161 Athletes from 27 Nations Ready to Go for Gold in El Salvador

Posted - News Posted for El Salvador News, ISA News, World Surfing News.

Government officials, ISA leadership, and top athletes gather at official press conference to discuss upcoming competition 

Minister of Tourism Morena Valdez: “We are positioning El Salvador as the best place to surf, visit, explore, and invest”

President of INDES Yamil Bukele: “Our commitment is to develop the country and to help the athletes live by the sports that they like to practice”

161 athletes from 27 countries are set to represent their flags and compete in the 2019 Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship.

2019 will mark the eighth edition of the competition, this year taking place on the picturesque coast of El Sunzal, El Salvador Nov 24 – Dec 1. 

The festivities will begin on Sunday at El Sunzal, featuring the ISA’s Parade of Nations and unique Sands of the World Ceremony, where each country will pour sand from their local beaches into a container to symbolize the peaceful gathering of nations through surfing.

The competition will kick off on Sunday afternoon, crowning the first World Champions of the event in the SUP Sprint races. 

Press conference from left to right: President of the El Salvadorian Surfing Association Jaime Delgado, Member of Team Sweden Sofie Simonsson, Member of Team El Salvador Josselyn Alabi, ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo, Minister of Tourism Morena Valdez, Minister of Sport Yamil Bukele, Member of Team Denmark Casper Steinfath, and Member of Team El Salvador Alex Novoa. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Press conference from left to right: President of the El Salvadorian Surfing Association Jaime Delgado, Member of Team Sweden Sofie Simonsson, Member of Team El Salvador Josselyn Alabi, ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo, Minister of Tourism Morena Valdez, President of INDES Yamil Bukele, Member of Team Denmark Casper Steinfath, and Member of Team El Salvador Alex Novoa. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

On Friday morning government officials, ISA leadership, and top athletes united at the event’s official press conference at Club Salvadoreño, overlooking the waves of El Sunzal. 

El Salvador’s Minister of Tourism Morena Valdez, President of INDES Yamil Bukele, ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo, five-time SUP World Champion and ISA Vice President Casper Steinfath (DEN), and member of Team El Salvador Josselyn Alabi were present to discuss the buzz around the World Championship.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre was unable to attend due to suffering a broken leg, but he sent his warm regards via audio message to those present at the press conference.

“It’s going to be an amazing Word Championship,” said Aguerre. “We are working together to place El Salvador where it belongs as a mecca of surf tourism.

“At the same time, we are developing an activity that the El Salvadorians have fallen in love with – surf – especially with the youth, to get them off their electronic screens and away from violence. 

“This is a first step in our paddle together, all working towards the future that President Nayib Bukele has envisioned.”

Team Japan’s Riki Horikoshi getting a feel for the long waves at El Sunzal in the pre-event warm ups. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Team Japan’s So Namura getting a feel for the long waves at El Sunzal in the pre-event warm ups. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Morena Valdez, Minister of Tourism said: 

“We are truly happy and have already exceeded the expectations that we had with the ISA.

“We are expecting this event to generate more than 8 million dollars in economic impact, earning back our investment, without even considering the international recognition that we are receiving as a tourism destination.

“We are positioning El Salvador as the best place to surf, visit, explore, and invest.”

President of INDES Yamil Bukele followed:

“We want to put the athletes in power. We cannot carry out a World Championship if we don’t support our athletes.

“Our commitment is to develop our country and to help the athletes live by the sports that they like to practice.”

Member of Team Denmark, Casper Steinfath, said:

“As an athlete it is a huge honor to be sitting here in a new country that I have never visited before.  It’s very new for all athletes and we look forward to competing in what are exceptionally good waves. We’ve heard good stories and we look forward to exploring what El Salvador has to offer.

“As an athlete, I want to say good luck to the local athletes here in El Salvador. Having competed in my home country before in this World Championship, it means a lot. You might feel some pressure, but it’s a great recognition of surfing in El Salvador. I want to wish you all the best of luck riding this wave.” 

The point break of El Sunzal will receive the world’s best SUP and Paddleboard athletes. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

The point break of El Sunzal will receive the world’s best SUP and Paddleboard athletes. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Member of Team El Salvador, Josselyn Alabi, said:

“El Salvadorians are always known for giving it their all. This quality will be key in this event where we are going to do our best. 

“We want to showcase El Salvador in the best way possible on a global stage. We are a proud country and our priority is to represent El Salvador as best we can.”

The 2019 Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship can be viewed live on isasurf.org Nov 24 – Dec 1.

The schedule for the competition is as follows, subject to changes.

November 24

  • Opening Ceremony
  • SUP Sprint Races 

November 25

  • Long Distance Races

November 26

  • Technical Race Preliminary Rounds
  • Team Relay Preliminary Rounds
  • Team Relay Final

November 27

  • Technical Race Finals

November 28 – December 1

  • SUP Surfing

December 1

  • Closing Ceremony
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 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).

For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org

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