Team USA Wins Historic First Gold Medal at 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship

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

Team Brazil wins Silver, Chile Bronze and Hawaii Copper 

Colombia’s Freddy Marimon scores first perfect 10-point ride of the event en route to winning Gold in AS-5 Division 

England’s Melisa Reid makes history as first-ever women’s visually impaired World Champion

Past World Champions Bruno Hansen (DEN), Ann Yoshida (HAW), Fellipe Lima (BRA), Matthew Formston (AUS), Alana Nichols (USA), Kazune Uchida (JPN), and Antony Smyth (RSA) triumph, return to the top of the podium

Samantha Bloom (AUS), Victoria Feige (CAN), Henrique Saraiva (BRA), and Freddy Marimon (COL) earn first ISA individual Gold Medals

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The host nation Team USA made history and won their first-ever Team Gold Medal at the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship presented by the City of San Diego.

Team USA hoists their first-ever Team World Champion Trophy. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Team USA hoists their first-ever Team World Champion Trophy. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Propelled by five individual medals, Team USA was able to end the two-year streak of Team Brazil and make it to the top of the podium.

Highlighting USA’s stellar performance was Alana Nichols with the Gold Medal in the Women’s AS-3. Christiaan Bailey (AS-4), Jeff Munson (AS-3) and Sarah Bettencourt (Women AS-4)  all contributed valuable points with Silver Medal finishes.

Team Brazil earned the Silver Medal followed by Team Chile with the Bronze and Team Hawaii with the Copper.

Colombia’s 13-year-old Freddy Marimon continued his amazing run through the competition and saved his best for last, posting the highest wave score and heat total of the entire event. Marimon’s perfect 10-point ride and 18.83 heat total led him to a well-deserved Gold Medal in the AS-5 Division.

Colombia's Freddy Marimon on his way to notching the highest wave score and heat total of the entire event in the AS-5 Final. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Colombia’s Freddy Marimon on his way to notching the highest wave score and heat total of the entire event in the AS-5 Final. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

In a string of historic moments, Melisa Reid’s Gold Medal performance for Team England in the Women’s visually impaired division marked a milestone for the sport, crowning the first women’s World Champion in the division.

“This is my first international surfing competition, so it feels amazing to come out here and win this world title,” said Reid.

“I came here thinking that I would just be surfing against the guys, but knowing that there are enough visually impaired women for a separate division is incredible.

“I hope that my performance gets more visually impaired girls and guys out in the water.”

Seven past ISA World Champions repeated their feats to return to the top of the podium on Sunday including Denmark’s Bruno Hansen (AS-4), Hawaii’s Ann Yoshida (Women’s AS-4), Brazil’s Fellipe Lima (AS-3), Australia’s Matthew Formston (AS-VI), USA’s Nichols (Women’s AS-3), South Africa’s Antony Smyth (AS-1) and Japan’s Kazune Uchida (Women’s AS-1).

Denmark’s Bruno Hansen continued his domination in the AS-4 Division, earning his fourth consecutive Gold, which makes him the sole adaptive surfer in the world with four individual world titles.

“It’s unbelievable to win my fourth in a row,” said Hansen. “I knew I had it in me, but I also knew that the other competitors are hungry as well.

“I’m honored that I have arrived at a point where the younger generation looks up to me. Hopefully I can guide and be of advice to these up and coming kids.”

Denmark’s Bruno Hansen just as excited with his fourth gold as he was with his first. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Denmark’s Bruno Hansen just as excited with his fourth gold as he was with his first. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Showcasing the growth of the sport, five new champions were crowned. England’s Reid (Women’s AS-VI), Australia’s Samantha Bloom (Women’s AS-5), Canada’s Victoria Feige (Women’s AS-4), Brazil’s Henrique Saraiva (AS-2), and Colombia’s Marimon (AS-5) rose to the top of adaptive surfing for the first time in the four years of the event.

“I am shocked,” said Canada’s Feige. “I am so ecstatic and surprised.

“I learned how to surf before I was injured in a snowboarding accident. I went back in the water after my injury, but I didn’t know what was possible. It wasn’t until I first came to the ISA in 2016 and I saw the world’s best in the water. It totally changed my perspective on what is possible as an adaptive surfer. I went back home and improved as a surfer, knowing that anything is possible.”

