Team USA Dominates ISA Aloha Cup, Earns First Gold Medal of 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship

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Two days of competition remaining to crown first ISA Longboard World Champions in China

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An outstanding, all-around performance earned Team USA the first Gold Medal of the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship in the ISA Aloha Cup on Monday at Riyue Bay in Hainan, China.

Team USA celebrates their Gold Medal performance in the ISA Aloha Cup. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Team USA celebrates their Gold Medal performance in the ISA Aloha Cup. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Team USA’s four team members all put on a well-balanced, elegant display of longboard surfing to build a commanding 24-point lead over Silver Medal Australia in the Aloha Cup Final. Team Peru earned the Bronze and Brazil the Copper.

“It feels great to be here in China and win a Gold Medal with all my friends,” said member of Team USA Kevin Skvarna. “We are a tight-knit crew and I don’t think we can be beaten, whether Aloha Cup or the overall Team Gold. We’ve come out super strong and I think we have a few more Gold Medals to come. I am stoked and honored to be here in China and represent the longboard community in the USA.”

Kevin Skvarna leads Team USA in the Final with a near-perfect 9.67-point ride. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

Kevin Skvarna leads Team USA in the Final with a near-perfect 9.67-point ride. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

Along with winning the ISA Aloha Cup, Team USA is also positioned atop the team standings, poised to make a run at the overall Team Gold Medal. With all four surfers remaining in the competition, USA stands neck-and-neck with Team Australia who also stands unscathed through three days of the event.

Riyue Bay saw a decrease in swell for Monday’s competition, however, waves in the knee to thigh range still peeled down the point with excellent shape, providing plenty of opportunity for the world’s best longboarders to perform in the ISA Aloha Cup.

The one-of-a-kind ISA Aloha Cup is a team relay event featuring the top seven teams from the last edition of the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship in 2013 and the host nation of China. Each team is comprised of all four team members, two men and two women, and each athlete catches two waves in their leg of the relay. The two scores from each athlete are summed up to get the overall team score.

ISA Aloha Cup Final off to the races at Riyue Bay. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

ISA Aloha Cup Final off to the races at Riyue Bay. Photo: ISA / Tim Hain

The first Semifinal featured South Africa, Peru, USA, and China and the second Semifinal featured Brazil, England, Argentina, and Australia.

Team USA got off to a quick start and breezed through the first Semifinal with three of their eight scores in the excellent range. Relay anchor Kevin Skvarna solidified their spot in the final with two of those excellent scores, marking waves of 8.77 and 9.07. Team Peru finished second behind Piccolo Clemente’s heat-high 9.33 ride to earn a spot in the Final.

In the second Semifinal Team Brazil jumped out to the lead and never looked back after an 8.5 and 7.67 by Carlos Bahia. Team Australia needed every bit of their final wave score of 4.87 to surpass Team England by a mere 2 points to classify for the Aloha Cup Final along with Brazil.

In the Final, Team USA shined with six of their eight waves worth 7 points or more. USA’s Tony Silvagni, Rachael Tilly, Tory Gilkerson, and Kevin Skvarna showed the all-around talent they possess and built a big lead that was capped off by a near-perfect 9.67 ride by the relay anchor, Skvarna.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“Congratulations to Team USA for a dominating performance in the ISA Aloha Cup today at Riyue Bay. Their team camaraderie, talent, and national pride shined as they earned the first Gold Medal of the event.

“We are arriving at the final stretch of the competition and with a promising swell on the forecast, we could have an epic finish to the competition to ISA Longboard World Champions ever in China.”

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

There will be a 9am CST call for a possible 10am start on Tuesday, however, due to a forecasted swell arriving on Wednesday and Thursday, it is likely that no competition will run on Tuesday.

The schedule for the remainder of the event is as follows*:

January 23-25 – Competition at Riyue Bay, 8am-4:30pm

*Schedule subject to changes.

ISA Aloha Cup Results
Gold – USA
Silver – Australia
Bronze – Peru
Copper – Brazil

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 Governing Bodies of 103 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). ƒ