More than 300 of World’s Best 18 and Under Surfers Set Sights on 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

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

343 surfers from record-matching 44 nations to vie for Gold Medals in Huntington Beach, USA 

Two provisional Olympic qualifiers among the elite field of talent

The world’s best 18 and under surfers are headed to Huntington Beach, USA to stake their claims as World Champions at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Oct 26 – Nov 3.

The event, which is presented by Visit Huntington Beach, will feature 343 surfers representing 44 nations, matching the record number of teams that participated at the 2018 edition that also took place in Huntington Beach. 

Team Japan’s 2018 U-18 Gold Medalist Keanu Kamiyama will return to defend his medal in 2019. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Team Japan’s 2018 U-18 Gold Medalist Keanu Kamiyama will return to defend his medal in 2019. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

To see full team rosters, click here.

Among the field of junior surfers will be two young women athletes that have already earned provisional qualification for Surfing’s debut in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Shino Matsuda, who secured a continental qualification slot at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, will represent Team Japan, and Daniella Rosas, who secured a continental slot through the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, will represent Team Peru. 

Fresh off a Pan Am Gold Medal and provisional qualification for Tokyo 2020, Daniella Rosas will look to earn her first ISA Junior Gold Medal for Team Peru. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

Fresh off a Pan Am Gold Medal and provisional qualification for Tokyo 2020, Daniella Rosas will look to earn her first ISA Junior Gold Medal for Team Peru. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

Team Japan and Team USA, the respective Team World Champion and runner-up countries in 2018, both have assembled strong teams with Gold Medal experience. 

Team Japan will return seven of twelve athletes from their 2018 roster, including two past individual Gold Medalists Keanu Kamiyama (2018) and Joh Azuchi (2017). In their attempt to reclaim the Gold, the 2017 Team World Champion USA will also return seven athletes with two individual Gold Medalists of their own, Alyssa Spencer (2017) and Caitlin Simmers (2018).

Team Germany will also feature a past Gold Medalist, as Rachel Presti aims to repeat in the Girls U-18 Division. 

The VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is the premiere World Championship for crowning 18 and under Surfing Gold Medalists.

Each nation can field a team of up to 12 competitors, consisting of three U-18 Boys, three U-18 Girls, three U-16 Boys, and three U-16 Girls. Surfers compete individually, earing points according to how far they arrive in the competition that sum to their team total, which determines the Team Medalists.

In 2018 the ISA continued its dedication to promoting gender equality and adopted a format that featured equal slots for boys and girls. The increased slots for girls lead to a record female participation in the event. In 2019, 42% of the competitors are girls, a strong stride towards the ultimate goal of equal 50/50 participation between genders. 

USA’s 13-year-old phenom, Caitlin Simmers, will look to earn another Gold Medal in the Girls U-16 Division. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

USA’s 13-year-old phenom, Caitlin Simmers, will look to earn another Gold Medal in the Girls U-16 Division. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: 

“We are excited to once again bring the world’s best junior surfers back to the iconic surf destination of Huntington Beach. We gather over 300 surfers to represent their nations, contest Gold Medals, and celebrate the joy of surfing as a global community.

 “The Huntington Beach Pier has played host to numerous milestone moments in the history of Surfing, and crowning World Champions this year will add to this rich legacy. 

“Most of the world’s best surfers have risen through the ranks of this global ISA event, with many earning Gold Medals. Stars such as Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and Australia’s Steph Gilmore first proved themselves as ISA Junior World Champions before heading off to conquer the sport as adults. Keep an eye out for many future stars shining out on the waves during the week of competition.”

The 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will be broadcast live October 26 – November 3 on isasurf.org. 

The schedule is as follows*:

October 26 – Opening Ceremony 10:00am – 12:00pm; Parade of Nations down Main St. and Sands of the World Ceremony at Pier Plaza
October 26 – Potential start to competition, 3pm on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier
October 27 – November 3 – Competition on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier, 7:30am – 5pm
November 3 – Closing Ceremony at Pier Plaza following the close of competition

*Subject to changes. Pacific Standard Time.

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, 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 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).

For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org

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