves between them but Simmonds made his statement and secured the first spot in the final ahead of Wilmot, who was constantly nipping at his heals but had to settle for second.
In the final, Simmonds continued to dominate the waves with immaculately executed turns ahead of the Wilmot brothers, who placed second and third, respectively, with Williams ending fourth.
President of the JSA, Billy Wilmot, said the event was wonderful as the waves were excellent for the competition.
"We are approaching the season for the World Juniors and having our number one junior actually win the open event is very encouraging where results for his performance is concerned," Wilmot said.
"We know that he is at the international level and know that his performance here has given him a lot of confidence going into upcoming competitions," he added.
Wilmot also noted that the standard of surfing in Jamaica has improved leaps and bounds.
"A lot more youngsters are getting involved and, as such, they learn, develop and progress more quickly than adults when they get into the sport," he said.
The next event in the series will be held at Copa surfing beach on March 21 2009 beginning at 9 a.m.
2009 JSA National Open Championship Point Standings
1. Shane Simmonds 1860
2. Inilek Wilmot 1730
3. Icah Wilmot 1590
4. Luke Williams 1340
5. Eneson Lightbourn 1193