Athletes to Compete in Record Numbers at the 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship

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

The 2020 edition of the AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship is set to break participation records, as approximately 140 athletes from 24 National Teams are headed to La Jolla, California to represent their nations and go for Gold. 

The 140 athletes surpass the previous participation record of 120 that was set in 2018. 

Official team participation numbers and rosters will be announced upon completion of the Para Surfing classification review prior to March 11. 

2020 marks the fifth edition of the competition, which will take place at La Jolla Shores Beach March 11-15.

Melisa Reid took home the Women’s Visually Impaired Gold Medal in 2018. In 2020 she will defend her Title. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Melisa Reid took home the Women’s Visually Impaired Gold Medal in 2018. In 2020 she will defend her Title. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Many past World Championships are among the elite level of talent to attend, including the multi-Gold Medal winners Bruno Hansen (DEN), Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (AUS), Aitor Francesena (ESP), Antony Smyth (RSA), and Alana Nichols (USA).

The women divisions, which were introduced in 2017, will feature five returning Gold Medalists including Nichols, Ann Yoshida (HAW), Samantha Bloom (AUS), Melisa Reid (ENG), and Victoria Feige (CAN). As many as 42 women will compete in the World Championship, surpassing the record of 37 set in 2018 and highlighting the success of ISA’s efforts to promote gender equality in Para Surfing

Since the inaugural event in 2015, Para Surfing has experienced an explosion of growth around the globe. The increased popularity and universality of the sport have strengthened the ISA’s case in their efforts to lobby for Paralympic inclusion.

Most recently, the ISA applied for inclusion in the 2023 Santiago Para Panam Games in Chile.

Australia’s Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart is among the elite group of surfers that have two World Titles to their name. Stewart, who finished runner up in 2018, will attempt to reclaim Gold. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

Australia’s Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart is among the elite group of surfers that have two World Titles to their name. Stewart, who finished runner up in 2018, will attempt to reclaim Gold. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

After significant effort and review, 2020 will introduce an updated Para Surfing classification system to ensure high competition and a leveled playing field. Additional sport classes have been added to further differentiate between standing, kneeling, prone and visually impaired athletes. 

Each division will crown men and women World Champions, with a max of eight men and eight women fielded per team.

To learn more about Para Surfing classification, click here

The ‘Waveski’ division, which had previously awarded points towards the team points total, will be held this year as a standalone invitational event, the AmpSurf ISA International Waveski Invitational. While this event will not count towards the overall team ranking due to limited universality amongst the teams, it will display the incredible talent of the global adaptive waveski community with a goal to inspire other adaptive athletes to take up the sport. Also, as a reflection of the its continued commitment to the discipline, the ISA will still crown World Champions for the division. 

AmpSurf will join the competition as the Title Partner for the first time in the event’s history in 2020, an organization that provides Adaptive Surfing therapy programs for veterans, adults, and children.

Colombia’s Freddy Marimon energizes the crowd with a perfect 10-point ride in 2018. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

Colombia’s Freddy Marimon energizes the crowd with a perfect 10-point ride in 2018. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The ISA is proud to continue providing a world-class platform for surfers with physical challenges. These are truly elite athletes that deserve a spotlight in which they can shine.

“Under the ISA’s leadership Para Surfing has reached new corners of the globe, enriching the lives of those it touches. We hope to continue our hard work until Para Surfing reaches the world’s greatest sporting stage at the Paralympic Games.”

Schedule:

Tuesday March 10

  • AmpSurf ISA Adaptive Surf Clinic, 8am-12pm at La Jolla Shores

Wednesday March 11

  • Opening Ceremony, 9:30am-11:30am at Kellogg Park adjacent to La Jolla Shores
  • Competition, 1pm-4:30pm at La Jolla Shores

Thursday March 12 – Sunday March 15

  • Competition 7am-4:30pm at La Jolla Shores

Sunday March 15

  • Closing Ceremony following the close of competition at La Jolla Shores

The 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship can be viewed live on www.isasurf.org March 11-15.

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).
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