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National Teams Unite in San Diego’s Iconic Balboa Park, Celebrate the ISA Spirit with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the
World Ceremony

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Flags_Everyone_Opening_Ceremony_ISA_EvansAll 18 countries gather on stage to celebrate the official opening of the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA/Evans 

The 2015 ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship Presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation, Hurley, Stance and the City of San Diego was officially inaugurated with the Opening Ceremony in San Diego’s iconic Balboa Park, marking the largest international Adaptive Surfing competition of its kind to date.

In attendance were 18 National Teams that travelled from around the globe to celebrate this inaugural competition. Influential members of the San Diego community and Surf Industry, such as Mayor Kevin Faulconer and surf legend Rob Machado were also present.

Dignitaries_Opening_Ceremony_ISA_Evans From right to left: Director of Park and Recreation of the City of San Diego, Herman Parker, Council President, Sherri Lightner, ISA President Fernando Aguerre, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Interim CEO of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Bill Geppert and surf legend Rob Machado. Photo: ISA/Evans

The celebration began with the Parade of Nations. Each country carried their national flags while parading through the picturesque walkways of Balboa Park, led by ISA President Fernando Aguerre, ISA Officials and Judges. The Parade ended at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion where the ceremony continued.

Parade_Opening_Ceremony_ISA_EvansThe National Teams parade towards Spreckels Organ Pavilion for the Opening Ceremony. Photo: ISA/Evans

Mayor Kevin Faulconer welcomed the international athletes to the City of San Diego.

“Surf culture is San Diego culture, which makes our city the perfect spot to host the very first ISA Word Adaptive Surfing Championship. Surfers and San Diegans may seem laid-back, but beneath the surface, have the passion and drive to do some incredible things. This competition is about celebrating those who have overcome physical challenges to perform amazing feats in the water. The athletes in the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship are proof that physical challenges don’t mean physical limitations.”

ISA_Opening_Ceremonies_Fernando_Mayor_ISA_ReynoldsISA President Fernando Aguerre presented Mayor Kevin Faulconer with an ISA 50th Anniversary honorary World Champion Gold Medal. Photo: ISA/Reynolds


ISA President Fernando Aguerre spoke regarding the inauguration of the historical ISA World Championship.


“This is history in the making. 69 athletes from 18 countries have united for the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship.


“I would like to wish the best of luck to all of the competitors and National Delegations. Most importantly this is a great opportunity to teach and learn from one another about life as an adaptive surfer for everyone to take back to their countries.


Following the dignitaries’ speeches, every nation participated in the Sands of the World Ceremony. Two members from each team took to the main stage pouring sand from their local beach into the glass container while waving their national flag. The Ceremony symbolizes the peaceful gathering nations of the world through surfing.


Also in attendance were Council President, Sherri Lightner, and Director of Park and Recreation of the City of San Diego, Herman Parker, who greeted the athletes and expressed their enthusiasm for hosting this inaugural ISA World Championship at La Jolla Shores in San Diego.

Kids_Wheel_Chair_Dance_ISA_EvansThe Wheel Chair Dancers Organization performs for the crowd. Photo: ISA/Evans


Adding to the festivities was a crowd-pleasing wheelchair dance by the Wheelchair Dancers Organization and music performances by renowned organist Dr. Carol Williams.

Proclamation_ISA_EvansAs stated in the proclamation presented to ISA President Fernando Aguerre, Mayor Kevin Faulconer proclaimed September 24th as the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship Day in San Diego. Photo: ISA/Sean Evans


Competition begins on Friday with the live webcast starting at 7:45am PST.


Friday, 7:45am San Diego, USA

Friday, 11:45am Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Friday, 2:45pm Paris, France

Saturday, 12:45am Sydney Australia


The event schedule is as follows:


Friday, Sept. 25 – 8am-5pm: Live webcast of competition to begin at La Jolla Shores


Saturday, Sept. 26 – 10am-3pm: Adaptive Surfing Symposium featuring keynote speakers about the future development of Adaptive Surfing at Deni + Jeff Jacobs Challenged Athletes Center.


Sunday, Sept. 27 – 8am-5pm: Live webcast of competition Finals at La Jolla Shores to culminate with the event’s Medal and Closing Ceremony


Follow all the action live on


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).