From September 24-27, La Jolla, California will be host to the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship Presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation, Hurley, Stance and the City of San Diego.
Gathering more than 70 adaptive surfers from 18 countries, this ISA World Championship marks the largest international Adaptive Surfing competition of its kind to date, taking place at the classic Southern California beach break of La Jolla Shores.
Here are the 10 things that you need to know about the 2015 ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship:
1. The ISA World Championship
This inaugural competition will gather the global Adaptive Surfing community to provide surfers with physical challenges with a platform to compete for their country and display their talent with the goal of growing and developing the sport. The competition will feature athletes from 18 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Hawaii, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay and USA.
2. The competition
The ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship has attracted the world’s best adaptive surfers from across the globe. Top adaptive surfers such as Mike Coots (HAW), Jesse Billauer (USA), Alana Nichols (USA), Alcino “Pirata” Neto (BRA), Eric Dargent (FRA), Fabrizio Passetti (ITA) and Christiaan Bailey (USA) will unite in California to compete for medals and to progress the sport.
3. Adaptive Surfing and the ISA
This is the first ISA World Championship to feature Adaptive Surfing and has drawn unprecedented global attention from adaptive surfers. The ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship will compliment Surfing’s inclusion in the Pan Am Games with aspirations for inclusion in the Parapan Am and Paralympic Games.
4. The Support
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has partnered with the ISA to contribute their expertise in providing sports opportunities to physically challenged athletes. CAF provided travel grants to 34 athletes from 17 countries.
The Challenged Athletes Foundation, Hurley, Stance and the City of San Diego led the wave of support for the ISA to create a truly remarkable, inaugural event. Surf legends Shaun Tomson and Rob Machado will head the Honorary Committee for the event, which is comprised of 30 influential members of the San Diego community and the Surf Industry.
5. The Venue
The ISA World Championship will take place at La Jolla Shores, one of the most popular beach breaks in San Diego. The best swell directions for La Jolla Shores are West and Northwest wind and ground swells, and the beach can also work well during some of the larger summer South swells. Fall and winter are the best and most consistent seasons.
The official Opening Ceremony will be held at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego’s picturesque Balboa Park.
6. The Divisions
The adaptive surfers will be classified in one of four competitive divisions:
Stand: Surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position.
Upright: Surfers who ride waves in a seated position.
Prone: Surfers who ride waves laying down.
Assist: Surfers who need assistance catching waves and getting back on their board, yet surf the wave independently.
7. The Prize
The world’s best adaptive surfers will compete for individual medals with the pride of representing their nation. Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper Medals will be awarded to the top four placing athletes respectively in each division.
8. Adaptive Surfing Clinic and Symposium
An Adaptive Surfing clinic will be held at La Jolla Shores on Thursday, September 24. The clinic will feature an expression session for beginning to intermediate adaptive surfers with top adaptive surfers and professional surfers providing instruction.
The Adaptive Surfing Symposium, or the “Meeting of the Minds,” will be held Saturday, September 26th from 10am-3pm at Deni + Jeff Jacobs Challenged Athletes Center. The symposium is aimed at building on the profile and platform of this first ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship to raise awareness, share best practices and initiate a conversation about how Surfing can play an ongoing and vital role in enriching the lives of physically challenged athletes.
9. The Goal
The ISA’s goal in hosting the first-ever ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship is to unify global efforts for the advancement of Adaptive Surfing by creating an event that serves as the preeminent platform for physically challenged surfers to display their talents in competition.
10. The Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 24 – 8am-1pm: Adaptive Surfing Clinic at La Jolla Shores
Thursday, Sept. 24 – 4:15pm: Opening Ceremony at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park
Friday, Sept. 25 – 8am-5pm: Live webcast of competition to begin at La Jolla Shores
Saturday, Sept. 26 – 10am-3pm: Adaptive Surfing Symposium featuring keynote speakers about the future development of Adaptive Surfing at Deni + Jeff Jacobs Challenged Athletes Center.
Sunday, Sept. 27 – 8am-5pm: Live webcast of competition Finals at La Jolla Shores to culminate with the event’s Medal and Closing Ceremony
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, 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) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 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).