Alyssa Spencer Wins First Surfing America Prime at Santa Cruz
Alyssa Spencer has added her name to the Surfing America winners list with her first win at the Santa Cruz Prime Event last weekend with some incredible turns and movements around the 3- 5 foot waves. Alyssa spoke with us post win about the conditions and the event.
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere… you must be feeling it in the water what were the conditions like and how did the event work out for you? “Yes, the water temp was cold about 55 F which is about 13 degrees Celsius and the air was about the same so a bit chilly. We had good conditions for the event with the winds perfect light sideshore to light offshore thoughout.”
How is Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz for a surf contest venue? “The waves were about 3 to 5 feet perfect right handers. If you havent seen Steamer Lane it is a really fun right hander that starts out breaking right off a big cliff then runs down the cliff line. It is an awesome wave.” Alyssa said
“There is a big cliff overseeing the contest area which creates a really cool vibe, everyone gathers there to watch so it’s kind of like you’re in a stadium… It’s also great being able to hear the live scoring over the cliff so we can here what is going on in each heat. Ryan Simmons (The USA surf team coach) commentates the event with good info for the competetors and onlookers which builds the atmosphere too.”
The finals of the Surfing America format are 20 minutes and over the course of the final the girls found themselves with a short lull until a set approached. Alyssa sais “All the girls in the heat caught good waves except for me. Another lull happened and I sat and waited for a good one. I didn’t catch my first wave until about the 13 minute mark in the heat.”
With her first wave well into the first half of the heat Alyssa posted a good score with a 6.67. She said “I paddled back out and sat again waiting for a good one. Nothing came in and Matt Myers (Ripcurls Team Manager) was on the cliff coaching me and he had me move inside to catch my second wave. With only a minute or two left I caught a small one and it put me in the lead. Then my friend Autum was who was leading moved to second. With about 1 minute left she caught another good one and moved back into first.
As the final minute drew to a close a smaller set allowed Alyssa to find some good turns into the buzzer and it wasn’t until after the completion of the heat she was announced as the winner.
With a number of runner positions in the past it was a great feeling for Alyssa to ascend the cliffs to a winners crowd and cheer.
Alyssa would like to thank Ryan, Matt and Dave for there advise and help throughout the event. Her Mom and Dad and all her sponsors for their encouragement.
GIRL U16 RESULTS
1 – Alyssa Spencer
2 – Autumn Hays
3 – Cameron Duby
4 – Alexxa Elseewi
GIRL U18 RESULTS
1 – Caroline Marks
2 – Meah Collins
3 – Ashley Held
4 – Samantha Sibley