The ISA and China to Host Groundbreaking Surfing Festival

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The perfect lefts of Riyue Bay in China’s city of Wanning, Hainan Island, will host the groundbreaking Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver. Photo: Sean Collins

The world’s best surfers will meet in China in January for the Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver

Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver
January 6 to 14, 2012
Wanning, Hainan Island, China

La Jolla, California, November 7, 2011 – The International Surfing Association is proud to announce the Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver that will take place in Wanning, Hainan Island, China.

From January 6 to 14, China will become the international surfing capital with the world’s top surfers competing on their National Teams in the ISA China Cup followed by a second surfing competition, the Hainan Classic, an ASP Men’s 4-Star contest. It will be the first time ever in the history of the country that surfing events of this magnitude take place.

As the opening event in the Festival, from January 6 to 9, the ISA China Cup will be invitation-only featuring the top eight surfing nations in the world based on the National Team results from the recent 2011 ISA World Surfing Games in Panama.

All eight invited National Teams have accepted, including: Australia, Brazil, France, Argentina, South Africa, Peru, Venezuela and the USA. Each National Team will include their country’s best four men and two women shortboarders, who will compete for Team and Individual Gold Medals and the honor of representing their nations.

Following the completion of the ISA China Cup, the festival will continue with the Hainan Classic, January 11-14, which the ISA has confirmed will have a total prize purse of $ 95,000 USD. This historic competition will be the first ASP event ever in China that will count towards the ASP Men’s World Ranking.

“This is not just the first ISA event and the top eight surfing nations in the world competing in an international surfing event in China,” stated ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who has been leading the ISA’s initiative into China for the past 18 months. “This is a demonstration of the growth of surfing across the world. China, the most populated country on the planet with 1.3 billion people, wants their youth to surf and eventually compete with the world’s top surfers. This event will mark a ‘before and after’ in the history of the country and of Chinese surfing. I can’t wait to surf some waves over there.”

The ISA selected the left point break at Riyue Bay on Hainan Island off the coast of southeast China after consulting with Sean Collins, founder and President of Surfline ( Collins is generally considered the world’s foremost surf forecaster.  He conducted a historical analysis of the surf along the east coast of Hainan and, after visiting the Island in March,  he reported that Riyue Bay held the best opportunity for world class waves.

Collins remarked, “Hainan Island in China produces consistent fun surf during the winter, and especially during the month of January according to our research of swell patterns over the last 15 years. I am very impressed with the local setup of various good quality surf breaks around the Riyue Bay area that enjoy prevailing offshore winds and clean conditions during the best swells.”

The Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver will be a historic event, the result of the combined efforts of the ISA, the Governments of Hainan Island and the City of Wanning, and Quiksilver.

Quiksilver Chairman and CEO, Bob McKnight commented from his Huntington Beach, California headquarters, “We see China as potentially one of the biggest action sports markets in the world, and as such is a key region of our company’s growth strategy.

Through this International Surfing Festival produced by the ISA, Quiksilver hopes to further expand our brand’s awareness and build on its image and reputation as the world’s leading board riding company.  As the Festival will be broadcast live on the internet in China and throughout the world, we are looking forward to the youth of China embracing our sport and enjoying all the lifestyle attributes associated with it.”

With a coastline of 9,000 miles, a lot of unexplored surfing breaks, strong support from the highest levels of Government for surfing, the opportunity is ripe for the ISA to help China become a surfing powerhouse in the years to come.

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, 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), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).