Sat | Dec 3, 2022

Jamaica end Pan Am Surfing Champs in 16th place

Published:Friday | August 19, 2022 | 12:09 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s surfers (from left) Ackeam Phillips, Imani Wilmot , Ronald Hastings, Zoe Bain and Elishama Beckford pose for a photo at the recent Pan American Surfing Championships  in Panama.
Jamaica’s surfers (from left) Ackeam Phillips, Imani Wilmot , Ronald Hastings, Zoe Bain and Elishama Beckford pose for a photo at the recent Pan American Surfing Championships in Panama.

The national surfing team recently returned to the island after placing 16th at the 2022 Pan American Surfing Championships in Panama.

After six days of intense competition, the five-member Jamaican team ended just one place better than last-placed Nicaragua.

The Jamaican team managed to amass 1280 points, with male entrant Elishama Beckford contributing 320 of those points after finishing third in heat 11 in the men’s open division.

Ronald Hasting and Ackeam Phillips who both finished fourth in their heat contributed 240 points. On the female side, Imani Wilmot and Zoe Bain racked up 320 points as they, too, finished fourth in their heat and failed to advance to the second round.

For the team, the conditions at Playa Venao venue were less than what they are used to, but according to manager/team member Imani Wilmot, they gave it their all.

“The conditions were very challenging and equipment was also a notable issue for the team. The surfers did well with what we had and we are pleased that Jamaica was able to regain a rank in the Pan American region.”

Surfing had been on the back burner due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, with the participation of only a small team at the Pan Am Championships. Local surfers have already started preparations for International Surfing Association World Surfing Games which will be held in Huntington Beach in California in September.

In the meantime, Brazil secured the gold medal at the Pan Am Championships after amassing a total of 15,195 team points to beat out Peru, who secured the silver medal with 12,017. The bronze medal went to Argentina who chalked up 11,055.

Sophia Medina of Brazil was crowned women’s open champion while Mateus Sena, also of Brazil, pocketed the gold medal in the men’s open division.

Divisions in which Jamaica was not represented were the men’s and women’s longboard, stand-up paddle surf, and stand-up paddle race.