A significant increase in wave height showed a different face of El Sunzal today at the 2023 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Longboard Championship (WLC). Large lines of swell marched down the point to the delight of competitors. Women’s Main Round 2 was completed before the full Women’s Repechage Round 2 and Men’s Main Round 2.
The winningest surfer in ISA Longboarding history, two-time gold medalist Antoine Delpero (FRA), came out of semi-retirement for this year’s WLC to have the opportunity to surf on Team France with his brother, 2019 bronze medalist Edouard, for a third time.
Edouard Delpero, Team France Photo: Pablo Jimenez
Together, the brothers collected the first 9-point rides and subsequently the two highest heat totals of the event so far. Both used long nose-rides across large opening sections, combined with beautiful rail work to claim their huge scores. Edouard surfed just three waves in his heat, each of them earning 9-points or above.
The early success of the two, along with their teammates Alice Le Moigne and Zoe Grospiron, bodes well for the defending Team champions. “It’s a unique experience to surf with Antoine on the team, and Alice, it’s my second team with her and first time for Zoe,” Edouard said. “So, we have a super team, super chill and we have a good time together. It really creates a good motivation for us to put on good surfing.”
The second heat of Men’s Main Round 2 saw a fiery battle for first place between mentor and mentee, with Julian Schweizer (URU) defeating Benoit ‘Piccolo’ Clemente (PER). Both surfers progressed, but the moment was significant for Schweizer.
“I’m super stoked to surf with Piccolo,” Schweizer said. “He is actually my mentor. We always end up in heats together, but I’m stoked to get the win. This is the first time I’ve ever beaten him so this heat actually mattered a lot for me.”
The late afternoon men’s heats saw endless action with large scores for multiple surfers including Cole Robbins (USA), Carlos Bahia (BRA), Rogelio Esquieviel Jr. (PHI), Sebastián Cárdenas (PER), and brothers João and António Dantas (POR).
Maria Fernanda Reyes, Team Peru Photo: Pablo Franco
Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) earned a silver medal in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and is hoping to leave El Salvador as one of four women qualified for Santiago 2023. A great performance in Main Round 3 has kept her dreams alive, with a 7.83 single wave score and a 13.83 heat total ranking as the highest of the day for the women’s division.
“I’m super happy to make my heat, representing Peru one more time in this World Championship,” Reyes said. “I know that Longboarding is on its way to be in the Olympic Games so we have to show and demonstrate the highest level we have.”
American Samoa is appearing in its first ISA WLC courtesy of yet another set of siblings, the Jarrard family. Sisters Seva and Lucy won back-to-back heats in Women’s Repechage Round 2 today. The pair traveled to El Salvador along with their brother Ioane to compete, with parents Susanna and Lionel also joining to support.
Collecting one of the highest single wave scores of the day, Seva is loving the dynamic. “My family and I are super excited and so blessed too,” Seva said. “It’s super supportive. Not everyone gets to have this experience but since I get to experience it with my family it makes everything so much better. It kind of feels like I’ve already won just having them here.”
Competition will resume tomorrow at 7:30am CST with Men’s Main Round 4.