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World’s Best Men and Women Surfers to Gather in Santa Catalina to Compete for Gold During a 500th Anniversary Celebration

Reef ISA World Surfing Games
May 4-12
Santa Catalina, Panama

La Jolla, California, April 22, 2013- The International Surfing Association (ISA) is excited to announce the ISA will be returning for the fourth year in a row to Panama for the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games from May 4 to the 12th.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games will be held at the world-class reef break in Santa Catalina, Panama from May 4-12.

With the full support of Panama’s President, Ricardo Martinelli, and the Ministry of Tourism headed by Salo Shamah, Panama last hosted the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Playa Venao in 2012, ISA World Surfing Games in Playa Venao in 2011, and the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship in Santa Catalina in 2010.  The government is fully supporting the 2013 World Championship as well.

Twenty-five Nations are expected to send delegations, who will gather at the world-class reef break in Santa Catalina, Panama, to compete for the Fernando Aguerre World Team Champion Trophy, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President’s Trophy and individual Gold Medals.

The International Olympic Committee President’s Trophy will be awarded to the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games Team Champion.

This will be the inaugural year that the Trophy named and donated by the long-time ISA President will be awarded.  Aguerre was first elected in 1994 and has been elected 7 times since.

Additionally, in celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean, the World Team Champion will be awarded the “Copa V Centenario Del Descubrimiento Del Oceano Pacifico,” or 5th Century Cup of the Discovery of the Pacific Ocean. This commemorative trophy marks the discovery of the Pacific Ocean during the colonial era by the Conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa.

“I am very excited of our return to Panama to witness the world’s top surfers compete in the perfect reef break wave at Santa Catalina,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Thanks to the support of Panama’s Ministry of Tourism, surf brand Reef, the Province of Veraguas and town of Soná, this will be an incredible event. The challenging waves of the world famous Santa Catalina reef point break will be a great venue for this event”.

Local Surfer Alejandro “Cholito” Alfonso enjoying the perfect waves in Santa Catalina durig a great swell on Tuesday. Photo: Philippe Demarsan

The ISA World Surfing Games brings together the top surfers in the world. The defending champions from the 2011 World Surfing Games are Argentina’s Santiago Muniz, Gold Medalist in the Open Men’s, France’s Cannelle Bullard, Gold Medalist in the Open Women’s, and Team Australia, the overall World Team Champion.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games will include the Open Men’s and Open Women’s divisions. Each division will produce individual Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper Medalists. Historically, the ISA World Surfing Games included Open Longboard, but in 2013, the inaugural ISA World Longboard Championship will take place.

The world-class reef break offers a variety of waves that allow for big turns and big barrels. Photo: Philippe Demarsan.

The top seven placing National Teams will qualify for an invitation to the 2014 ISA China Cup, part of the ISA’S Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival, along with the local host team from China.

To watch the official event promo, visit the official event website, where you will soon find photos, videos and the live webcast beginning on Saturday, May 4 with the Opening Ceremony.  Competition begins on Sunday, May 5.

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).