From May 20-28 the world’s best National Surfing Teams will unite in Biarritz, France to represent their nations and compete for Gold. Here are the 10 things that you need to know about the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games:
The iconic surf city of Biarritz, located in France’s south west Basque County, will host the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games at the picturesque beach of Grande Plage. Grande Plage features quality sand bottom waves and has hosted many major Surfing competitions before, including the French National Championships.
Biarritz last hosted the ISA World Surfing Games in 1980, when legendary surfer Tom Curren was crowned the first ISA Junior World Champion.
2. The Olympics
On August 3, 2016 the International Olympic Committee voted to include Surfing on the Sports Program of the Tokyo 2020 Games. As a result, the National Surfing Teams have their eyes set on becoming the first wave of surfers to represent their countries in the Olympics.
The Surfing competition at Tokyko 2020 will feature 20 men and 20 women and will take place on natural waves at Tsurigasaki Beach on the Chiba peninsula.
3. Country Participation
Stemming from the global growth of Surfing spurred by inclusion in the Olympic Games, the 2017 edition of the ISA World Surfing Games is set to break the record for country participation. The current record was set in 1996 when 36 nations graced the shores of Huntington Beach, USA, but in Biarritz more than 45 countries are expected to compete for Gold and represent their respective nations.
Many nations will have representation in the event for the first time in history, including Afghanistan, China, Chinese Taipei, Greece, Senegal and South Korea.
4. Follow the Action Live Online and Via Mobile App
The world championship will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com from May 20-28. Visit the official website for results, photos, videos and news pertaining to the competition.
Additionally, the Olympic Channel will be producing daily content and streaming the competition live May 22, 27, and 28. Follow along on www.olympicchanel.com.
5. The Level of Competition
The competition level for the event is set to be world-class, with France and Brazil fielding some of the top contenders. France boasts four WSL Championship Tour surfers, Jeremy Flores, Johanne Defay, Joan Duru, and Pauline Ado, while Brazil will feature Ian Gouveia and the powerful brother tandem of Wiggolly and Weslley Dantas.
Also worth noting, Team Argentina will field the two-time and reigning Gold Medalist, Leandro Usuna, and South Africa will feature top female competitor Bianca Buitendag.
6. The Champions
The Champions from the previous three editions of the ISA World Surfing Games are as follows:
Team Gold Medalists
2016 – Peru
2015 – Costa Rica
2014 – Peru
Open Men Gold Medalists
2016 – Leandro Usuna (ARG)
2015 – Noe Mar McGonagle (CRC)
2014 – Leandro Usuna (ARG)
Open Women Gold Medalists
2016 – Tia Blanco (USA)
2015 – Tia Blanco (USA)
2014 – Analí Gomez (PER)
7. Social Media
The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and don’t forget use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #ISAWSG.
8. The Schedule
The schedule for the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games will be the following:
May 19 – Official Press Conference, 11am at the Radisson Blu Hotel
May 20 – Opening Ceremony, 10am Parvis du Casino de la Grande Plage
May 20-22 – Women’s Competition, Grande Plage
May 22 – Women’s Award Ceremony, Grande Plage
May 23-28 – Men’s Competition, Grande Plage
May 26– World Premiere of “Shredding Monsters”, an Olympic Channel Production, 8pm at the Municipal Casino Theatre, Biarritz
May 28 – Closing Ceremony, Grande Plage
9. The Mission
Recognized by the IOC as the world governing body for Surfing, the ISA’s mission is to create a better world through Surfing. This is accomplished through annual World Championships, membership development, educational programs, scholarship distribution and working towards Surfing’s inclusion in the Olympic Games.
10. The Support of Our Partners
The 2017 ISA World Surfing Games has been organized in conjunction by the International Surfing Association and the French Surfing Federation (FFS).
The ISA and FFS would like to thank the partners and supporters of the event, who include: VISA, Quiksilver, Roxy, Air France, French National Center for Development of Sport, the French National Olympic Committee, the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region, Atlantic Pyrenees Department, Basque Country, Biarritz, France Bleu, L’equipe and France TV Sport.
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 104 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).