When Tia Blanco was first featured on our site a couple of years ago she was the youngest athlete we had. Less than a year and a half after progressing from Junior to full adult categories she is now competing with the adults at the highest levels.
This year Tia travelled to Costa Rica for the World Surfing Games as one of the most respected competitors, despite her young age.
“The event was a lot of fun!” Tia told us soon afterwards. “ I was excited to be a part of the USA team again this year. The crowd was a lot bigger than last year and estimated over 65,000 people. There was a lot of amazing energy every time we went down to the beach and I was just really happy I was there to experience it!”
Over seventy women took part. In the first round the the surfers were in groups of four. Tia comfortably won her group with a score of 15.03 while the second placed surfer scored 8.17. In the second round she progressed by finishing second in her group of four before winning the next group. She continued to surf well to win a place in the final
“The final was extremely close” Tia recalled “I think I won by .05 of a point… All the women in my heat were very talented so I was stressing when I was in the lead with 5 minutes to go. I knew they were more than capable of getting their required scores if the waves came to them.”
Tia held on to her lead to take the title by a tight margin. Her score of 14.72 was just ahead of the Ecuadorian in second at 14.67 and the third placed French surfer was close behind on 14.46
Team success too
Tia also helped her USA team to third of the 26 competing nations, beaten only by Portugal and winners Peru. This was an aspect that was a highlight to Tia.
“I really enjoy the team aspect, representing my country , and supporting my teammates.”
Fortunately the catering was great for a vegan and Tia told us that “everyone was so nice and so accommodating.”
Shortly afterwards Tia was travelling to Spain and despite having achieved so much so young, she still aims to keep improving and wants to join the Championship Tour in future.
Congratulations on your win, we’ll be watching your progress.