2016 Edition Poised to Set Records for the Event
The 2016 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is set to take place from September 17-25 in the Azores Islands of Portugal, gathering the most talented junior surfers from all around the globe. The 2016 edition is poised to make history as it will be the first in the era of Olympic Surfing and could potentially break the record for the largest individual and country participation in the event’s 37-year history.
Here are the 10 things you need to know about the upcoming competition:
1. The Olympics
With the International Olympic Committee’s recent vote at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro to include Surfing in the Sports Program of the Tokyo 2020 Games, the 2016 edition of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will be the first in the era of Olympic Surfing. The world will get a glimpse in the Azores of the sport’s current and future talents that will compete to represent their nations when Surfing makes its Olympic debut in 2020.
Sitting more than 1,500 kilometers off the coast of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Azores Islands are ideally located to pick up multiple swell directions and produce world-class surf. Photo: Miguel Rezendes
2. Record Participation
After a record breaking year in 2015, where 322 surfers from 36 countries graced the shores of Oceanside, California, U.S.A. for an epic week of competition, this year’s event could set a new record for participation in the event’s 37-year history. Nearly 40 nations and more than 330 surfers have registered to compete and vie for the coveted individual and Team Gold Medals.
3. Watch the Event Live Online
The world championship will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com from September 17-25. Visit the official event website for results, photos, videos and news pertaining to the competition.
4. VISSLA – The Title Sponsor
This year’s competition marks the third consecutive year that VISSLA has supported the championship as the title sponsor, bringing their youthful, unique energy to the world’s largest junior surfing competition.
VISSLA is a clothing brand that represents creative freedom, a forward-thinking philosophy, and a generation of creators and innovators. VISSLA embraces the modern do-it-yourself attitude within surf culture, performance surfing, and craftsmanship. This is a surf-everything and ride-anything mentality.
Azores Tourism also has strongly contributed by opening the doors of their island of São Miguel to the ISA and competing National Surfing Delegations.
The Portuguese Surfing Federation, the National Governing Body recognized by the ISA in Portugal, has partnered with the ISA in the hosting this historic ISA World Championship.
5. The Champions
The Champions from the previous three editions of the ISA World Surfing Games are as follows:
Team Gold Medalists
2015 – USA
2014 – Hawaii
2013 – Australia
Boy’s U-18 Gold Medalists
2015 – Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
2014 – Luan Wood (BRA)
2013 – Josh Moniz (HAW)
Girl’s U-18 Gold Medalists
2015 – Tessa Thyssen (FRA)
2014 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
2013 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Boys U-16 Gold Medalists
2015 – Stevie Pittman (USA)
2014 – Leo-Paul Etienne (FRA)
2013 – Jacob Wilcox (AUS)
Girls U-16 Gold Medalists
2015 – Summer Macedo (HAW)
2014 – Mahina Maeda (HAW)
2013 – Mahina Maeda (HAW)
Leonardo Fioravanti completes a perfect 10-point aerial to cement his title as the Boys-U-18 Gold Medalist at the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Oceanside, California. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant
6. The Venue
The event will take place between two podiums at Praia do Monte Verde, located on the north side of the São Miguel Island. Praia de Monte Verde is a powerful, sand bottom beach break that is well exposed to pick up swells originating from the North Atlantic.
7. The History
The ISA hosted its first World Junior Surfing Championship in 1980 in Biarritz, France, where legendary surfer Tom Curren became the first ISA World Junior Champion, helping to launch his successful career.
Past ISA World Junior Champions include the 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA, 2010), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW, 2014, 2013), Filipe Toledo (BRA, 2011), Tyler Wright (AUS, 2010, 2009), Alejo Muniz (BRA, 2008), Laura Enever (AUS, 2008), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS, 2007), Julian Wilson (AUS, 2006), Owen Wright (AUS, 2006), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS, 2005, 2004), Matt Wilkinson (AUS, 2004) and Jordy Smith (RSA, 2003).
8. 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 #VISSLAISAworldjuniors.
9. The Schedule
September 17: Opening Ceremony at 10:30am local time (GMT -1 hr) featuring the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony in Ribeira Grande, São Miguel
September 18-25: Competition at Praia do Monte Verde, São Miguel
September 25: Final day of competition, Awards Presentation and Closing Ceremony
10. 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 for surfers representing their countries, membership development, educational programs, scholarship distribution and preparing Surfing’s participation in the Olympic Games.
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 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).