The International Surfing Association (ISA) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) have requested the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to mediate new discussions over the governance of StandUp Paddle (SUP).
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We are pleased that the issue regarding the governance of SUP, a discipline that is very important for ISA, is now before CAS. As a committed member of the Olympic Family, we believe CAS is the appropriate forum to have this case heard fairly.
“The ISA welcomes the opportunity to put forward our position as the historical rightful custodian of SUP that can continue to best ensure the development of the sport and work in the interest of all SUP athletes worldwide.
“Under the guidance of the ISA for many years, both SUP Surfing and Racing disciplines have grown in popularity and professionalism – becoming one of the fastest growing water sports in the world.”
Triple SUP Racing World Champion (2013, 2014 & 2016), ISA Vice President and Chairman of the ISA Athletes’ Commission, Casper Steinfath, said:
“The ISA has been able to offer so much to SUP and our athletes – creating an international competitive platform, empowering national surfing federations to develop the sport worldwide and giving a voice to our discipline that can be heard by more people globally.
“The ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship is a cornerstone in the Federation’s World Championship Series, and the first to feature complete gender equality. At the same time, the ISA’s global SUP coaching programmes have brought the sport to new surfing nations around the world such as Iran, The Gambia and Singapore.
“As an active professional SUP racing athlete, I look forward to this issue being addressed fairly and quickly.”
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 104 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).