Coffin, Peterson bow out at junior world championships

Montecito’s Conner Coffin ended his run at the Quicksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships on Saturday, taking it all the way to the ninth repercharge round in the under-16s where he was edged out of the world’s most talent-laden amatuer surf contest in Ecuador with a seventh place finish.

Team-USA teammate Lakey Peterson, also a life-long resident of Montecito, was ousted on Friday of the girls Under-18 division in the repercharge’s fifth round. Peterson’s equal 19th-place finish earned the American team 390 points while Coffin’s seventh was good for 555.

As a team, the USA squad is sitting in third place – in good shape to improve on last year’s fourth-place showing – with one day of competition remaining.

“I was nervous going into the heat today – it could’ve been my last. It’s no playground out there,” said Coffin on Friday after being sent to the sudden-death repercharge bracket. “I spent the day relaxing on the beach, trying to focus, watch the conditions and get ready. Once I got in the water, I knew I had to wait for the right wave. I got lucky, everyone really wants it and they are surfing incredibly well.” 

Coffin posted a 13.80 in his final heat, not enough to best Hawaiian Keanu Asing’s 15.98 and South African David Brand’s 16.66. Coffin was arguably the most dangerous surfer in the repercharge rounds up until that point, having bested both Asing and Brand’s scores in each of the previous two rounds.

The top two from the tenth repercharge will be elevated into the division’s finals and a shot at medal podium.

Peterson advanced through the first two qualifying rounds before dropping into the second-chance bracket where the 13-year-old advanced through one more round before being ousted by teammate Lani Doherty and Hawaiian Nage Melamed. 

Ahead of the Americans in the overall standings is Australia and Hawaii. The Aussies are the three-time defending champion but are the only country in the top five without a surfer left in the boys 16s.

Both the U.S. and Hawaii have at least one competitor remaining in each division (boys U-18, boys U-16, girls U-18) while Australia and Hawaii both have two surfers left in two divisions. It should make for some clutch performances on Sunday.

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