The International Surfing Association (ISA) has expressed its high level of satisfaction as preparations continue to gather pace for the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games. The ISA remarked on the positive progress made by the local organizing committee following a site visit to the French coastal city of Biarritz, which will host the annual Surfing event.
Taking place between 20th and 28th May, the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games will be a gathering of the world’s best National Surfing Teams as they compete for medals in the federation’s flagship event in one of Europe’s most popular surf destinations.
The Biarritz site visit was conducted by ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo and ISA Manager of Event Operations Harrison Robbs. Following the visit to the French city, ISA President Fernando Aguerre welcomed the excellent progress made by the local organizers relating to the development of a world-class Surfing event concept and venue infrastructure.
Set to showcase the federation’s plans for Tokyo 2020, where Surfing will make its Olympic debut, the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games will gather the world’s top athletes in competition, taking place against an iconic coastal backdrop.
With the encouragement and support of the ISA, the local organizers also plan to transform Biarritz during the contest into an interactive ‘surf festival’, inviting the public and the participants to engage with the event and the local community. The French city last hosted the event in 1980, and this year’s event will mark the 60th anniversary of Surfing’s introduction to the area.
President of the ISA, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“As the ISA’s flagship annual event, the ISA World Surfing Games is an amazing celebration of Surfing and national pride. This will also be a great opportunity to showcase how we intend to create a surf and beach festival atmosphere at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“Knowing well this legendary location and given the rich experience of our friends from the French Surfing Federation, I am very confident the ISA World Surfing Games will be a brilliant success in Biarritz. I am equally sure this will be a fantastic surf festival – one that brings world-class athletes together in a city that has had Surfing in its heart for more than half a century.
“Visitors, athletes and the citizens of Biarritz can expect a special event, one that will mark an important step on our historic journey towards Tokyo 2020.”
President of the French Surfing Federation, Jean-Luc Arassus, added:
“With just four months before we welcome the Surfing world to Biarritz, we are very pleased with the outcome of this visit. I think the ISA has come away both impressed with the quality of the competition sites, but also in the solid work that our team has done so far.
“The ISA World Surfing Games is an excellent platform to display the world-class waves and beauty of France’s southwest coastline. We are looking forward to welcoming the visiting National Teams to experience the waves, the Surfing culture and hospitality that our country and region has to offer.
“With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon these are exciting times for Surfing. We look forward to hosting the best surfers in the world and potentially the sport’s first ever Olympians at what will be a wonderful festival of Surfing.”
Surfing was added to the Tokyo 2020 Sports Program in August last year after decades of ISA campaigning underpinned by a strategy of global growth and development. Exemplifying the ISA’s Olympic vision, the ISA World Surfing Games has been held in a diverse range of countries in recent years including Costa Rica (2016), Nicaragua (2015), Peru (2014, 2010), Portugal (2008, 1998), U.S.A. (2006, 1996), South Africa (2002) and Brazil (2000).
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 104 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).