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The World’s Largest Gathering of Over-35 Surfers Begins Soon

From April 6-14, Ecuador will become the gathering place of the world’s best Masters Surfers (over-35 years old), who will compete in the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship (WMSC) in the high-performance right point break of Montañita.

The world´s largest Masters Championship begins in two weeks. Over 20 countries and 150 men and women surfers will soon arrive in Ecuador’s surf capital and warm beaches of the South American country.

2012 ISA World Masters Surfing Championship Gold Medalist Magnum Martinez (VEN) will be back to defend his title. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

These are the ten things you need to know about the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship:

1. The Event

The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship gathers the best Masters surfers from every continent to compete for their National Teams in an “Olympic-style” event. The surfers compete for medals and the honor of representing their respective countries.

2. The Competition

The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is a team competition with individual age divisions. The divisions include Men’s Masters (over 35), Grand Masters (over 40), Kahunas (over 45) and Grand Kahunas (over 50), and Women’s Masters (over 35).

Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper Medals will be up for grabs for the top finishers in each division and the coveted Eduardo Arena Team Trophy will be awarded to the Gold Medal National Team.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre awarding the Eduardo Arena Team Trophy to the 2012 Gold Medal Team Champions, Hawaii, featuring (from left to right) Sunny Garcia, Rochelle Ballard, Kaipo Jaquias, Nelson Sadoy, Mike Latronic, and Glenn Pang Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

3. The Participants

Over 20 National Teams and 150 men and women are expected to compete. The following breaks down the number of athletes that a team can field per division:

  • 2 Men’s Masters (over 35)
  • 2 Men’s Grand Masters (over 40)
  • 2 Men’s Kahunas (over 45)
  • 1 Men’s Grand Kahuna (over 50)
  • 1 Women’s Master (over 35)

4. The History

Magnum Martinez (VEN) riding the perfect tubes of Playa Colorado, Nicaragua, during the 2012 ISA World Masters Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA/Gonzales.

The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is an annual event, in its sixth year of existence. The ISA introduced the Masters event in 2007 in Puerto Rico and it has taken place every year except 2009. Following Puerto Rico, the ISA WMSC moved to Peru in 2008, Panama in 2010, El Salvador in 2011, Nicaragua in 2012 and the latest edition, Ecuador in 2013.

Last year’s Champions include:

Team- Hawaii

Men’s Masters- Magnum Martinez (VEN)

Men’s Grand Masters- Sunny Garcia (HAW)

Men’s Kahunas- James Hogan (USA)

Men’s Grand Kahunas- Javier Huarcaya (PER)

Women’s Masters- Rochelle Ballard (HAW)

5. The Venue

Montañita is the surf capital of Ecuador. It is located at 195 kilometers WNW from the big city of Guayaquil, or a two and a half hours drive on the highway that runs along the North side of the province of Santa Elena.

Facing straight West on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Montañita is located just south of the Equatorial line (or latitude zero) that divides the two hemispheres of our planet.

The main surf break at Montañita is a rocky bottom, right-hand point break that is exposed to any Pacific ocean swell generated from Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The waves can vary from 2 to 12 feet high, but a typical swell is between 6 to 8 feet and produces waves over 100 yards of clean, perfect surf.

During April, the swells are beginning to shift from the north to the southwest typically with perfect, glassy conditions. The water temperature at this time of the year is around 28° C. or 82° F.

The coastal town has developed a vibrant surf community that attracts surfers of different cultures from all over the world. The area not only offers great surf but also local culture, rich culinary cuisine and beautiful warm beaches.

6. The Mission

The ISA’s mission is to develop the sport of surfing in Ecuador, and the ISA has partnered with it’s member, the Ecuadorian Surfing Federation and the country’s Ministry of Sport, who are together working for a better surfing future.

7. The Schedule

2012 ISA World Masters Surfing Championship Opening Ceremony. Photo: ISA/Parkin

The sixth edition of the championship will officially open on April 6 with the traditional ISA Opening Ceremony, which will include the Parade of the Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony.

The Parade of the Nations is a colorful and energy-filled event, complete with teams chanting, waving flags and the cheering of the locals who come out to watch the spectacle.

The Sands of the World Ceremony symbolizes the true fraternal spirit that bonds together all members of the global surfing tribe. The union of the countries of the world in this Ceremony is symbolized through the mixing of the sands from the shores of all participating National Delegations, showcasing the ISA desire for a better and peaceful world.

Important dates to note:

  • April 6- Parade of Nations, Sands of the World and Opening Ceremonies
  • April 7- Competition begins
  • April 14- Final day of competition, Awards Presentation and Closing Ceremony

8. The Facts

The 2013 ISA WMSC marks the third ISA World Championship hosted in Ecuador. In 2004, the World Surfing Games and in 2009 the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship took place in the country.

9. The Prize

For this event, and after 41 years missing, the original Eduardo Arena Trophy has been reintroduced as the “Eduardo Arena World Team Championship Trophy.” The sterling silver trophy depicting a breaking wave and a surfboard in the curl will be awarded to the ISA Masters World Champion Team.

Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Copper Medals will be awarded to the top finishing teams and individual athletes in each division.

10.The Expectation

Big names in surfing will be competing in Ecuador including defending ISA Grand Masters Gold Medalist and 2000 ASP World Tour Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW), defending ISA Masters Gold Medalist Magnum Martinez (VEN), defending ISA Women’s Masters Gold Medalist Rochelle Ballard (HAW), and 2011 ISA Women’s Masters Gold Medalist and 7-time Women’s ASP World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS).

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, Para 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; World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012; and World Para Surfing Champions in 2015.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 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).