Last week the Half Moon Bay High School Cougar Surf Team migrated south to surf in the annual SSS State Championships at the Oceanside’s Harbor Jetties and were welcomed by a beautiful weekend of early season south swell. Saturday’s team-on-team round ended relatively quickly after some tough match-ups, but the individual round included a historic first state championship for Emma Stone in women’s shortboard.
In Men’s Shortboard, HMB (21) fell to San Diegito (42), though Nate Feix (2) and Clay Johnson (3) fought valiantly.
In Women’s Shortboard, HMB (7) bowed to Laguna (13), with Emma Stone placing well (2).
In Men’s Longboard~ HMB came up short, though Clay Johnson (2) surfed strongly.
In Women’s Longboard, HMB (8) conceded to Coronado (12), even after Emma Stone (1) took the heat.
In co-ed bodyboard, HMB also exited in the first round.
Men’s Shortboard first round saw Ryan Bair (2) and Clay Johnson (2) advance, a path that Clay continued all the way to the semi-finals before bowing out after a herculean double-effort in longboard, surfing a total of 7 heats, some even back-to-back. In men’s longboard Clay (1) advanced all the way to the semis as well with critical nose rides and rapid cross-stepping into gaping close-outs — a mature effort that came up just one place short of a deserved position in the finals.
Women’s Shortboard was owned by Emma Stone (1), who didn’t lose a heat all day en-route to the
finals, which she won with single massive turns and devastating combination moves to give her and HMB the first state championship win in decades. Ella Catalano-Dockens also had a fine day, advancing to the quarter finals in women’s shortboard.
Overall, a mostly very young cougar surf team gained valuable experience at the top level in the state and set themselves up for future success. And we wished our two seniors, team captain Nic Bouchard and Max Ladabaum “bon voyage” as they head off to bright futures at SDSU and UCSB, respectively, this fall to pursue their academics and perhaps a some collegiate NSSAs as well?
Coach Mike Wallace