North America Longboard Champs
World Surf League
The Pier, Huntington Beach California
7 - 8 November 2015
Taylor Jensen defeats Stidham, Arganda & Silvagni to take the crown
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 November, 2015 - Huntington Beach - The World Surf League (WSL) North America Longboard Championships crowned their champions in clean, entertaining surf at the Huntington Beach Pier today as Taylor Jensen (USA) and Rachael Tilly (USA) earned their respective victories. This marks Jensen’s fourth win on the 2015 Men’s Longboard Tour and Tilly’s first ever WSL event win – also earning a qualification spot into the Jeep World Longboard Championships at Hainan Island, China.
Taylor Jensen’s (USA) road to the final was no easy task, taking down the great talent of Mike Stidham (USA) in the Quarterfinals with an impressive 17.77 heat total. Jensen then eliminated yesterday’s No.4 on the Round Robin Leaderboard, David Arganda (USA) in the Semifinals. Displaying a world-class performance, the two-time WSL World Longboard Champion matched his own highest single-wave score of the event with a 9.67 against Arganda.
Jensen had to work for his win after taking an early lead in the final before Tony Silvagni (USA) took it back with back-to-back scoring waves. Finding an 8.50 for his last wave, the Coronado, CA native showed his style and progressive variety to earn a win.
“It’s really cool to have gotten a win here,” Jensen said. “It was pretty lucky that the final just played out in my favor with conditions going downhill super fast. I was just looking for a decent one that didn’t look like a closeout – even the waves that Tony took in the beginning of the heat looked to be closing out but ended up offering a good wave. He was just straight out of the gates like he always is and went after it so I knew it’d be a tough one. But, I ended up taking a weird left that stayed open and gave me an opening noseride section to hang-ten on before letting me get another five into a closeout hit in the reform.”
Already having a ticket punched to China, runner-up Silvagni did not take this contest lightly and was thrilled with his performance throughout the weekend as he prepares for the closing events of the 2015 season.
“I’m super grateful for the WSL putting on this event and giving a chance for some new faces and also some of the familiar faces that have proven themselves over the years,” Silvagni said. “I really went into this one with my heart set on it. I came in with good boards and just feel like it was a good overall weekend. I’m really looking forward to China and also Taiwan the week before Worlds, to keep my feet on the board – I just want to keep the progression going and keep improving.”
Despite falling short in the Semifinals, both David Arganda (USA) and Kevin Skvarna (USA) have earned spots into the Jeep World Longboard Championships. Skvarana, a San Juan Capistrano, CA local surfer, was aware of his qualifying situation – and after beatingSteven Newton (USA) in the Quarterfinals he gained qualification.
“China was definitely on my mind coming into this event,” Skvarna said. “I got to surf against all the guys I’ve looked up to in surfing since I was 10 with Tony, Steve, and Mike [Stidham] especially. I knew that Taylor needed to win his heat along with Tony and the scenario went through my head a lot. I’ve surfed a good amount with Steve so I was hoping to get the right wave knowing if he got a good set wave he could’ve easily taken it.”
The 17-year-old will be joined by Arganda, 22, after overcoming Steven McLean (USA) in the Quarterfinals and was overjoyed with the qualification position into China. New on the WSL Men’s Longboard Tour scene, Arganda turned plenty of heads in his route to a Semifinal appearance.
“I’m excited with where I ended up – this is further than I thought I’d make it so I’m really hyped to do well and make it to China,” Arganda said. “There’s some amazing surfing going on from everyone but Taylor was killing it with some unbelievable maneuvers. I’m pretty new to the contest scene with the WSL and just excited to go over there and give it my best. I’ve done contests since I was in sixth grade but they were just fun longboard events and coalition contests for the Oceanside Longboard Club where we compete up and down the coast.”
Earning maiden WSL event victory Rachael Tilly (USA) took down former World ChampionLindsay Steinriede (USA) in good fashion. After Steinriede earned two scores in the opening minutes, Tilly found herself needing a 10.93 heat total. After earning a 6.20, Tilly was back in it and found a 5.50 in the dying moments to earn the victory and will now prepare for a World Title herself.
“It feels so great to win this event among these girls that I looked up to growing up,” Tilly said. “Seeing Lindsay win a world title and Jen get one, they were my idols and now to be competing with them is amazing. To actually be on par with them is even greater. I was really nervous competing against the other girls for the qualification but I felt a lot of good momentum from yesterday and tried to carry that into today.”
While Tilly is already enjoying success at the young age of 17, Steinriede is no stranger to World Title intentions and the 30-year-old talent will look to take this momentum into the final two stops of the tour.
“I didn’t have many expectations and I was so excited to have an event like this put on for us – especially in California and hopefully we can grow it in years to come,” Steinriede said. “The last three years I haven’t done many contests between the big event in China, so it’s nice to get a jersey on before heading out there. I just have to keep my head up and really look forward to competing in Taiwan in China.”
Men’s Final Results:
Taylor Jensen (USA) 16.14 def. Tony Salvagni (USA) 14.66
Women’s Final Results:
Rachael Tilly (USA) 11.70 def. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 10.93
Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) 18.24, David Arganda (USA) 11.43
Heat 2: Tony Silvagni (USA) 16.00, Kevin Skvarna (USA) 9.27
Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Rachael Tilly (USA) 11.00, Kaitlin McGuire (USA) 9.30
Heat 2: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.67, Jennifer Smith (USA) 8.50
Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: David Arganda (USA) 13.50, Steven McLean (USA) 13.50
Heat 2: Taylor Jensen (USA) 17.77, Mike Stidham (USA) 15.83
Heat 3: Tony Silvagni (USA) 15.43, Jeremy Guilmette (USA) 12.07
Heat 4: Kevin Skvarna (USA) 15.33, Steven Newton (USA) 12.16
Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Kaitlin McGuire (USA) 11.83, Emmy Lombard (USA) 10.03
Heat 2: Rachael Tilly (USA) 13.17, Frankie Seely (USA) 8.00
Heat 3: Jennifer Smith (USA) 10.70, Soleil Errico (USA) 9.27
Heat 4: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 10.83, Tory Gilkerson (USA) 10.00