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Encinitas resident Alyssa Spencer, 19, won her first heat on on Monday, Jan. 9, at the Sambazon World Junior Championships hosted by Best Western at Seaside Reef. Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League
Encinitas resident Alyssa Spencer, 19, won her first heat on on Monday, Jan. 9, at the Sambazon World Junior Championships hosted by Best Western at Seaside Reef. Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League
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Encinitas surfers Spencer, Slawson win opening heats at Sambazon

ENCINITAS — Local surfers made a splash during Monday’s opening round of competition at the Sambazon World Junior Championships hosted by Best Western, advancing to the elimination rounds of the weeklong surfing competition at Seaside Reef.

For the women, Encinitas resident Alyssa Spencer, 19, won her heat on Jan. 9 with a score of 12.66 against Hawaii’s Puamakamae DeSoto and Japan’s Nanaho Tsukuki in the first round of the junior world surfing championships held off the shore of Cardiff State Beach.

Another Encinitas local, 19-year-old Ella McCaffray, came in second in her heat with a score of 10.43. Portugal’s Francisca Veselko won the heat with a score of 13.67. Sara Wakita of Japan took third with 8.14.

Alyssa Spencer of the United States surfs in Heat 3 of the Round of 24 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on January 9, 2023 at San Diego, California. Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League
Alyssa Spencer of Encinitas surfs in Heat 3 of the Round of 24 on Jan. 9 at the Sambazon World Junior Championships at Seaside Reef near Cardiff State Beach. Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League
Levi Slawson of the United States after surfing in Heat 5 of the Round of 24 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on January 9, 2023 at San Diego, California. Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League
Encinitas surfer Levi Slawson won his heat on Jan. 9 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships at Seaside Reef in Cardiff. Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League
Ella McCaffray of the United States surfs in Heat 8 of the Round of 24 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on January 9, 2023 at San Diego, California. (Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League
Encinitas surfer Ella McCaffray will face Japan’s Sara Wakita in an elimination round on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Sambazon World Junior Championships at Cardiff State Beach. Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League

McCaffray and Wakita will face each other in an elimination round on Jan. 11.

On the men’s side, Levi Slawson, another 19-year-old surfer from Encinitas, won his heat with a score of 12.33, defeating Adur Amatriain of Basque Country and Noa Dupouy of France.

The Sambazon World Junior Championships consists of a field of 24 women and 24 men aged 20 years or younger from nine nations and six continents. The men’s and women’s winners will receive spots in the World Surf League Challenger Series.

Surfers took a break on Tuesday, Jan. 10 due to heavy rain.

MONDAY, JAN. 11 RESULTS

Heat 1

Men’s

  • Winner: Kauli Vaast, France – 11.60
  • Ryan Kainalo, Brazil – 9.90
  • Tenshi Iwaami, Japan – 7.40

Women’s

  • Winner: Ellie Harrison, Australia – 11.66
  • Kirra Pinkerton, San Clemente, Calif. – 7.37
  • Gemma Hanafey, South Africa – 3.27

Heat 2

Men’s

  • Winner: Jackson Bunch, Hawaii – 13.63
  • Brodi Sale, Hawaii – 11.83
  • Saxon Reber, Australia 83

Women’s

  • Winner: Sawyer Lindblad, San Clemente, Calif. – 13.33
  • Sierra Kerr, Australia – 9.16
  • Rubiana Brownell, Costa Rica – 5.16

Heat 3

Men’s

  • Winner: Taro Watanabe, Malibu, Calif. – 11.73
  • Tide-Lee Ireland, South Africa – 8.00
  • Jett Schilling, San Clemente, Calif. – 6.77

Women’s

  • Winner: Alyssa Spencer, Encinitas, Calif. – 12.66
  • Puamakamae DeSoto, Hawaii – 9.57
  • Nanaho Tsukuki, Japan – 9.46

Heat 4

Men’s

  • Winner: Jarvis Earle, Australia – 10.73
  • Joel Vaughan, Australia – 8.03
  • Bitor Garitaonandia, Basque Country – 6.44

Women’s

  • Winner: Erin Brooks, Canada – 11.50
  • Luana Silva, Brazil – 11.40
  • Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri, Basque Country – 11.04

Heat 5

Men’s

  • Winner: Levi Slawson, Encinitas, Calif. – 12.33
  • Adur Amatriain, Basque Country – 11.26
  • Noa Dupouy, France – 7.53

Women’s

  • Winner: Sol Aguirre, Peru – 12.40
  • Anon Matsuoka, Japan – 9.43
  • Zahli Kelly, Australia – 8.93

Heat 6

Men’s

  • Winner: Eli Hanneman, Hawaii – 15.17
  • Alan Cleland, Mexico – 11.30
  • Tommy Coleman, Vero Beach, Fla. – 10.23

Women’s

  • Winner: Aelan Vaast, France – 12.50
  • Daniella Rosas, Peru – 10.17
  • Eweleiula Wong, Hawaii – 10.17

Heat 7

Men’s

  • Winner: Cauã Costa, Brazil – 12.20
  • Lennox Chell, Australia – 11.33
  • Kade Matson, San Clemente, Calif. – 7.53

Women’s

  • Winner: Laura Raupp, Brazil – 8.16
  • Rachel Presti, Germany – 6.86
  • Louise Lepront, South Africa – 6.10

Heat 8

Men’s

  • Winner: Oscar Berry, Australia – 11.50
  • Luke Thompson, South Africa – 11.16
  • Kian Martin, Sweden – 11.16

Women’s

  • Winner: Francisca Veselko, Portugal – 13.67
  • Ella McCaffray, Encinitas, Calif. – 10.43
  • Sara Wakita, Japan – 8.14

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