Nicaragua Optimistic its Surfing Future Will be Bright After Hosting an ISA World Championship Event

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The beachbreak at Colorado beach at Hacienda Iguana offers barreling lefts and rights on low tide, and long rippable walls on high tide, which will allow the veteran surfers to put their all-around ability on display. Photo: Nicasurfing.com/ Dustin Franks

ISA World Masters Event Supported at the Highest Levels of Government in Nicaragua

Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship
July 14 to 22, 2012
Colorado beach at Hacienda Iguana, Nicaragua

Surfing has the ability to transform. It transforms us as individuals, turning us into active participants in the ocean, and active defenders of its health and survival. Surfing also has the ability to transform a community, a region and even a country – even if it’s in a small way. The government of Nicaragua, and its Tourism Department, are bringing the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship to its shores in July, as part of their plan so that transformation will take place in their country.

The event, which begins on July 14, will bring the best over-35-year-old surfers in the world to compete in the waves at Colorado beach at Hacienda Iguana. Several former ISA and ASP World Champions and numerous over 35 top professional surfers will represent their respective country in hopes of achieving the glory of winning an individual medal and, more importantly, a team medal. In turn, the elite-level athletes will bring the spotlight of the national and international media.

“Nicaragua is among the ten top countries for the best waves and beaches for surfing, but this fact is not well known by the world and INTUR believes that by organizing ISA World Championship events that the world will know that this country is ready to receive surfers from around the globe,” said Mario Salinas, the Tourism Minister of Nicaragua. “The media exposure the country will gain from this World Championship is going to be very important for Nicaragua. After this event, the country is going to witness a quality change in the surfing segment for which we are getting prepared with infrastructure, lodging, surfing schools, etc. All these is going to have an important impact in the local economy of the area.”

Nicaragua is by no means new to surfing. Traveling surfers have been coming to the west coast of the country for years to ride the vast array of waves available, most of which are immaculately groomed by the “Lake Nicaragua Effect”, which causes the winds to blow off-shore almost year-round.

“As the ISA has said, and as many people around the world have recognized, surfing is about more than just riding waves – it can be a vehicle for change,” said Fernando Aguerre, the president of the ISA. “The Aloha spirit is contagious. It spreads good vibes, and it attracts world travelers, which brings tourism dollars into surfing destinations. Everybody wins.”

The ISA World Masters is supported at the highest level of government in Nicaragua. Negotiations were held with the Minister of Tourism, Mario Salinas, who has confirmed the full support of the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega.

Due to the importance of the event, extensive work was put into selecting the proper venue. The wave at Colorado beach was selected because of its world-class caliber. It’s ideal in tides both high and low, and offers both lefts and rights, barrels and sections for big turns and aerials. It should suit the talents of five-time world champion Tom Curren (USA), four-time world champion Juan Ashton (PUR), and two-time world champion Heather Clark (RSA).

According to Lucy Valenti, the Executive President of Gray Line Nicaragua, which is helping to organize the event, the invested parties intend to document the positive impacts the ISA Masters World Championship have on the surfing culture in Nicaragua, and presenting them to Minister Salinas, so as to make sure that surfing will be developed in a sustainable manner to keep the proper balance between development of the communities, protecting the environment and conserving the local culture.

Be sure to check in to www.isasurf.org for further updates about the event as they are released.