Albert Muñoz Achieves Childhood Dream of Being Crowned ISA Kneeboard Surfing World Champion

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Albert Munoz showing the critical surfing that landed him the big scores. Photo: Cahill Bell-Warren/Surfing Victoria

2011 ISA Kneeboard Surfing World Titles
Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
April 1, 2011
Albert Muñoz has claimed the 2011 ISA World Kneeboard Open Title in pumping conditions at Woolamai Beach, Victoria, Australia. Born in Puerto Rico and currently living in Australia, he scored 13.00 points in the final to beat event standout Chayne Simpson from Australia, who scored 12.25.

Once the final was over and the result was announced on the loudspeakers, Albert Muñoz was met at the water’s edge by his partner and young child. The excitement of the moment almost overwhelmed him.

“Since I very first rode a kneeboard I have wanted to win a world title,” said Muñoz with tears in his eyes. “I have been dreaming about this since I was a kid. My biggest ambition in life has been to be the best in the world, even if it is just for 20 minutes. I just wanted to be World Champion.”

A powerful two-meter swell combined with cold onshore winds made conditions tough for competitors in the opening heats of the day. However, a nicely formed right-hander was breaking, creating plenty of high scoring opportunities.

The opening final of the day saw local Phillip Island surfer Jethro Cooney win his first ISA World Title in the Junior division. Cooney’s two-wave total of 8.50 was just enough to take victory ahead of Chris Linn (USA) who scored 7.50.

Cooney was ecstatic with his win and was all smiles when greeted by his family and friends. “It is a bit of a shock to win since all of the other guys surf so well,” said Cooney. “I surf here all the time so I just went out and hunted the double-up rights in the rip and found a few good ones.”

The final of the Immortals division, for surfers over 64 years of age, was decided in the last five seconds of the 25-minute affair. USA surfer John Mel locked in a 4.50 on the siren to defeat his opponent David Condon (AUS). Mel finished with a two-wave total of 9.75 (out of a possible 20), only 0.05 points ahead of Condon’s 9.70.

“I’m really happy about this win. The whole American team has been really supportive of each other, it was really special to share the joy of my victory with the whole group,” said Mel.

David Parkes (AUS) dominated the Veterans division final, locking two near-perfect scores of a 9.00 and 9.65. After winning the World Title, Parkes said, “I managed to find two nice rides and I had a lot of fun out there during the entire event. This is a great chance to catch up with friends from all over the world.”

Full Results

Open Men.
1. Albert Munoz 13.00 AUS (Red)
2. Chanye Simpson 12.25 AUS (White)
3. Kyle Bryant 11.50 AUS (Yellow)
4. David Parkes 9.75 AUS (Blue)

Open Women
1. D onna Jennings 14.00 AUS (Red)
2. Jordan Cooksley 9.15 NZ (Yellow)
3. Cynthia Wornham 9.15 USA (Blue)
4. Rebecca Heemi 5.30 NZ (Black)
5. Josephine Moore 5.00 NZ (White)

1. Jethro Cooney 8.50 AUS (Yellow)
2. Chris Linn 7.50 USA (White)
3. Kurt Muesburger 4.20 AUS (Red)
4. Shane Whitehouse 2.85 AUS (Blue)

1. Tom Novakov 16.00 AUS (Red)
2. Kurt Geisler 7.00 NZ (Blue)
3. Evan Odom 4.75 USA (White)
4. Catherine Karney 4.00 AUS (Yellow)

Pro Junior.
1. Hamish Christophers 13.50 NZ (Red)
2. Matt Novakov 7.70 AUS (Yellow)
3. Sam Coyne 5.25 USA (White)
4. Kelvin Weir 4.45 NZ (Blue)

1. Chayne Simpson 15.00 AUS (Yellow)
2. Albert Munoz 11.50 AUS (Blue)
3. James Anderson 8.10 UK (Red)
4. Armando Colucci 6.60 VEN (White)

Grand Masters
1. Matt Novakov 12.65 AUS (Yellow)
2. Kevin Fisher AUS 9.65 (White)
3. Baden Smith 9.50 AUS (Blue)
4. Dale Ponsford 8.60 AUS (Red)

1. Craig McDonald 16.25 NZ (Yellow)
2. Damian Coase 12.35 AUS (White)
3. Rob Rennie 7.65 AUS (Red)
4. Paul Satchell 6.80 AUS (Blue)

1. Kyle Bryant 14.75 AUS (Yellow)
2. Simon Farrer 14.00 AUS (Red)
3. Chris Carey 8.95 AUS (White)
4. Matt Gallagher 5.00 AUS (Blue)

1. John Mel 9.75 USA (Red)
2. David Condon 9.70 AUS (White)

1. Robert Gove 11.25 AUS (Yellow)
2. Steve Artis 5.70 AUS (Blue)
3. Gunther Frensch 4.15 AUS (Red)
4. Rudy Lausz 2.45 AUS (White)

1. David Parkes 18.65 AUS (Yellow)
2. Pater MacClure 10.85 AUS (Red)
3. Red Ceglowski 8.00 AUS (Blue)
4. Mark Abel 3.40 AUS (White)

Press release compiled by Cahill Bell-Warren

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).