The International Surfing Association [ISA] has announced that it will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year at the ISA World Surfing Games in Punta Rocas, Peru. The event will bring together surfers from all over the world to compete in Team, Men’s and Women’s divisions during the surfing competition that will double up as a global celebration of the sport’s governing body hosting half a century of world class surfing championships.
Taking place from October 24 to November 1, 2014, the ISA 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games will be held at the world-class Punta Rocas – the same location as the 1965 ISA World Surfing Championship, which was won by Peruvian local, Felipe Pomar and American Joyce Hoffman.
The 2013 edition of the World Surfing Games, held in Santa Catalina, Panama, featured 24 teams and more than 150 athletes from all continents and the ISA is anticipating increased participation figures this year.
Over the last 50 years, the number of ISA member nations has grown to 86, with Madagascar and Algeria announced as the newest additions in recent months. The ISA expects to achieve its goal of reaching 100 member nations in 2015. It’s also estimated that 35 million people in over 100 countries surf globally, and that number is expected to rise to 50 million by 2020 as Surfing continues to reach new markets around the globe.
The ISA has been largely responsible for this development and growth over the last 50 years – particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Surfing’s booming popularity in these markets shows the universality of the sport and its great appeal amongst young people.
Fernando Aguerre, the ISA President since 1994, has overseen much of this rapid growth. Speaking about the ISA 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games announcement and the ISA’s global expansion, Aguerre, said:
“We are delighted to be going back to Peru for the 2014 edition of the ISA World Surfing Games and our 50th anniversary celebration. I am looking forward to witnessing the world’s top surfers compete in the perfect waves at Punta Rocas.
“The ISA has enjoyed 50 years of success and I will ensure that we channel our energy, ambition and love of Surfing as we enter the next stage of our development and step up our aim for Olympic inclusion. Surfing has a unique and modern blend of sport performance, culture and dynamic energy making it especially relevant for young people – we must continue to spread Surfing’s values to young people worldwide.
Peru’s Miguel Tudela surfing Punta Rocas. Tudela was a member of Team Peru at 2013 ISA World Surfing Games and was also a member of the World Team Champion at the 2011 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. Photo: Rommel Gonzales.
“Surfing is continuously evolving. The essence of Surfing lies in progression, innovation, and raising the bar of performance, and with state-of-the-art wave technology that is about to revolutionise Surfing and open up the sport to millions more people around the world, things are looking very promising for the next 50 years and beyond.”
Carlos Neuhaus, Peruvian Surfing Federation (FENTA) President said:
“Peru has played a key role since the founding of the ISA with its first President, Eduardo Arena, a Peruvian, and the global development of Surfing over the past 50 years. We have a very healthy relationship with the ISA, and we’re delighted to welcome the world’s best surfers back to Peru, as we have done on many occasions since the ISA held its first Peruvian event in Punta Rocas in 1965. Hosting ISA World Championships brings many benefits to the region, particularly in terms of the sport’s development, the economy and tourism.”
About the International Surfing Association
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; World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012; and will crown its first World Skimboard Champions in 2014.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 86 countries in five continents. It’s headquartered in La Jolla, California and is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER), Debbie Beacham (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS).