Team Synergy Sends Spain to Relay Gold

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

France earns Relay Silver, USA Bronze, and Japan Copper

Team France holds overall team points lead with seven of fifteen Gold Medals awarded; USA in Silver position and Spain in Bronze 

Stage set to award six Gold Medals in SUP Technical Races on Wednesday at Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship

Italy’s Leonard Nika and USA’s Jade Howson fastest Technical Race times in Semifinals 

Team Spain claimed their second Gold Medal of the 2019 Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in the Team Relay.

With a time of 12 minutes and 31 seconds, Spain won the relay behind strong performances from Carlos Alonso Ruiz in Men’s Paddleboard, Susak Molinero in Women’s SUP, Itziar Abascal in Women’s Paddleboard, and Rafael Sirvent in Men’s SUP.

Team Spain lets their emotion show as they take the Gold Medal in the Team Relay. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Team Spain lets their emotion show as they take the Gold Medal in the Team Relay. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

“It was tough because it’s been a long season, but coming to the last event of the year, one of the most important ones and winning Gold, makes all the sacrifice worth it,” said Abascal. 

“We are going to give it our all tomorrow in the Technical Race. We think that we can be at the top of the podiums.”

The Relay Gold for Team Spain added to their strong start thus far in the event, led by Esperanza Barreras’ World Title in the Women’s SUP Distance Race.

Team France followed Spain with the Relay Silver, USA the Bronze, and Japan the Copper.

Susak Molinero leading Team Spain to victory on the third lap of four. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Susak Molinero leading Team Spain to victory on the third lap of four. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

With seven of the fifteen podiums in the event determined, Team France has jumped out to the overall team points lead, followed by Team USA and Team Spain looking to overtake the lead on the back half of the event.

Wednesday will have strong implications in the team ranking, set to crown six World Champions in the SUP, Paddleboard, and SUP Junior Technical Races. 

The SUP Technical Race Semifinals started the morning of competition with two men’s heats and two women’s heats, where six competitors per heat advanced to the Finals to take place on Wednesday. 

USA’s Jade Howson, who earned a SUP Sprint Gold Medal on Sunday, was the strongest woman paddler with a top time of 21:04.

Spain’s Esperanza Barreras, fresh off an incredible SUP Distance Race victory, took first place in the other women’s heat. 

USA’s four-time ISA Gold Medalist Candice Appleby will look to bounce back from a disappointing result in the Distance Race, having qualified for the Women’s SUP Technical Final. 

Other women’s podium finishers in the event thus far that advanced to the SUP Technical Final include Italy’s Caterina Stenta, Japan’s Rika Okuaki, and France’s Amandine Chazot.

Italy’s Leonard Nika, brother of SUP Sprint Gold Medalist Claudio Nika, was the standout male racer of the day, completing the Technical Race with the fastest time in 18 minutes and 41 seconds.

France’s Titouan Puyo followed just two seconds behind Nika to advance to the Final as well.

Brazil’s Vinnicius Martins, who earned the Men’s SUP Distance Gold on Monday, advanced through to the Final with other world-class athletes following suit, such as USA’s Connor Baxter, France’s Martin Vitry, Peru’s Itzel Delgado, Japan’s Rai Taguchi, and Denmark’s Casper Steinfath, among others.

Steinfath made his debut in the event after withdrawing from his specialty discipline, the SUP Sprints, due to a fever. Steinfath, still feeling under the weather, put on a gutsy performance to advance to the Final.

“Finally getting on the water was a big relief for me,” said Steinfath. “I am looking forward to going all out tomorrow – whether just to finish the race or to go for Gold.

“Regardless, I am going to have a lot of fun and watch the best in the world do what they do.”

The Men’s Technical Semifinal rounds a buoy at El Sunzal, featuring elite paddlers of the sport. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The Men’s Technical Semifinal rounds a buoy at El Sunzal, featuring elite paddlers of the sport. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The Team Relay Race featured ten nations with a SUP and Paddleboard racer of each gender to comprise teams of four. Each athlete completed a lap of the course before tagging their next teammate into the race.

The competing nations were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain and USA.

The Men’s Paddleboard racers started in dramatic fashion. Coming through the surf zone of the course, a set of waves at El Sunzal ripped through the lineup, mixing up the field of competitors.

When the foam had settled, Team Spain’s Ruiz and Team France’s Julen Marticorena emerged, while the rest of the field struggled to recover from the large waves.

On the third lap of the race Team Spain pulled ahead of France, a lead that held true until the finish line.

Carnage through the wave section of the first lap of the Team Relay. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Carnage through the wave section of the first lap of the Team Relay. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The relay is a great time to see the teams work together and put their camaraderie on display. Team Spain put on a fantastic, all-around performance more than worthy of the Gold.

“Some of the most exciting racing is yet to come, as tomorrow we will crown six World Champions in the Technical Races. It will be must-watch racing on the beautiful coastline of El Salvador.”

The 2019 Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship can be viewed live on isasurf.org Nov 24 – Dec 1.

The remaining schedule for the competition is as follows, subject to changes.

November 27

  • Technical Race Finals

November 28 – December 1

  • SUP Surfing

December 1

  • Closing Ceremony

Team Relay Results:

Gold – Spain
Silver – France
Bronze – USA
Copper – Japan

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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