Colorful Opening Ceremony Highlights Pride and Passion of Global Para Surfing Community
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A record-breaking 109 athletes from 26 nations paraded along the oceanfront here today with pride and passion, officially opening the third annual Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship presented by Vissla and the City of San Diego in La Jolla, California.
The Parade of Nations included the ISA’s signature Sands of the World Ceremony in which each team poured sand from their local beaches into a clear container, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Adaptive Surfing
The boardwalk at La Jolla Shores beach was filled with a multitude of colors and chants from the national teams participating, putting on full display their excitement for the event and the growth of the discipline.
Dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony included co-founder and President of Stance, John Wilson, San Diego City Council Member, Barbara Bry, District Manager of City of San Diego Parks and Recreation, Kristi Fenick, Director of Parks and Recreation, Herman Parker, and ISA President Fernando Aguerre.
Co-Founder and President of Stance, John Wilson, opened and addressed the visiting delegations:
“On behalf of the Stance family around the world, we want to thank you all for allowing us to be a part of this World Championship. This is our third year participating in this event and I am happy to announce that we are going to be the Title Sponsor for 2018 as well.
“Our mission at Stance is to celebrate human originality and I can’t think of a better group that embodies that value. We are truly honored to be a part of this event.
San Diego City Council Member, Barbara Bry, followed:
“It’s an honor to be here today and I am so excited that the third annual edition will be held right here in at Jolla Shores. I would like to present the ISA with a proclamation on the behalf of the City of San Diego, where I hereby declare November 29th, 2017 to be International Surfing Association Adaptive Surfing Day in the city of San Diego.”
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, concluded:
“This year is a historic edition with a record amount of countries and athletes. We have also added five new Gold Medals to be disputed as the Women will have their own Divisions this year for the first time ever
“We paddled for the Olympic wave for over 20 years and all the hard work paid off, but now we are paddling for another wave towards inclusion in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. The platform that this event has created and the athletes that are here today will play a large role in our push towards getting Para Surfing to the world’s greatest sporting stage.
“I would like to wish good luck to all the competitors. A few of you will go home with medals, but most of you will not. However, all of you will go home as ambassadors of Adaptive Surfing and will remember this historic experience for the rest of your lives.”
The Ceremony marked the opening of the World Championship competition which is set to get underway at 7am on Thursday morning at La Jolla Shores.
Wednesday’s festivities kicked off in the morning with the Stance ISA Adaptive Surfing Clinic presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Aspiring adaptive surfers of all skill levels gathered at La Jolla Shores to receive expert instruction from top adaptive surfers and instructors with the goal of promoting youth participation in the sport and introducing the healing qualities of Surfing and the ocean to surfers with physical challenges.
31 surfers partook in the clinic, half of whom were young women and girls, highlighting the ISA’s drive to work towards gender equality in the sport of Adaptive Surfing.
The World Championship will get underway on Thursday at La Jolla Shores. Waves in the 3-5 foot range are expected to provide an excellent opportunity for the athletes to display their talents.
The schedule for Thursday’s competition is as follows (Pacific Standard Time):
- 7am-7:40am – 2 heats AS-3
- 7:40am-9am – 4 heats AS-4
- 9am-10am – 3 heats AS-5
- 10am-10:40am – 2 heats AS-VI
- 10:40am-12:20pm – 5 heats AS-2
- 12:20pm-3:00pm – 8 heats AS-1
The schedule for the remainder of the competition is as follows:
- November 30 – December 3: Competition 7:00am-3:00pm at La Jolla Shores beach
Watch the event live November 29 – December 3 on www.isaworlds.com.
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 103 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).