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SUP and Paddleboard Women Earn First Gold Medals, Claim Valuable Points for 2015 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship Presented by Hotel Kupuri

Distance_Race_SUP_Womens_ISA_ReedBThe Women’s SUP and Paddleboard Distance Races kicked off the first day of racing competition at the 2015 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship Presented by Hotel Kupuri in Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Photo: ISA/Reed

Following four laps around the 20KM course along the coastline of Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, the first medals and points were awarded at the 2015 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship Presented by Hotel Kupuri.

Team U.S.A.’s Candice Appleby captured her first International Surfing Association (ISA) Gold Medal. Appleby also earned valuable points for the overall team ranking with the win in the Women’s StandUp Paddle (SUP) Long Distance Race. Appleby’s time was 1:52:54 to finish.

USA_Candice_Appleby_Can_Lina_Augaitis_ISA_Bielmann381USA’s Candice Appleby (left) finished with the Gold Medal ahead of Canada’s Lina Augaitis (right), who earned the Silver Medal. Photo: ISA/Bielmann

“I always try to do my best and win, but it feels really good to be doing it for more than just myself. I got my team, my country, God, my family,” said the elated Appleby. “It feels very good to have my team screaming on the beach rooting for me.”

USA_Candice_Appleby_ISA_ReedBTeam U.S.A.’s Candice Appleby captured her first ISA Gold Medal. Appleby also earned valuable points for the overall team ranking with the win in the Women’s StandUp Paddle (SUP) Long Distance Race. Photo: ISA/Reed

On the Paddleboard side, Australian Jordan Mercer earned her fourth consecutive Gold Medal but not without a dramatic finish.

Coming into the final two buoys of the course, Mercer was head-to-head with Anna Notten from Team South Africa. However, Notten, caught up in the moment, paddled straight toward beach forgetting to complete the final two buoy turns giving Mercer the 4-peat. Mercer’s final time was 2:07:37, and Notten finished at 2:08:29.

AUS_Jordan_Mercer_ISA_ReedAJordan Mercer, the most decorated athlete in ISA history, added another medal to her collection with the Gold in the Women’s Distance Paddleboard Race. Photo: ISA/Reed

“I know now having crossed the line first and getting that fourth Gold at the ISA marathon race, the pain is all worth it,” said Mercer, the most decorated ISA athlete ever. “You are getting pushed to your absolute limits. Each year the girls are getting stronger and the countries are so passionate about being here, leading their nations. I am honored to be a part of it.”

Mercer resumed, “Out there racing, every stroke counts. Anything can happen while you are out there… I want to give huge thanks to Team Australia for having my back and helping me prepare and get ready for this race.”

The anticipated rivalry between Team Australia and Team U.S.A. has begun. Carter Graves (U.S.A.) and Terrene Black (AUS) each finished third in their respective race. The day ended with Teams Australia and U.S.A. tied in points at 14,030.

Furthermore, the story of Hawaii as powerful contenders in the ISA World Championship was initiated. Leane Darling finished with a time of 2:10:00, earning her the first Hawaiian ISA medal in this competition for her team, a Copper.

“Amazing! Today we saw the best SUP and Paddleboard women in the world take to the water,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “The result, the greatest level of competition this community has ever seen.”

“Today was not only about the competition in the water,” Aguerre continued. “The energy on the beach was that of a true World Championship. Each National Team waved their flags and cheered in support of their fellow athletes and their competitors. This sport is about more than just the contest, it is about the friendship and camaraderie.

This sentiment was seen as the final competitor, Argentina’s Florencia Baraboglia, reached the beach, more than 30 minutes later than the competitor before her, to a man-made tunnel composed of international hands, flags and cheers of praise. This completely exemplified what the ISA is truly about: unifying Nations through the sport of Surfing, SUP, and Paddleboard Racing.

Womens_Distance_Paddle_SUP_ARG_Florencia_Baraboglia_ISA_ReedBIn true ISA spirit, a man-made tunnel composed of international hands, flags and cheers of praise, welcomed Argentina’s Florencia Baraboglia, who was the last competitor to cross the finish line. Photo: ISA/Reed

Tomorrow the competition continues with the Men’s SUP and Paddleboard Long Distance Races. Returning to defend the Gold Medal is France’s Titouan Puyo in SUP facing the likes U.S.A.’s highly touted Danny Ching, Hawaii’s Conner Baxter, Tahiti’s Georges Cronsteadt and Australia’s Beau O’Brian.

In Paddleboard, look for Australia’s defending Gold Medalist Rhys Burrows fending off the likes of U.S.A.’s Jack Bark as well as the 2014 Silver Medalist Sam Shergold from New Zealand.

Tune in to the live webcast for the third day of the 2015 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship Presented by Hotel Kupuri with the Morning Show hosted by Beau Hodge, featuring the lively brothers from Team Barbados Brian and Kevin Talma:

Wednesday, 8:40am Mexico City, Mexico
Wednesday, 6:40am Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Wednesday, 3:40pm Paris, France
Wednesday, 11:40pm Sydney, Australia

Watch the live webcast here –

_RSA_Notten_AUS_Mercer_USA_Graves_ISA_Bielmann368The Women’s Distance Paddleboard Race was close until the end, as shown by this close pack comprised of Australia’s Jordan Mercer (left), South Africa’s Anna Notten (center) and USA’s Carter Graves (right). Photo: ISA/Bielmann

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).