Clement and Dhelia (FRA) Claim Their Second ISA Tandem Surfing World Title In a Row

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Clement and Dhelia won the ISA Tandem Surfing World Title for the second time in a row. Photo: ITSA

Pablo Zanocchi
Media Manager
International Surfing Association

ISA Tandem Surfing World Championship
Trestles, San Diego, California
January 7 – 9, 2011

The New Year has already heralded in several notable firsts in the history of tandem surfing. It was the first time the ISA Tandem Surfing World Championship took place on the mainland USA. It was also the first time, since the inception of the International Tandem Surfing Association (ITSA), that the same team has won the World Championship title in two consecutive years, a fact that Clement Cetran and Dhelia Birou, 2010 and 2011 World Champions, can now proudly boast. And, it was the first time that the youngest competitor (Hana McEvilly, 10) and the oldest competitor (Kathy Terada, 58) in the entire contest battled against each other in the Finals.

The contest was held over three days, and contestants battled a variety of conditions from small wind chop to glassy, chest-high waves, high-tide lulls, and low-tide rocks. Weather varied between grey clouds with brutally cold wind, to sunny blue skies that were more reminiscent of days in June than in January.

The quarterfinal heats showed no surprises as the top eight ranked competitors easily advanced to the semifinal rounds. A new competition format introduced this year (another historic first) allowed the remaining contenders to surf again in Division B semi-finals.

On Sunday, finals day, a new ground swell entered and sun was shining. Even the mid-day wind died down a bit as the hour for the Final heat approached. The top four teams very happily paddled out into almost glassy, well-formed, and consistent surf. Clement and Dhelia from Biscarosse, France drew first blood on a bomber wave and executed a flawless Arabesque/ Contortion/Americano/Flat combination that earned them a perfect 10 in the sequence component of the score.

The father and daughter team, Brian and Hana McEvilly (in her first professional tandem surfing contest) quickly answered that challenge with a never before seen Flat straight from the board. They followed that with an Arabesque to Americano and ended with another Flat, which got them another perfect 10 and very high surfing scores that put them into the lead at that point.

However, the other two teams still had much to prove. Rico Leroy and Sarah Burel, arguably the most graceful, polished, and professional team in tandem surfing today and two-time ITSA World Tandem Tour Champions (2009, 2010) have yet to claim the elusive ISA World Champion title. And the team of Kathy Terada and Kalani Vierra wanted to prove they belonged in the Final.

In the last 25 minutes of the 30-minute heat, the fans and tandem followers on the beach saw an exhibition of the greatest tandem surfing ever witnessed in an international contest of this high caliber. Rico and Sarah successfully managed to execute the second hardest lift twice, the very difficult Accro. Kathy and Kalani invented some new transitions, taking the Back Angel back to the Shoulder Sit, which has never been seen before and allowed them to build some unique combinations and high scores. Clement and Dhelia continued executing their tried-and-true front-arch-split, contortions, and American/Flat maneuvers, and earned the highest surfing marks of the entire contest. After a very strong start, the McEvilly team showed signs of fatigue (Brian had surfed many of the individual divisions that day as well) and struggled to hold their lifts for the requisite 3 seconds.

It was one of the closest final heats in ISA Tandem Surfing history, with the first and second place scores differing by less than half a point. In the end, the deciding factor was the surfing component. Clement and Dhelia, riding their new R-World custom tandem board, had the advantage and took home the title “World Champions” for the second time in a row.

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Heat progressions


Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 12,97

Mark & Debbie (USA) 10,81

Ray & Tammy (USA) 5,06

Alex & Theresa (USA 0,00

Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 14,10

Clay & Kristen (USA) 9,39

Craig & Tanya (USA) 5,61

Chris & Kat (USA) 2,74

Chuck & Tiffany (HAW) 15,80

Pauly & Kristl (USA) 11,13

Heston & Kayla (USA) 4,18

Travis & Kate (USA) 3,87

Brian & Cindy (USA) 1,33

Rico & Sarah (FRA) 15,94

Brian & Hana (USA) 12,94

Loic & Celine (FRA) 9,36

Charles & Myra (USA) 6,99


Brian & Hana (USA) 13,37

Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 13,02

Chuck & Tiffany (HAW) 10,31

Clay & Kristen (USA) 3,79

Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 12,51

Rico & Sarah (FRA) 11,31

Pauly & Kristl (USA) 10,02

Mark & Debbie (USA) 8,72

Final A

Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 16,74

Rico & Sarah (FRA) 16,26

Brian & Hana (USA) 15,43

Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 13,01

Final B

Charles & Myra (USA) 8,15

Loic & Celine (FRA) 7,71

Craig & Tanya (USA) 6,92

Ray & Tammie (USA) 5,99

ITSA WTT 2011 Ranking

1 Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 898 pts
2 Rico & Sarah (FRA) 786 pts
3 Brian & Hana (USA) 675 pts
4 Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 585 pts
5 Chuck & Tiffany (HAW) 438 pts
6 Pauly & Kristl (USA) 438 pts
7 Mark & Debbie (USA) 416 pts
8 Clay & Kristen (USA) 416 pts
9 Charles & Myra (USA) 406 pts
10 Loic & Celine (FRA) 406 pts
11 Craig & Tanya (USA) 406 pts
12 Ray & Tammy (USA) 406 pts
13 Chris & Kat (USA) 316 pts
14 Heston & Kayla (USA) 316 pts
15 Travis & Kate (USA) 316 pts
16 Brian & Cindy (USA) 316 pts
17 Alex & Theresa (USA) 317 pts

Press release complied by ITSA

About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA will hold the first Stand Up Paddle (SUP) World Championship and the first World Bodyboard Championship in 2011.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 65 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since.  The ISA’s three Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (Australia), Mike Gerard (USA) and Karín Sierralta (Peru).

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).