On Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th 2017, the UC San Diego Surf Team traveled north to Ventura harbor to compete in the last NSSA competition of the season. Coming off of a solid result the week before in Huntington Beach, the team was focused and ready to challenge their abilities against some of the best college surfers on the west coast.
Unfortunately, the first round didn’t go as planned for most members of the UC San Diego Surf Team. For the men’s, Jake Fishman and Michael Cassen were the only A-team members to advance into the second round. B-team standout Jake Wooley got an impressive 2nd place in his first round heat, and moved onto the second round. Despite the poor result of the men’s team, the girl’s team did exceptionally well, as Rachel Wood, Francesca Seely, and Skyla Bertsch all advanced into the 2nd round. Longboarders Jake Fishman got 1st place in his round 1 heat and advanced to the quarter finals while B-team member Henry Buckley got 4th and missed an advancing spot.
Round 2 was a bit more challenging, as Michael Cassen and Rachel wood got 4th place and didn’t advance. Fishman, Seely, and Bertsch advanced to the 3rd round, keeping the hopes alive for the UC San Diego Surf Team. Fishman finished with a 4th place finish in the quarter finals, a personal and team best for the year while Seely finished with an impressive 2nd place finish in the finals. Seelys competiveness, skill, and consistency throughout the season paid off, as she was placed as the top overall surfer for the season. Congratulations Seely!
On January 28th and 29th the UC San Diego Surf Team traveled north to “Surf City”, Huntington Beach for the 3rd NSSA competition of the year. It was projected to be a few beautiful days, but the waves weren’t as incredible as the weather. Despite the size, the surf conditions were not optimal, but tested the skill level, heat intelligence, and determination of those competing. The first round went well for the UC San Diego Surf Team, as A-team members, Jake Fishman, Michael Joshua, Francesca Seely, and Kyle Sweezy all got 1st place in their heats. Other notable first round contenders were Rachel Wood, Michael Cassen, Lance Lerum, Jake Wooley, Matt Honey, and Josh Israel for all advancing to Round 2.
Round 2 was a bit difficult for not only the surfers, but also the judges, as they faced an immense amount of glare. Luck wasn’t in Jake Fishman’s favor as he only got judged on two of his waves, despite catching six in his heat, and got 4th in the second round. Kyle Sweezy, Michael Joshua, and Francesca Seely were the only surfers to escape out of round 3. The combination of difficult surf conditions and skillful competition made it difficult for the three shredders to get waves, as all three were unable to advance further. Overall, the 1st place result by most of the A team in the early rounds allowed the UC San Diego Surf Team to be placed high in the overall league rankings.
This past weekend at the Seaside Reef from November 12th and 13th, the Surf team had its second contest of the year with a decent showing. The waves were perfect with head high A-frames coming through the outside reef lining up to the inside for a lot a scoring potential.
We had a great turnout of support from teammates and friends who were not competing but came down anyways. We really appreciated the support and pride for UC San Diego surf team!
Jake Fishman, Michael Cassen, and Brian Dillon were the standouts for the men’s short board in which they competed and made it through heats 1 and 2 on Saturday to qualify for the third round on Sunday. They unfortunately lost out barely missing the advancing positions in their heats.
Dane Peterson made it to the semifinals in men’s long board, which scored the team some solid points!
A huge shoutout to Frankie Seely who took home 3rd place overall in the women’s finals!!! She has been killing it lately with a win overall at the first contest at blacks and now a top 3 finish here at seaside puts her into the number 1 spot overall for college women’s!
Overall we had a great time and were so stoked on the support of our team and an amazing weekend at the beach.
On October 29th, 2016 the UC San Diego surf team competed in their first NSSA Competition of year on their home soil – Blacks Beach. Being the weekly practice location, the UC San Diego surf team was able to use their knowledge of the break to seek out better waves and use more strategy in order to advance through their heats.
