The UCSB surf team hosted a contest down the 101 this weekend at C Street in Ventura, falling short of a win with some hard luck in the semifinals.
Unlike other competitive sports, surfing requires two full days of dedication since the given weather conditions and waves that result play the biggest role in every contest. Unfortunately, this weekend did not bring waves to favor many surfers.
Small two- to three-foot sets were rideable Saturday, making for a competitive edge in the trick and style category. Sunday followed with more wind than C Street could handle, building a blown-out choppy mess that resulted in unfair results for many heats.
Round 1 of the men’s shortboard was held on Saturday and, as they have done in past competitions, with fair weather the men of UCSB ripped hard to advance to Round 2 on Sunday.
The women’s Round 1 was held on a much windier Sunday morning, where freshman Taylor Bushman advanced to the quarterfinals for the Gauchos.
“You just work at ignoring the cold and catching waves, that’s about it,” Bushman said about her own success on the day, before falling short of sixth place in the semifinals.
Junior Matt Poole, freshman Colin Andersen, Jeremy Berger, Ian Tucker, Carter Andersen, John Mangiagli and sophomore Bradley Margol all advanced to Round 3 in the men’s shortboard, but as wind picked up and waves died down, only Colin Andersen, Margol and Poole made it to the quarterfinals.
The waves favored the men’s longboard division as Brenden Castille and sophomore John Killingsworth both advanced in their heats to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, the boys did not make it to finals simply because they were not comparable to the poor condition of the blown-out waves on Sunday. Longboarding for them that day was more than a battle against unwanted weather and wind, and left the finalists to struggle alone.
Colin Andersen, Margol and Poole went on to the semifinals, leaving Poole with fourth and Andersen with sixth, while Margol advanced to the finals. The judges ruled out two of Andersen’s best waves of the day in this last heat, as they claimed that he did not take off on the wave within the boundaries, even though they scored other surfers in the same heat at the exact spot Anderson broke away.
“Ninety percent of the time I walk away from a competition dissatisfied not because I performed poorly or I would leave it at that. It is because so many waves are thrown out without reason,” Andersen said.
Margol represented UCSB in the finals, leaving with sixth place and no worries, as the waves presented were not much more than child’s play on a bad day.
The sum of poor conditions, high winds, small waves and questionable scores left UCSB heading out in the finals. Captains senior Charlie McMahon and Bianca Valenti did not seem phased by the turnout.
“Our team pretty much rocks, we definitely have the talent to win it all, but we can’t always control the conditions,” McMahon said. “Usually the guys that aren’t so good have better chance of winning when the waves are crappy. It takes good waves to really showcase good surfers and all that we’ve got.”