UCSB’s Gold Surf Team nabbed its 12th national title during last month’s annual National Scholastic Surfing Association collegiate championship.
The team garnered a total of 100 points to defeat Cal State San Marcos, Point Loma and 14 other teams. The four-day competition consisted of a women’s, longboarder’s and men’s division, with the former two divisions both yielding wins for the UCSB surfing team.
Fourth-year global studies major, winner of the women’s division and next season’s team captain Lipoa Kahaleuahi said ideal weather conditions placed her in the right mindset to claim the title.
“The moment that I stepped off of the sand and into the water I knew I was in a different world, but it was a world that I was raised in and that I belonged to,” Kahaleuahi said. “The waves were good and the weather was beautiful, so it was anybody’s win.”
Additionally, Cole Robbins, a second-year real estate major at Santa Barbara City College, won the longboarding championship while fellow teammates Kevin Osborne and Rachel Harris placed second in the longboarding and women’s divisions, respectively.
Even though the win marked Robbins’ fourth title, he said he still encounters new challenges in each competition.
“I was kind of nervous at the end because I only caught two waves,” he said. “I didn’t know any of my scores and I was just hoping another wave would come. I am just so happy that it was enough.”
Current team captain Colin Andersen, who just graduated from UCSB as a business major, said he used motivational and organizational skills to lead his team’s four subdivisions to victory.
“This year I had four teams and I tried to get everyone involved, including the alternates,” Andersen said. “Everyone wanted to contribute because it was a bigger team. I think that since there were more people participating, each individual was motivated to do better.”
Following in Andersen’s footsteps, Kahaleuahi said she plans to keep the team driven by uniting them with a common goal.
“It is important to make sure that we as a team stick together to form a place where people can feel comfortable with each other,” Kahaleuahi said.
With his first and final season as captain under his belt, Andersen said the victory was a huge personal and team accomplishment.
“All that hard work finally paid off,” Andersen said. “[All I] wanted to do these four years in college was to win this national title. Basically, my dreams have come true.”