Cox Bay came out in full force on Sunday, Sept. 26 delivering stellar waves for the 2021 Rip Curl Pro Surf Canada Nationals finals.
Canada’s surfing queen Mathea Olin, 18, tore through the competition, earning National titles in the Women’s Longboard, U18 Girls, and Pro Women’s division.
“I couldn’t be happier. It was a bit of a rollercoaster for me after El Salvador so I was really happy to come away with the win. Conditions couldn’t have been better,” Olin said after her final heat of the contest.
“Thank you to Rip Curl and Red Bull and Dom (Domic) for putting on this event,” she said, noting that she will put the $2000 cash prize for winning the Pro into her savings.
Rising star Reed Platenius, 17, took down Tofino surf legends Peter Devries and Sepp Bruhwiler in the Pro Men’s final.
“That was my goal for sure going into this competition. I feel like I got a good start and then just happened to luck into good waves that gave me good sections. It was tough out there. It looks fun from the beach, but then you get out there and you kind of get lost chasing different peaks. I just focused on my breathing and I just happened to get good ones,” said Platenius, who also won the U18 Boys division with an excellent 9.0 single wave score for performing a backside 360 air manoeuver.
“I could give a lot of credit to the wind. The wind is really good for airs and I kind of knew that. I’m just so stoked to win. This has been my dream growing up watching this contest happen every single year. I always looked up to Pete on the podium and I was like ‘one day I want to be that guy’,” he said.
Ucluelet surfer David Schiaffino defended his Men’s Longboard National title for a second year in a nail-biting final.
“I’m just going to keep going. Next year, next one. Keep going until I can’t. As usual, I’m always in the water,” said Schiaffino.
Junior team members Sanoa Olin claimed the U16 Girls National title and Californian-Canadian Wheeler ‘Hotwheels’ Hasburgh nabbed the U16 Boys title.
“That was super fun. Everyone was ripping and I’m just stoked to get a couple waves and I love it in Tofino,” said Hasburgh.
In the Open Men’s division, Tofino’s Shea Bruhwiler, 13, bested a field of 40 athletes to claim the top spot. His dad, retired pro surfer and member of the Canadian Coast Guard Raph Bruhwiler, also won the Open division when he was 13.
“I’ve been surfing a lot, but I wasn’t thinking that I would win the Men’s Open,” said Bruhwiler, who also placed second in the U16 and fourth in the U18.
At 12-years-old, Tofino’s Ocea Green powered her way to the top of the Women’s Open division, showcasing to the throng of spectators lining the shores of Cox Bay that Canada’s young surfing talent is just getting fired up.
“I am just happy. I just wanted to surf. I lost in my (U16 Girls final) before so I just wanted to surf more,” said a euphoric Green after being carried out of the surf and onto the podium by her friends.
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