The President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), Fernando Aguerre, was honoured yesterday, and awarded the Silver Surfer, at the 10th Annual Gala Fundraiser of the California Surf Museum, for his leading role in bringing Surfing to the Olympic Programme for Tokyo 2020.
The event, held at the oceanfront Cape Rey Resort in the city of Carlsbad, California, saw multiple generations of legends and prominent industry leaders from the surfing world come together to celebrate the sport’s rich cultural heritage to raise money for charity.
Aguerre was honoured for his contribution to the Sport of Surfing after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted at last year’s 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro to add Surfing to the Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Following the IOC approval of Olympic Surfing, the sport has enjoyed unprecedented growth, recently staging its most successful ISA World Surfing Games to date. 245 athletes from a record-breaking 47 nations took part in eight days of elite competition in Biarritz, France.
Alongside President Aguerre, legendary Pipeline Master winner Gerry Lopez was honoured for his career achievements, while Jericho Poppler was also awarded for her commitment to the development of women’s Surfing around the world. Both are also recipients of the Silver Surfer trophy.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“What an honour it is for me to be here today, representing all surfers of the world, and among such esteemed friends. We’ve come a long way since the ISA was founded in 1964, during the inaugural World Surfing Championship in Australia, and now Duke Kahanamoku’s dream has been realised!
“I want to deeply thank the California Surf Museum for honouring me. I’d like to share this award with everyone who helped me and the ISA in making this Olympic dream a reality. The Surfing community came together to support this historic common cause, and for that I will be eternally grateful. This is a wave we all rode and ride together.
“The Surf and Beach Festival to be held at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will allow the ISA to share our values, lifestyle and culture with billions around the world. What a great way to spread surfing’s Aloha in an unprecedented way.”
Jim Kempton, President of the California Surf Museum, added:
“This gala is truly something special. Not only do we have some of the best surfers in the world here, but we also have Gerry Lopez here with all of our friends and celebrities. Jericho Poppler is an icon to women everywhere. And Fernando Aguerre creates excitement wherever he is. I can’t remember an event in our museum with as much excitement and history as this one has.”
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 Governing Bodies of 104 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).