Powerful Teams Announced As Competition Nears
The 2015 ISA World Surfing Games is just around the corner. From May 31st to June 7th, top surfers from over 25 countries will represent their nations and compete for the Gold Medals in the Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions at the world-class surf break of Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua.
In anticipation of the competition, United States, Portugal and New Zealand have revealed their National Teams filled with elite surfers, who will battle the 2014 Team Champion, Peru.
2009 ISA World Surfing Games Team Champion, USA, has put together a team to contend for Gold. Headlining Team USA will be Damien Hobgood, who with a Gold Medal could become, along with CJ Hobgood, the first set of twins to win ISA World Championships. CJ won the ISA World Surfing Games in 2008. Joining Hobgood will be Ben Bourgeois, member of the 2009 ISA World Surfing Games Gold Medal Team, Ian Crane and Nathaniel Curran. Further strengthening Team USA, on the women’s side will be two ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Medalists: Tia Blanco, 2014 Bronze Medalist, and teammate Frankie Harrer, 2013 Copper Medalist.
Portugal is another team in medal contention. They have released their squad loaded with surfers that have plenty of past ISA World Championship experience. Vasco Ribeiro, who was a Silver Medalist at the 2011 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, will lead the charge for Portugal. Rounding out the team will be Nic Von Rupp, José Ferreira, Miguel Blanco, and on the women’s side, Teresa Bonvalot and Camilla Kemp, who were both competitors at the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.
New Zealand joins USA and Portugal as the first nations to announce their teams and have also put together a title-contending roster. Team New Zealand will feature a strong contingent including Paige Hareb, 2010 ISA World Surfing Games Silver Medalist, and Ella Williams, 2013 ISA World Surfing Games Copper Medalist. Recent ISA World Championship surfers, Billy Stairmand, Dune Kennings, JC Susan and Matt Hewitt will compete on the men’s side.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, commenting on the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games, said:
“With its incredible surf and 24/7 offshore winds, Nicaragua will be the perfect venue for the world’s best surfers competing for Individual and Team Gold Medals. I’m very excited about the top-level athletes and look forward to being in Nicaragua, a true surfing paradise. As a surfer, there is no greater honor than representing your country as a member of your National Surfing Team.”
The traditional ISA Opening Ceremony will commence May 31st with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony. The competition will get underway June 1st and finish June 7th, when the ISA World Surfing Games Champions will be crowned at the Closing Ceremony.
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), Layne Beachley (AUS), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).