Shama Beckford held off the challenge of brothers Ivah and Icah Wilmot to win the first event of the Jamaica Surfing Association (JSA) 2020 National Open Series held at the Copacabana Beach in Bull Bay, St Andrew, on Sunday.
Beckford’s combined score of 14.83 points was enough to take pole position in the Men’s Open standings ahead of Ivah Wilmot, who came in second with 12.63 points, while Icah Wilmot was third with 9.73 points. Imani Wilmot took the women’s crown with a score of 11.67 points ahead of Elim Beckford, who finished second with nine points.
The first meet of the five-event series brought together the island’s best talent with perfect conditions optimal for quality surfing. In the men’s category, 15 surfers registered to compete through three rounds to determine the winner and the series leader heading into the second event. The first round consisted of a three-man heat and three four-man heats which whittled the field down to the top eight surfers.
Beckford had to face stiff competition en route to the final as he competed against the sibling duo of Ivah and Inilek Wilmot, and Ronald Hastings in the semi-finals. Twenty-two waves were ridden in total for the judges’ consideration to determine the two who would advance. After the 20-minute time limit, Beckford and Ivah Wilmot’s scores of 11.33 and 10.9, respectively, were good enough to move on to the final round.
The second semi-final was headlined by Icah Wilmot, Garren Pryce, Shane Simmonds, and Blake Burnett. Only 19 waves were executed during the time limit, which saw Wilmot and Pryce qualify from their group in a close finish with scores of 9.97 points and 9.83 points.
Several lead changes
The final saw several lead changes occur on numerous occasions between the four finalists. At the end of the allotted time, it was Beckford who emerged victorious with his total score good enough to defeat the Wilmot brothers and Pryce.
The women only had a single heat final, which only saw 14 waves executed during the 20-minute time limit. Despite Wilmot only managing to get three waves in the allotted time, she amassed enough points for the win. Beckford managed to get seven waves, but her combined score was only good enough for second place.
The second event of the series is expected to take place in March.