Karín Sierralta of Peru Re-Elected; Surfing Legend Layne Beachley is the Newest ISA VP; Seven Nations Welcomed as Members
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Playa Venao, Panama
Some big ISA decisions were made in a small town in Panama on Monday evening. With 31 ISA National Federations (NF) in town for the DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Presented by Billabong, the NF presidents, or their designated proxies, gathered for the Biennial General Meeting in Pedasi to determine who would fill two Vice President positions on the ISA Executive Committee.
In what ISA President Fernando Aguerre called “a great night for surfing, a great night for the ISA,” the organization voted in favor of welcoming seven new “applying member” nations to the ISA: China, Ghana, Hungary, India, Kiribati, Russia and Slovakia.
The BGM vote re-elected Karín Sierralta of Peru to his second term as a Vice President, and elected legendary surfer Layne Beachley of Australia to fill the other Vice President position.
“Just 105 days into the year 2012, the ISA has had three historical events: the first ever ISA China Cup in January, the first ever SUP and Paddleboard World Championship in Peru, in February,” Aguerre said, “and now the largest-ever ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Panama.”
In January, the ISA delivered the first major surfing events ever in China, which included the ISA China Cup, featuring eight National Teams, followed by the Hainan Classic, an ASP Men’s 4-Star. These were the largest surfing events to take place on Chinese shores, at Riyue Bay on Hainan Island. The historic events were followed by the inaugural ISA World Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboarding Championship in Peru in February. And the ongoing event, the ISA World Juniors, has a record-number of participating countries (31) and competitors (over 300).
The most successful woman surfer in the history of the sport, Beachley brings as much surfing pedigree and credibility as anyone involved in the ISA. Having joined the ASP World Tour at just 16 years of age, she went on to win seven world titles, including a record six in a row from 1998 to 2003. She was elected to every surfing-related Hall of Fame imaginable, including the Surfers’ Hall of Fame and the Surfers’ Walk of Fame, both in Huntington Beach, California, and is an Australian Sports Medal recipient. She’s no stranger to the ISA, having won yet another world championship at the 2011 ISA Masters in El Salvador.
After her surfing career, Beachley transitioned to a behind-the-scenes role of major international surfing events, including the annual Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, which is a part of the ASP Women’s World Tour. This is her first elected position with the ISA. Her election brings the women’s representation on the Executive Committee up to 40-percent.
“Layne is an incredible addition for the ISA,” said Aguerre, of Beachley, who couldn’t attend the meeting since she’s organizing the Beachley Classic, which begins in a few days. “Other than being the most successful woman surfer in history, she’s also a great entrepreneur and remains a key figure in the surfing tribe.”
Beachley also serves as the Athlete Liaison Officer for the Australian Olympic Team headed to London.
Sierralta was first elected to the ISA Executive Committee in 2008, the same year he assumed the role of Executive Director of the Peruvian Surfing Federation (FENTA).
He grew up in Lima, Peru and began surfing at an early age. At just 12 years old, he immersed himself in the Latin surf scene, and over the course of his career he was essential in spreading surfing throughout Latin America, which included organizing more than 70 contests in various countries. In 2002 he co-founded the ALAS Latin Tour and still serves as its Executive President.
Sierralta has been integral to bringing four ISA World Championship events to Peru, beginning with the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship in 2008, the 2010 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2011 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, and the inaugural ISA World Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship which took place in Lima in February.
“I’m happy and motivated to keep growing surfing around the world,” he said. “It is amazing to know that I have the trust of the ISA Members, as well as the trust of my fellow Executive Committee members, and I am willing to keep working for a better surfing future.”
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).