Saturday started off with a bang, as A – Team members Logan Laubach, Jake Fishman, and Michael Joshua all got first place in their first round heats. Other notable first round standouts were A-team members Michael Cassen and Kyle Sweezy for finishing second in their heats. B – Team standout, Owen Cockerill, advanced as well, giving the UCS San Diego a great overall result in the first round. Round 2 became a little more difficult for the team as only Jake Fishman, captain of the surf team, was able to advance.
Sunday was a day filled with suspense, excitement, and disappointment. Jake Fishman missed the quarter finals with a 0.2 point margin – a close heat to say the least. After the mens were all knocked out the competition, it was time for the women and longboard team to shine. New team members Rachel Wood, Skyla Bersch, and Sierra Casper fought hard and ended up with 4th place finishes in their rounds. A-team standout, Francesca Seely, was in form all day, as she advanced through every round and put her stamp in the finals. She ended up getting first place in the girls, ultimately helping the UC San Diego surf team overall ranking. Finally, Longboards Lance Lerum and Dane Peterson breezed through round 1, with their stylish nose rides and graceful turns. Lance was able to move past Dane Peterson and compete in the semi-finals, but finished with a close 4th. Overall, the UC San Diego surf team did fairly well on their first competition, and are excited and preparing for the next at Seaside on November 12, 2016.
The third college NSSA event of this season was held at 9th street Huntington Beach, California on January 23rd and 24th. It was a beautiful Saturday morning on the 23rd which commenced by running the men’s shortboard heats right at 7am. Tricky high tide shore break had most competitors scratching their heads but the UC San Diego A team pushed on through getting every one of their members to advance through round 1. Notable round one performances go to Kyle Sweasey and Logan Laubach who found long corners and were able to do two strong maneuvers to get them through round one. B Team struggled through round 1 but Jonathan Cremonesi and Caleb Richter were able to find the few diamonds in the rough to make it through. As the day progressed the tide dropped out and waves started breaking on the outside. These larger waves suited the UC San Diego Surf team and helped us advance pass round two into round three. Logan Laubach, riding his friend’s board, found reeling lefts that connected all the way to the inside helped push him past all his competitors in round two. The final round of the day however would prove difficult for most of the UC San Diego Surf Team with only four members making it through. Kyle Sweasey with a strong frontside carve in his heat help him get pushed into the quarters. The most memorable heat came next, which featured both Caleb and Logan. Disregarding the coaches advice onto focus on turns and completing waves, Caleb went out on his 6’5 shortboard and managed to get two complete barrels and dropping a 7 point ride on one of them. Once the announcement was made that Caleb took 1st and Logan took 3rd the entire team roared on the beach!
The second day of competition proved to be tricky for everyone. Kyle, Logan, Jacob, and Caleb fell in the quarters due to tricky conditions and increased competition. Both longboarders, Dane Petersen and Henry Buckley made it into the semi finals after dodging the harrowing sets that prevent even some of the best long boarders from making it out in the line up. Dane managed to snap his long board in half during his heat marking the last UC San Diego Surf Team member left in the event. With rejuvenated spirits from the exceptional performances performed by the team we plan on improving on our 6th place and aim to win our next event at C Street!
The UC San Diego Surf team hosted the first event at their very own court, Black’s Beach. The waves were up and the team was frothing on the swell. However, the morning proved to be challenging as the high tide made the conditions a bit unfamiliar. The UCSD B team got knocked out in Round 1 while UCSD A team got 5 of their members through. David Dittmar, who surfed later on Saturday, went vertical twice on his backhand and took 1st in his Round 1 heat with a 8.5 point ride. The further deteriorating conditions proved tough for the UCSD A Team as Logan Laubach, Michael Joshua, Jake Fishman, and Kyle Sweasey couldn’t find the waves they need to advance out of Round Two. Once again, David Dittmar’s solid backhand propelled him into the Semi-Finals on Sunday where he would bow out. The girls on the other hand surfed solidly and Laura Dentz made it to Round 2. The new and upcoming freshman, Francesca Seely, stole the show and took it to the women’s quarterfinals with solid backhand hacks. Longboarders, Dane and Henry, both were at lost as the waves proved a little too big for their 9 foot boards. However, Dane managed to steal a few of the better waves during his heats and made it to the Semi-Finals. Here he managed to air drop onto a bomb however was not awarded the score the judges were looking for. Overall, the UCSD Surf Team did alright for the season opener and looking to get out there and fight for the top spot at the next contest at Seaside Reef.
The 2016 NSSA Collegiate State Championships were blessed with rolling swells and sunny skies. Competitors rode waves as long as 300 yards in their pursuit of surfing glory. Despite stellar conditions, most UC San Diego surfers failed to surpass the second round of the event, leaving the pressure on Michael Ciaramella and Frankie Seely. Round after round, the two grinded through heats, often waiting until the last minute to secure a wave strong enough for advancement. In the women’s final, Frankie fought hard but ultimately came up just short of first position, thus finishing a respectable 2nd. In the men’s division, Michael started off strong but was unfortunately plagued by a flat ocean for the remainder of the final, thus relegating him to a lowly fifth place finish. All in all, the team had a decent event and finished 6th place overall.
C. Street 2/27-2/28/16
The fourth and final college NSSA event of the season was held at Ventura Point, CA. This was one of the harder competitions as the original competition date had to be canceled and rescheduled after one round due to stormy and hazardous conditions. UC San Diego A team struggled in round 1 due to team injuries and tricky conditions, leaving Jacob Fishman the only rider left advancing to the second round. UC San Diego B team dominated the first round as riders Lance Lerum, Owen Cockerill, Zak Hoshino, and Michael Cassen all advanced.
The remainder of the competition was rescheduled for Sunday February 28th, 2016 at the same location, only this time with epic surf and minimal wind. In the morning, Jacob Fishman advanced into the third round with a third place finish in his second round heat, but unfortunately missed the quarter finals by one place later that day. Both UC San Diego long boarders, Dane Peterson and Henry Buckley advanced into the semi-finals despite the tricky conditions for a ten-foot surfboard. Last competition in Huntington Beach, Dane broke his prized long board in half, which resulted in him surfing a foreign board that hasn’t seen water in years. Both Henry and Dane did not advance past the semi-finals, but still gave the UC San Diego surf team points towards a decent overall finish. Standout of the day was woman’s A team rider, Frankie Seeley, who soared through the semifinals with her slashing backhand turns and drive to win. Frankie placed second overall in the finals only by a half point compared to first, ultimately helping the UC San Diego A team rank seventh in the division.
The first day of competition saw the Men’s Shortboard division go through three rounds in peaky waist high surf. The first round proved tough for the UC San Diego squad, advancing only 4 of their 12 surfers through. By the end of the day, only one Men’s Shortboarder remained for The Tritons, Captain Michael Ciaramella. Day 2 started with the Women’s Shortboard division, where both Laura Dentz and Frankie Seely advanced from their round 1 bouts. While Laura faltered in round 2, freshman Frankie Seely advanced all the way to the semifinal, where she just missed qualification into the top 6. Dane Petersen cruised his way through a few longboard heats, but his run was cut short just before the final, as afternoon conditions proved difficult for such stylish surfing.
The only surfer remaining from the UC San Diego squad was shortboarder Michael Ciaramella, who did his best in the wild conditions and found himself in the Men’s final. The last heat was severely anticlimactic, as a rainsquall pushed in and blew the waves to pieces. The surfers tried their best and made their way back to shore after a miserable 20 minutes of fighting the unruly ocean. Although nobody performed to a very high standard, every competition must have a winner. Somehow, Michael Ciaramella won the oceanic lottery and walked away as champion on that day. Overall, the Tritons had a fairly disappointing performance, finishing just within the top 10 of 29 teams overall. The next event is not until January, so we hope to improve our strategies to perform better when that day comes.
October 24th marked the first official day of the NSSA Southwest College season!
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