Tactical Burn, Shove + Leash Pull Ends In Tears, Disqualification + Fines At ISA World Juniors  - Stab Mag

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension


Tactical Burn, Shove + Leash Pull Ends In Tears, Disqualification + Fines At ISA World Juniors 

The young Portuguese surfer has since apologized for her ‘grevious unsportsmanlike conduct’. 

news // May 11, 2024
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Socrates’ downfall was hemlock, for most of us it will be the internet. 

A contentious ethical debate was not what you would expect to follow the completion of the ISA World Juniors U18 girls repechage round — nevertheless it did. 

Two days ago, Costa Rican Rachel Aguero faced off against Australian Willow Hardy and two Portuguese surfers, Maria Salgado Green and Erica Máximo White. 

With 50 seconds remaining, the Australian competitor needed a 2.4 to advance. Holding third priority and the best score of the heat, Willow spent her last minute frantically searching for an insider that would allow her a few wiggles to cobble the required mid-two.

But the 18 year old surfer from Carcavelos, Erica Máximo White – who was in fourth place and fourth priority — wasn’t going to let her teammate in second be relegated without first trying to place some serious sticks in Willow’s spokes…  

Erica proceeded to blatantly burn Willow on a measly insider, pushed her in the back, screamed in her face as she zig zagged to the shore, then in one desperate last ditch effort, jumped off and tried to pull the Australian’s leash.

“That’s disgraceful” – wrote filmmaker Dan Scott. 
“Maybe use your surfing to get through heats not trying to push others off waves. Hope Willow Hardy wins the whole event,” said Raya Campbell 
“Good sportsmanship never crossed her mind ….. 🤦‍♀️”, wrote ISA competitor Saffi Vette
“This is the worst behavior I have ever seen in a event,” penned 99’ World Champ Pauline Menczer

Clearly, very few saw the loyalty and team-spiritedness in Erica’s choice of actions, who had very little to gain other than ensuring the success of her teammate.

But ultimately even that failed, as the judges awarded Willow with a 2.7, seeing both Portuguese surfers eliminated before bearing the full brunt of a brooding online shitstorm and a very disgruntled governing body.

The ISA released the following statement in the aftermath:

“Following an incident in the 3rd heat of the Girl’s U18 Repechage Round 5 at today’s Surf City ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, the athlete Erica Maximo from Portugal was disqualified from the event, forfeiting her team points. In addition, the Portuguese Federation was fined. 

Maximo was seen to physically impede and verbally harass the surfer from Australia in a deliberate attempt to block her competitor from advancing in the heat. Maximo’s actions were intentional and repeated, and in clear view of the judges, webcast and general public. 

The ISA Technical and Contest Directors reviewed the incident firsthand and on video and deemed that Maximo’s actions were not only a grievous example of unsporting conduct but also damaging to the sport of surfing due to her misbehavior.”

Erica has since taken to IG in a tearshed address, apologizing for any wrongdoing.

“Yesterday we had a situation that I realize wasn’t my brightest moment. I committed an interference on the Australian surfer’s wave in an unsportsmanlike manner. That was not my goal, I just wanted to help my team but I recognize my mistake, and I am here to apologize to that surfer, the Australian team and the ISA. I want to make this video as an example for young athletes that these situations can’t happen.”

Follow along for more action here.

While I am reluctant to dispense sympathy to any pro surfer complaining about their job, I actually feel for Erica – who is presumably coiled up in a ball in a corner of an El Salvador Airbnb contemplating a digital detox after wearing nefarious stares and ropable DM’s from enraged surf parents for 48 hours straight.

Does the punishment outweigh the crime? Wouldn’t pro surfing benefit from more devious heat tactics and drama? Is Erica really the villian here or just a well-meaning, loyal friend you would call in a time of crisis?

We’ll hand that matter over to the wisdom of the crowd.



Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Can Medina Overcome His CT Drought In Tahiti?

Tahurai Henry offers his picks for the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro

May 21, 2024

The 35 Best Song Pairings In Surf Films, As Ranked By Dane Reynolds, Taylor Steele & You

From Noa Deane and Courtney Love, to Andy Irons and Coldplay, to Creed McTaggart and…

May 20, 2024

Is This The Most Cost Efficient Way To Noticeably Improve Your Surfing In A Single Month?

All you can eat for $1500 AUD at URBNSURF Melbourne.

May 20, 2024

Watch And Learn: How To Score A Solo Sesh At 8-Foot Teahupo’o With Leonardo Fioravanti

Skip lunch and gorge.

May 19, 2024

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024

The Lefts Off The Rights

Detailing the goofy-footed proclivity to go against the grain.

May 15, 2024

Watch: ‘Shotgun’ featuring Josie Prendergast & Taj Richmond

The allure of contradiction, displayed in the virtue of Northern Rivers sand.

May 15, 2024

How Accurate Were Our Pre-Cut Predictions?

Reflecting on the rookie-centric forecasts offered by CJ Hobgood, Stace Galbraith, Brett Simpson, and Mikey…

May 14, 2024

Local Wildcard Jordy Lawler Dusts 79 Transplants, Issy Nichols Denies Prodigy Erin Brooks Another Plush Toy

The Stab High winner is one semi-final away from tour qualification after only two events.

May 14, 2024

Which 2024 Stab High Competitor Has Given Us The Best Surf Part?  

Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Julian Wilson, Ian Crane and more duel for the most impactful…

May 13, 2024

There Are Still Perfect, Empty Waves Left In The World

Soli Bailey, Timo Simmers + Layne Stratton on the sand-bottomed unicorn seen in ‘Maps to…

May 13, 2024

What Happened To Bali?

And is an ethical future for surf development possible in Indonesia?

May 12, 2024

Premium Peek: Mason Ho + Sheldon Paishon Vs A Scottish Widow Maker

Less like a wave, more like a German Panzer tank (180 tons, FYI).

May 12, 2024

Tactical Burn, Shove + Leash Pull Ends In Tears, Disqualification + Fines At ISA World Juniors 

The young Portuguese surfer has since apologized for her 'grevious unsportsmanlike conduct'. 

May 11, 2024