After last month’s contest was rescheduled due to poor conditions, high schoolers in the Santa Cruz Scholastic Surf League finally enjoyed consistent quality waves on Saturday at The Hook, a right-hand point break in Santa Cruz.
Half Moon Bay’s opponent in the team round was arguably the toughest matchup this season. Santa Cruz High School is usually a tough draw. Its surfers live in close proximity to the consistent reef breaks and they know the nuances of The Hook. On Saturday, they outsurfed the Cougars in overhead glassy conditions, narrowly winning, 54-48.
With several girls unable to attend — Half Moon Bay has three girls total —the Cougars still managed a competitive team round. The team is now 2-1 on the season.
“They were better at picking waves,” Half Moon Bay’s head coach Mark Sutherland said of the Santa Cruz surfers. “These guys definitely knew how to work that break in terms of getting across the section and being able to do multiple maneuvers.”
In the individual rounds, Santa Cruz took home titles in the men’s shortboard, longboard and women’s longboard. But Half Moon Bay’s team captain Emma Stone could not be stopped on her way to her third consecutive shortboard final. Stone was also fourth in the longboard final, and teammate Maddie Havsoarriague was fifth in the same heat.
Stone has been on a tear recently. She won the National Scholastic Surfing Association Northwest Open Division at Steamer Lane on Jan. 18. She has won all the shortboard finals in the SCSSL events and gotten to the longboard final.
“She’s a really dynamic surfer,” Sutherland said. “And she’s got a great attitude. She’s a fierce competitor, but she’s got a great positive attitude.”
Dedon Prince finished third in the boys longboard final and was the only Cougar finalist on the boys side. The freshman goofy-footer was the top finisher in all his heats up until the final.
“He just looks so stylish,” Sutherland said. “He’s definitely one of my favorite longboarders in terms of style. He looks like he’s having a blast.”
The league’s next contest will be another make-up event at Pleasure Point on Feb. 8.