Advertisement

Huntington Beach’s Sara Freyre earns bronze at ISA World Junior Surfing Championships

Huntington Beach's Sara Freyre at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in El Salvador.
Huntington Beach’s Sara Freyre had a competition to remember at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in El Salvador.
(Courtesy of Sara Freyre)
Share

Sara Freyre very much enjoyed her experience at the 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.

The 17-year-old, a junior at Huntington Beach High, surfed with passion and purpose. She finished top two in each of her heats through the tournament so as not to slip into the “repechage” heats.

“The waves were so fun, and I was working with my coaches, Courtney Conlogue, Ryan Simmons and Asher Nolan,” Freyre said in a phone interview. “We just had a really good bond between us and we were working really well together, had good strategies. I was just trying to find the waves and surf them and pretend like there was no repechage.”

Advertisement

Freyre was rewarded for her efforts.

She made the final heat and ended up capturing bronze in the girls’ Under-18 division on Sunday on the final day of the event in El Salvador. Her third-place individual finish helped Team USA capture fourth place overall as a team, for the copper medal.

Australia, Hawaii and France were the top three team placers.

Sara Freyre of Huntington Beach cuts back into a wave during November training with the USA Surfing Junior National Team.
Sara Freyre of Huntington Beach cuts back into a wave during November training with the USA Surfing Junior National Team on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier.
(Eric Licas)

Freyre said the competition was fun, with surfing at two different breaks, La Bocana and El Sunzal. This was her fourth and final year in this event before she ages out.

“You get to meet so many people who you’ve never heard of but they just rip so hard,” she said. “Surfing perfect waves in a competition with three other people is just so amazing.”

Freyre won four of her six heats leading up to the final, where she placed third with a score of 9.80. Vaihiti Inso of Hawaii earned the gold with a 16.67 score, followed by Tya Zebrowski of France with a 13.63 for the silver.

Eden Walla of San Clemente also made the girls’ U16 final, finishing fourth there.

“It was super-cool to make the finals day with my teammate Eden Walla,” Freyre said. “We always compete against each other, so it’s really cool to work as a team with someone and push and support each other.”

Among other finishers for Team USA, Quaid Fahrion of Costa Mesa finished tied for 13th in the boys’ Under-16 competition.

Freyre, a two-time NSSA national women’s open champion and two-time state champion, said her next big competition will be the USA Surfing Championships. The junior divisions will run June 18 through June 22 at Lower Trestles.

Advertisement