Contest-Savvy Surfers Set to Compete for USA and Brazil

Posted - News Posted for ISA News.

Chris Ward (USA), who was a finalist at the 2008 Pipeline Masters, will be looking forward to helping his country earn the Team Gold Medal at the ISA China Cup. Photo: ISA/CoveredImages

Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival Presented by Quiksilver
January 7 to 14, 2012
Wanning, Hainan Island, China

As more team rosters are confirmed for the upcoming ISA China Cup, there will be a mix of established stars with up-and-coming talents who will put their surfing on display on the aquamarine left-hand waves at Riyue Bay.

The ISA China Cup is the first event of the Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival Presented by Quiksilver, which will begin January 7 and run through January 10. As part of the ISA’s plan to help grow the sport of surfing along China’s coastline in cooperation with Womei Media, the two-event Festival will present the biggest and most influential surf contests the country has ever seen.

The ISA China Cup will pit 8 National Teams, each with 4 men and 2 women vying for the team and individual gold medals.

“We are very excited about the top level teams from USA and Brazil for the ISA China Cup” said the ISA President Fernando Aguerre, “Bringing an event to China with some of the best and most innovative surfers from the eight top surfing countries in the world, is a huge step forward for a better surfing future”.

For many of the surfers scheduled to compete, this will be their first time surfing in China.

“I’ve never been, so I’m super excited,” said Cory Lopez, a former ISA World Surfing Games silver medalist and a long-time ASP World Tour surfer from Florida. “I know pretty much nothing about where we’re going, but I saw a picture of the left and it looks super fun.”

Accompanying Lopez on Team USA will be Chris Ward from California. Recognized as one of the premiere aerial talents of his generation, and a former Pipeline Masters finalist, Ward should be ready for whatever conditions are on offer for the contest.

Rounding out the USA team will be Taylor Clark and Trevor Thornton for the Open Men, along with Taylor Pitz and Sage Erickson in the Open Women. Erickson will be competing as a rookie on the ASP Women’s World Tour in 2012, whereas Clark and Thornton are both still working their way through the upper level of the junior ranks. Thornton won the U.S. West Coast Championships in 2011.

Among the countries vying to keep Team USA from ascending to the top of the podium will be the talent-packed squad from Brazil, which won the copper medal (4th place) at the 2011 Panama ISA World Surfing Games, the qualifying event for the ISA China Cup.

Tomas Hermes and Wiggolly Dantas, experienced ASP Prime events competitors, will travel to China to compete in the Open Men, and they will be accompanied by Bruno Galini Ramos and Messias Mailson da Silva.

In the Open Women, Bruna Schmitz, a former ASP World Tour competitor and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, will be competing alongside Diana de Souza. De Souza won a bronze medal at the ISA World Junior Championships in 2006.

In addition to the USA and Brazil, the other invited National Teams slated to contend for the ISA China Cup are Australia, France, Argentina, South Africa, Peru, and Venezuela.

The event begins on January 7 with the Parade of the Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony to be held at the Le Meridian Hotel in the city of Wanning, Hainan Island, China.

Following the ISA China Cup, the Hainan Classic, a $ 95,000 USD prize-purse ASP Men’s 4-Star, will take place from January 11 to 14, and will feature some of the best surfers in the world.

Registration for the Hainan Classic is open now on www.aspaustralasia.com

ISA China Cup USA Team
Open Men

Chris Ward
Taylor Clark
Cory Lopez
Trevor Thornton

Open Women
Taylor Pitz
Sage Erickson

Team Officials
Greg Cruse
Ian Cairns
Kevyn Dean

ISA China Cup Brazilian Team
Open Men
Bruno Galini Ramos
Massias Mailson da Silva
Wiggolly Dantas de Almeida
Tomas Hermes

Open Women
Stephanie Bruna Schmitz
Diana de Souza

Team Officials
Adalvo Argolo
Gabriel Leal Macedo

The event will be webcasted live on www.hainaninternationalsurfingfestival.com beginning January 7 and until the final day, January 14.