Carvalho Gets Deep At ASP Event

Nathan Carvalho at Salt Creek in California. Transworld photo courtesy Nathan Carvalho

As the swells have begun to return consistently to all points on the island, earlymorning surf sessions are becoming much more regular. While many on Kaua’i have been breaking out their boards and getting into the local waters, our crop of juniors continues to showcase its talents overseas.

Most recently, Kaua’i’s Nathan Carvalho came close to a huge victory at the Billabong Pro Junior Asia Cloud 9 event at Siaraga Island in the Philippines. The 19-year-old from Lihu’e came through the 64-surfer field last week and made it to the semifinal round, where he went head-to-head with Indonesia’s Hairil “Oney”

Anwar. With plenty at stake, both surfers came with their best stuff in the final two minutes. Already holding a narrow lead, Oney scored a 5.23, which combined with his early 5.83 for an 11.06 total.

Needing a 6.63 to catch him, Nathan got the final ride just before the buzzer and put up the heat’s topscoring wave, but his 6.07 was not enough to propel him into the final, though his efforts in the 5-star competition did net him $1,900.

Kaua’i had two more participants in the event, as Koa Smith and Kaimana Jaquias didn’t have to look far to find one another in the tournament bracket. The two were matched up in the same four-man heat in the opening round. They each advanced into the Round of 32 by putting up matching 10.36 totals, Koa grabbing the heat’s top score with a 6.33 ride.

Kaimana Jaquias in the Philippines. Photo courtesy Association of Surfing Professionals

Despite that early success, both were knocked out in the second round, left to watch Carvalho navigate through the field as the lone Hawaii representative remaining. After winning both of his first two heats, Carvalho took down Japan’s Kan Watanabe in the round of 16, then Australia’s Jordin Watson in the quarterfinals.

It’s a big time of year for the juniors, who kick off the Oakley ASP World Pro Junior Oct. 3 in Bali. That is the first of three events that will decide this year’s ASP World Junior Title. The series is a region-based event and the Hawaii team will include Kaua’i’s Dylan Goodale and Leila Hurst as part of the seven-member crew. They will be joined by Kiron Jabour, Ezekiel Lau, Keanu Asing, Tanner Hendrickson and Coco Ho.

The last Hawaii surfer to win an ASP World Junior Championship was Kai Barger in 2008, with Kekoa Bacalso before him in 2005. Andy Irons brought home the inaugural Junior Championship in 1998.

After Bali, the second leg hits Rio de Janeiro Nov. 2, followed by the series finale in January at the Billabong Championships in Sydney.