Icah Wilmot retains JSA National Open title
Jamaica Surfing Association National Open Series
Icah Wilmot retains National Open Surfing title
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 December, 2012 : - - Defending National Open champion Icah Wilmot secured a narrow, come-from-behind win in the 2012 Jamaica Surfing Association National Open Series with a fourth-place showing at the fifth and final event concluded at the Boston Bay surfing beach in Portland on Saturday.
The event was contested by 14 competitors, the smallest turnout for the series. Some of the top names were absent from the line-up, as Portland's top surfer and former national champion Shane Simonds did not compete, dashing his hope of a 2012 title in the process. Also missing from the line-up and a shot at the title was series leader at the time, young Akeem Taylor of Boston.
The day was sunny and the forecast was for chest high waves on a building swell to reach head high by evening. The home crew had the advantage in the fickle waves of the pristine white sand cove and they were looking strong despite their missing stars.
As expected, there were no upsets in the first round and all the top seeds made their heats to sit it out, while two round two heats selected the contenders who would advance to meet them again in round three where the real action began.
The first heat of the round was dominated by the defending champ and the judges agreed unanimously. Garren Pryce got a unanimous second of his own and they were through to the semi-final. Heat Two was a lot closer with Shama Beckford and Dwayne Hall splitting first and second for their places in the semis. The youngest Wilmot, Ivah, also dominated his Heat Three with Warren Lewis taking second and advancing with him. The final heat of the round was a family affair for Ackeam Phillips and his younger brother Armani Green, who nabbed a unanimous first and second to complete the semi-final field.
The first semi-final saw Icah, Shama, Dwayne, and Garren paddle out. The surfing was at the top of the local scale, and the young Beckford went toe to toe with his elder, narrowly finishing in second, but making it to the final, nonetheless. Boston's Dwayne Hall finished equal fifth with Garren Pryce equal seventh.
Semi-final two was straight forward in the judges' eyes, with all giving the two spots in the final to Ackeam and Ivah. Armani Green and Warren Lewis took equal fifth and seventh, respectively.
In the much-anticipated final it was at the Boston Crew's home turf, a number of their top representatives were absent, which made the final a totally 'South Coast' affair. Eighteen waves were ridden in the short 15-minute heat with Shama, Ivah and his brother Icah all getting five each. Shama's first wave was a thriller and gave him a good grip on the first exchange which he did not relinquish. Icah was trying hard, while Ackeam sat patiently and waited for his calling. Ivah was busy also, but was having more luck than his elder brother, as he connected sections across the bay. Ackeam got a good right and almost landed an air reverse which made him look very dangerous in the choppy conditions of the evening. But Shama held on to his lead as the clock ticked down.
When the horn sounded Shama Beckford was the event winner, followed by Ackeam Phillips in second, Ivah Wilmot in third and Icah Wilmot in fourth.
Author: The Editors
Tags: Icah Wilmot, Jamaica,