Record-breaking edition of ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship Inaugurated in Wanning, China

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IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing (CHN) declares event officially open

71 athletes from 22 nations set to kick off competition on Saturday morning at Riyue Bay

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A record-breaking 71 athletes from 22 nations paraded along the beach of Riyue Bay in Wanning, China today to inaugurate the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship. The competition will begin on Saturday as the world’s best longboarders take to the water to represent their nations and compete for Gold.

IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing declares the competition open alongside representatives from the 22 participating nations. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing declares the competition open alongside representatives from the 22 participating nations. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

This historic edition of the event marks the first time that the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship has been held in China, building on the ISA’s legacy of holding major events in the country since 2012.

In attendance at the event was Chinese IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing to give the event his blessing and declare it officially open.

“Allow me to take this opportunity to express my sincere welcome to all here in Wanning to participate in the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship,” said Yu Zaiqing. “I would like to congratulate the ISA, the city of Wanning, and the Chinese Extreme Sports Association for getting together to organize this world championship.

“My appreciation also goes to the ISA for giving China the opportunity to experience the organization of this championship. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Hainan province for giving this event strong support.”

The festive Parade of Nations heads down the beach at Riyue Bay en route to the Opening Ceremony stage. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

The festive Parade of Nations heads down the beach at Riyue Bay en route to the Opening Ceremony stage. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

All the nations participated in the ISA’s signature Sands of the World Ceremony, mixing their sands in a clear container to symbolize the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Longboard.

Dignitaries present at the ceremony included IOC Vice President, Yu Zaiqing, ISA Executive Director, Robert Fasulo, Vicechairman of Water Sports Management Center of General Administration, Xu Sihai, Secretary General of China Extreme Sports Association, Liu Qing, Secretary of the CPC People’s Government of Wanning, Zhang Meiwen, and Division Director of Competitive Sports Department of the Department of Culture Radio Television Publication and Sports of Hainan Province, Liu PingJiu.

Team China participates in the Sands of the World Ceremony, putting the growth of Surfing in China, and specifically Hainan, on display. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

Team China participates in the Sands of the World Ceremony, putting the growth of Surfing in China, and specifically Hainan, on display. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

Secretary of the CPC People’s Government of Wanning, Zhang Meiwen, said:

“I would like to send a warm welcome to all the visiting athletes from around the world. Wanning is a city of longevity and surfing, a city of passion, vigor, and competitive sport. Over the past years we have vigorously developed the culture in the industry of sport and improved our infrastructure.

“Sport and health have become the core values of Hainan and also have become the key element of a happy Wanning. We feel particularly inspired by the adoption of Surfing by the International Olympic Committee in 2016 into the 2020 Tokyo Games. We feel inspired by the fact that in September last year Wanning was identified by the National Chinese Surfing Team as a training base.

“We are confident that we will build Wanning into a capital of international surfing and make Wanning a bright highlight as a coastal city.”

ISA Executive Director, Robert Fasulo, presents IOC Vice President, Yu Zaiqing, with a commemorative plaque to celebrate the 2018 edition of this World Championship in China. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

El Director Ejecutivo de la ISA, Robert Fasulo, presenta junto a el Vicepresidente del COI Yu Zaiqing durante la entrega de la placa conmemorativa que celebra la edición 2018 del Campeonato del Mundo en China. Foto: ISA / Sean Evans

ISA Executive Director, Robert Fasulo, said:

“On behalf of the ISA President, who unfortunately couldn’t be here with us today, it is my distinct pleasure and honor to welcome all the competing surfers and delegations from around the world for the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship.

“The world surfing family is very happy to be back in this beautiful Riyue Bay in Wanning, China.

“This spectacular Island of Hainan in the great country of China represents a new frontier for the sport of surfing and the ISA.

“We are very grateful to the leadership of Wanning, the Province of Hainan, and to the central government of China for their critical support and for their appreciation of the value of surfing for this region and beyond. We are especially pleased to have with us today the Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Yu Zaiqing.

“Most importantly, we are here today to celebrate you, the longboarders who have travelled from around the world to compete for your nations You inspire us with your performances, your passion, and your national pride. You will show the world that surfers can come together and compete in fairness and friendship regardless of the boundaries that divide us.

“You may not all return home with gold medals, but through your participation here, you will not only be ambassadors of your sport, but also of friendship and international understanding.”

The 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com from January 19-25.

The schedule for Saturday’s competition is the following*:

8am-12pm – 12 heats Men’s Division Main Event Round 1
12pm-2:40pm – 8 heats Women’s Division Main Event Round 1
2:40pm-4:40pm – 6 heats Men Event Round 2

The schedule for the remainder of the event is the following*:

January 20-25 – Competition at Riyue Bay, 8am-4:30pm

*Schedule subject to changes.

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. 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 Federations of 104 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes' Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).

For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org