Canada’s Victoria Feige is overcome with joy as she earns the Women’s AS-4 Gold Medal. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Canada’s Victoria Feige is overcome with joy as she earns the Women’s AS-4 Gold Medal. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Sunday morning kicked off with a renewed swell at La Jolla Shores. The increase in waves and glassy conditions provided the perfect platform for the world’s best to display their elite talent on the Finals.

Twelve individual world champions were crowned, earning points for their nations in the team ranking.

Notably, in the one of the tightest finals of the day, USA’s Alana Nichols caught a wave as the time expired against Hawaii’s Meira Duarte Va’a. Sitting in Silver Medal position, Nichols’ scored a 4.9 to move into the Gold Medal position, defending her 2017 Title.

Stance President John Wilson has been joining the volunteers in the water throughout the week., pictured here with Spain's visually impaired copetitor Aitor Francesena. Photo: ISA / Dean Evans

Stance President John Wilson has been joining the volunteers in the water throughout the week., pictured here with Spain’s visually impaired copetitor Aitor Francesena. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Stance Co-Founder and President John Wilson said:

“It’s been another incredible event. We had great waves, great weather, and unbelievable surfing.

“We want to say thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch around the world, all the athletes, and all the team supporters. Also, a special thanks to all the volunteers that make this event so incredible.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre, said:

“What a week of competition. We watched the sport of adaptive surfing progress before our eyes. We had new World Champions make a name of themselves on the global stage, and we also had proven World Champions continue to stake their claims as the best in the world.

“Most importantly, we had a record number of competitors and women participating in the event, spreading the sport to new surfers around the globe. Adaptive surfing has a healing power that has proven to have a positive impact in the lives of those with physical challenges, so we hope to keep growing the sport to make the world a better place, one surfer at a time.

“The high-performance action that we witnessed this week leaves me with no doubt that adaptive surfing would be a valuable addition to the Paralympic Games. We will continue to honor the dedication that these surfers have shown us in the water and push to get the sport to the greatest sporting stage.”

You can replay the webcasts from the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship here.

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Team Ranking
Gold – USA
Silver – Brazil
Bronze – Chile
Copper – Hawaii
5 – France
6 – Australia
7 – England
8 – Japan
9 – South Africa
10 – Canada

To view full team rankings, click here.

Individual Results:

AS-3
Gold – Fellipe Lima (BRA)
Silver – Jeff Munson (USA)
Bronze – Meira Duarte Va’a (HAW)
Copper – David Munk (AUS)

AS-4
Gold – Bruno Hansen (DEN)
Silver – Christiaan Bailey (USA)
Bronze – Massimiliano Mattei (ITA)
Copper – Miguel Rojas (CHI)

Women AS-4
Gold – Ann Yoshida (HAW)
Silver – Sarah Bettencourt (USA)
Bronze – Suzanne Edwards (HAW)
Copper – Morgane Elvira (FRA)

Women AS-5
Gold – Samantha Bloom (AUS)
Silver – Katell Michler (FRA)
Bronze – Valentina Ponce (CHI)
Copper – Monique Aparecida (BRA)

Women AS-VI
Gold – Melisa Reid (ENG)
Silver – Ling Pai (CAN)
Bronze – Marta Jordão Paço (POR)
Copper – Carmen Garcia (ESP)

AS-VI
Gold – Matthew Formston (AUS)
Silver – Gwendal du Fretay (FRA)
Bronze – Elias Figue Diel (BRA)
Copper – Aitor Francesena (ESP)

Women AS-3
Gold – Alana Nichols (USA)
Silver – Meira Duarte Va’a (HAW)

Women AS-2
Gold – Victoria Feige (CAN)
Silver – Noemi Alvarez (CHI)
Bronze – Dani Burt (USA)

AS-2
Gold – Henrique Saraiva (BRA)
Silver – Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (AUS)
Bronze – Llwelyn Williams (WAL)
Copper – Masafumi Kobayashi (JPN)

Open AS-5
Gold – Freddy Marimon (COL)
Silver – Davi Teixeira (BRA)
Bronze – Samantha Bloom (AUS)
Copper – Nuno Vitorino (POR)

Women AS-1
Gold – Kazune Uchida (JPN)
Silver – Grace Anderson (RSA)
Bronze – Charlotte Banfield (ENG)
Copper – Darian Haynes (HAW)

AS-1
Gold – Antony Smyth (RSA)
Silver – Jonathan Borba (BRA)
Bronze – Adi Klang (ISR)
Copper – Robson Gasperi (BRA)

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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