Photo: Harry Wiewel

Photo: Harry Wiewel

The first annual Performance Paddling Junior Pro and Youth SUP Fiesta, presented by Ocean Minded, went off Sunday at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach, Calif. Despite the dreary May weather, more than 50 participants turned out to compete in the inaugural event, which included a paddlesurf contest, surf race and beach cleanup.

"I'm stoked on the turnout," said Performance Paddling's Candice Appleby. "The event turned out to be perfect and it was so cool because all of the competitors were really stoked and so gracious," Appleby said. "Ninety percent of the competitors did both the surf contest and race, and we had so much help from all of our amazing sponsors and volunteers," Appleby added.

Competitors in the Junior Pro paddlesurf contest faced heavy competition with invitees traveling from as far as Hawaii and Australia. Maui native Noah Yap and Oahu’s Vanina Walsh took the coveted wins, each taking home $1,000 from the event's equal gender payout and handmade awards by MeetMeByeTheSea.

Yap started off his Final heat with a radical air that earned him high scores from the judges, and ultimately led to his big win over Florida's Fisher Grant, Riggs Napoleon of Oahu and Giorgio Gomez from Florida, who took second through fourth places, respectively. Izzi Gomez of Florida, Maui's Lara Claydon, and Sofia DeWolfe of Idaho took home top honors as well, also taking second through fourth places, respectively, on the girls' side.

Eight-year-old Rhys Staples of Utah had the highest-scoring wave of the day, earning himself a 9.0 and big props. "The eight and under SUP surfing [division] was epic," Appleby said. "We allowed parental assistance for the eight and under division, but Rhys was out there all by himself, just ripping," Appleby added.

In the surf race, Oahu's Riggs Napoleon out paddled the competition to take the win over Fisher Grant and Jeff Erickson in the Boys' 15-17 age division. Fiona Wylde came out on top in the Girls' 15-17 division, beating out Vanina Walsh and Sofia DeWolfe in second and third.

"The event was great," said Riggs Napoleon. "They had a good [race] course and the competition was fast and intimidating, but once I had a lead I went for it," he said. "It was fun to see friends from Hawaii, and I'm already looking forward to next year," Riggs added.

Standout performances were awarded in various categories, with special awards also given for the event's Ocean Minded Essay Contest and Report Card Improvement Contest. See below for full results.

Most Radical Maneuver: Noah Yap
Sportsmanship: Kristi Page
Ocean Minded Essay:
8 & Under: Malaya Ring
9-11: Juliette Clark
12-14: Noa Hopper
15-17: Bailey Rosen
Report Card Improvement: Alexandria Higginson
Breakthrough Performance: Lara Claydon
Breakthrough Performance: Blue Engleking
Most Inspiring Performance: Jessica Brackett

8 & Under
1st- Rhys Staples
2nd-Malaya Ring (only girl)
3rd- Banning Wetzel
4th- Jacob Brackett

9-11 Boys
1st- Trent Carter
2nd- Joshua Brackett
3rd- Matix Springer

9-11 Girls
1st- Seachelle Rivera
2nd- Jane Staples
3rd- Alexandria Higginson
4th- Jessica Brackett
5th- Bella Ellis
6th- Juliette Clark

12-14 Boys
1st- Max Fleming
2nd- Josiah Brackett
3rd- Noa Hopper
4th- Ryan Maloney
5th- Nick Scheel

12-14 Girls
1st- Izzi Gomez
2nd- Lara Claydon
3rd- Alleanna Clark
4th- Kali'a Alexiou
5th- Shae Faudy
6th- Christine Shoemaker

15-17 Boys
1st- Dalbert Rivera
2nd- Sam Bark
3rd- Omar Smith
4th- Jeff Erickson
5th- Daniel Russel
6th- Peter Shoemaker

15-17 Girls
1st- Bailey Rosen
2nd- Tyler Jones
3rd- Jenna Brackett

Junior Pro Boys
1st- Noah Yap
2nd- Fisher Grant
3rd- Riggs Napoleon
4th- Giorgio Gomez

Junior Pro Girls
1st- Vanina Walsh
2nd- Izzi Gomez
3rd- Lara Claydon
4th- Sofia DeWolfe

8 & Under
1st- Rhys Staples
2nd-Jacob Brackett
3rd- Michal Cuda

9-11 Boys
1st-Trent Carter
2nd-Joshua Brackett
3rd- Matix Springer

9-11 Girls
1st- Janes Staples
2nd- Alexandria Higginson
3rd- Juliette Clark

12-14 Boys
1st- Noa Hopper
2nd-Nick Scheel
3rd- Max Fleming

12-14 Girls
1st- Emily Bark
2nd- Shae Foudy
3rd- Lara Claydon

15-17 Boys
1st- Riggs Napoleon
2nd- Fisher Grant
3rd- Jeff Erickson

15-17 Girls
1st- Fiona Wylde
2nd- Vanina Walsh
3rd- Sofia DeWolfe

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