The race for the team world championship heats up as Main Event Rounds narrow

As the Main Event progresses, 21 of the 54 original national teams have at least one surfer appearing in Main Round 4. Of those, two nations have set themselves apart with the most surfers remaining, Australia and Peru, who each have six surfers in the top end of the draw, though one Peruvian, Catalina Zariquiey, accounts for two numbers as she appears in both girls divisions.

Peru were Team World Champions in 2011, while Australia has the record of seven team gold medals, including a stretch of five in-a-row from 2006-2010. Despite this, Australia hasn’t won since 2013, though they’ve earned team medals every year in between, except for 2019, including silver in 2016 and 2022. This year however, the team has set themselves as the clear frontrunners.

Dane Henry took top honors for the Australians today, earning three 8-point rides in his 20 minute heat, all on the strength of his rail surfing, though he hinted that his air game is ready to be released when required. Meanwhile, Eden Hasson, Fletcher Kelleher, Ziggy Mackenzie, and Maverick Wilson all again earned strong heat wins of their own and Ocean Lancaster had another solid showing.

A step behind those two national teams, 2023 gold medalists Brazil are keeping pace with six others, including 2022 gold medalists Hawaii, who won here in Surf City El Salvador.

Hawaii’s Rylan Beavers surfed an incredible heat this morning, earning multiple high scores, highlighted by an 8.67. A member of the gold-winning team in 2022, Beavers is aware of his new status as a leader within the 2024 squad.

“When I came here the first time I was in the younger division and we had a bunch of hammers in the older division and they kind of carried our team a bit,” Beavers said. “Now that me and Luke Tema and Jackson (Dorian) are the oldest, we’ve all realized we’ve got to carry, so that’s what we’re here to do.”

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