AUSTRALIA WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE TEAM GOLD MEDAL AT THE 2014 ISA WORLD STANDUP PADDLE AND PADDLEBOARD CHAMPIONSHIP IN NICARAGUA

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Casper Steinfath (DEN) And Shakira Westdorp (AUS) Win SUP Technical Races; Rhys Burrows (AUS) And Jordan Mercer (AUS) Win Paddleboard Technical Races; Australia Wins The ISA Relay

ISA President Fernando Aguerre (far left) and Minister of Tourism Mayra Salinas (far right) present Team Australia with the 2014 ISA SUP and Paddleboard Championship Team Gold Medal and World Team Champion Plate. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
ISA President Fernando Aguerre (far left) and Minister of Tourism Mayra Salinas (far right), present Team Australia with the 2014 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship Team Gold Medal and World Team Champion trophy. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

The Australians won 8 of the 12 Gold Medals earning them the overall Team Gold Medal and the World Team Champion Trophy.

Once again, on the final day of the 2014 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC), Lake Nicaragua greeted all of the National Delegations with a beautiful and hot day to crown the remainder of the event’s World Champions. In the Paddleboard Technical Races, which were the first of the day, Australia’s Jordan Mercer and Rhys Burrows won the Gold Medals. The SUP Technical Races where next, and Australia’s Shakira Westdorp and Denmark’s Casper Steinfath won the Gold. The last event of the day was the ISA Relay, which Australia won.

Today’s four Gold Medalists put on incredible performances: (clockwise from top left) Jordan Mercer (AUS), Rhys Burrows (AUS), Shakira Westdorp (AUS) and Casper Steinfath (DEN). Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales
Today’s four Gold Medalists put on incredible performances: (clockwise from top left) Jordan Mercer (AUS), Rhys Burrows (AUS), Shakira Westdorp (AUS) and Casper Steinfath (DEN). Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

“The 2014 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship has been a total success, with the largest number of competitors in history. The event has grown from about 150 last year to nearly 250 in just one year, and it is now officially closed,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre during the Closing Ceremony. “I am very happy about our host, the government and people of Nicaragua, and the private sector, who have done an amazing job on making this the most memorable ISA SUP and Paddleboard World Championship ever! It’s never easy to leave a place that has treated you very nice, so I’m sad that we’ll be leaving tomorrow, all as ambassadors of Nicaragua. Hopefully, we’ll be coming back soon to beautiful Nicaragua, the place where the offshore winds never stop, and where the water and air are always very warm.”

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In their first ever participation in the ISA WSCUPPC, Team Nicaragua, placed 11th in the world. Most of the athletes started training in this disciple less than a month ago, with the athletes coming from other disciplines such as canoe, rowing, and swimming. This shows the dedication and determination to defend their home court, as the host of this World Championship.

The last day of competition started with the Women’s Paddleboard Technical Race Final, where the Aussie and undefeated ISA World Champion, Jordan Mercer (31:54) achieved yet another Gold Medal defeating USA’s Silver Medalist, Carter Graves (33:01), Spain’s Bronze Medalist, Itziar Abascal (33:27), and New Zealand’s Copper Medalist, Ashley Cochrane (34:42).

ISA President Fernando Aguerre with the three Paddleboard Medalists. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales
ISA President Fernando Aguerre with the three SUP Medalists. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

“I definitely went out to have a great start because we had a heavy head wind heading out to the first buoy, and as soon as we turned there was a nice downwind section,” said an elated Mercer. “I knew that if I got caught up on that first turn I wouldn’t get the advantage of that downwind and try to get a nice lead. I went out pretty hard at the start and to have the girls chasing me at my tail half way through, I was thinking it probably wasn’t the best idea as I was starting to get tiered and they were gaining on me, but thank goodness I was able to hold on.”

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In the Men’s Paddleboard Technical Race Final, Australia’s Rhys Burrows took the Gold Medal after just winning the Long Distance Race Gold Medal the day before. In a time of 30:02, the Aussie defeated New Zealand’s Silver Medalist, Andrew Newton (30:18), Aussie Bronze Medalist, Rory Chapman (30:26), and South African Copper Medalist, Brandon Ribbink (31:10).

Australia’s Rhys Burrows. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Australia’s Rhys Burrows. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

“It’s really cool to get two World Championships in two consecutive days. I’d say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done,” commented Burrows.

In the Women’s SUP Technical Race Final, one of the standouts of the whole event, Australia’s Shakira Westdorp, who medaled in three different disciplines, won the Gold Medal in a time of 31:27. The Aussie defeated Canada’s Silver Medalist Lina Augaitis (31:33), Costa Rica’s Bronze Medalist, Jenny Kalmback (31:46), and USA’ Copper Medalist, Shae Foudy (33:33).

ISA President Fernando Aguerre with the Paddleboard Medalists. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales
ISA President Fernando Aguerre with the Paddleboard Medalists. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

“I’m over the moon!,” said an elated Westdorp. “I didn’t expect it, I was hoping to be amongst the finalist, but to take the win against a tough field, I’m so stoked. It was a really hard race and I got off to a good start and used the downwind sections to my advantage.”

Australia’s Shakira Westdorp. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Australia’s Shakira Westdorp. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

The Men’s SUP Technical Race Final was a nail-biting showdown. The lead pack quickly separated from the field in a group of 11 racers. The American Slater Trout led the pack until Mexico’s Fernando Stalla overtook him. The Mexican racer was shooting for gold, but in the last lap, he took a fall while rounding a buoy, and lost the lead. While Trout and Stalla were battling it out for the lead, the defending Champion, Casper Steinfath (DEN), was waiting for the right moment to strike with the energy he had conserved. After rounding the final buoy, Steinfath was in a full sprint and was able to overtake the lead and defend his Gold Medal

Denmark’s Casper Steinfath leading the pack. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Denmark’s Casper Steinfath leading the pack. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

“I have so many emotions goings through my body right now,” said a jubilant Steinfath. “I came into the race and paddled my hardest against the best in the world and I’m honored to get my second Gold Medal in two years. It’s just unreal, I never dreamt of this. I was so nervous before this race so it’s nice to get the pressure off my shoulders. Once you are in the water it’s just pure commitment and fun. I especially want to thank the ISA, it’s fantastic to be here.”

Australia’s Lincoln Dews won the Silver Medal (29:23), USA’s Slater Trout won the Bronze (29:26), and Eric Terrien won the Copper Medal (29:39).

ISA President Fernando Aguerre with the SUP Medalists. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales
ISA President Fernando Aguerre with the SUP Medalists. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

To conclude, the exciting ISA Relay Race took place, featuring the top eight Teams. After a tough battle, Australia finished in first followed by United States, Spain, Brazil, Peru, South Africa, Mexico, and Venezuela.

For full results click here

Overall team results:
1. Australia – 16,750
2. USA – 13,100
3. Brazil – 10,667
4. Spain – 10,501
5. France – 9,532
6. Mexico – 9,398
7. South Africa – 9,032
8. Peru – 8,671
9. Venezuela – 8,266
10. New Zealand – 8,261
11. Nicaragua – 7,527
12. Great Britain – 7,360
13. Guatemala – 6,234
14. Canada – 6,180
15. Denmark – 5,053
16. Costa Rica – 3,870
17. Ireland – 2,670
18. Italy – 2,300
19. El Salvador – 2,080
19. Tahiti – 2,080
21. Chile – 1,870
22. Latvia – 1,865
23. Germany – 1,560
24. Colombia – 1,360
25. Japan – 1,276
26. Panama – 1,200
27. Barbados – 720