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24 National Delegations Marched Through the Streets of Soná in Front of Thousands of Locals During the Opening Ceremony

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games officially opened Saturday, May 4, 2013. In attendance were the 24 countries with over 150 athletes and team officials, who traveled to Panama from every corner of the world. Local authorities, officials and thousands of enthusiastic Panamanians were witnesses to the start of the World Championship.

The National Delegations congregated in the town of Soná and walked through the streets that were filled with thousands of supporters. When arriving to the Opening Ceremony stage for the Sands of the World Ceremony, two representatives of each delegation walked on stage, one waving the national flag while the other poured sand from their local beach into a glass container, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations through the love of surfing.


“It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games in Panama, in this incredible place of Santa Catalina and its amazing Panamanian waves that are feeding us a lot of energy that will transform this into a historic championship,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerrre. “I want to give special thanks to President Martinelli, the Minister of Tourism Salomon Shamah, the organizers of the event Tuti de Leon and Patrick Castagnet and all of the Panamanians that since four years ago have been welcoming us with open arms and warm hearts to brighten our stay.”

“First of all, we are bringing this event to the interior of the country where our nation’s natural resources are and the spirit and culture,” said Vice Minister of Tourism Ernesto Orillac. “By bringing all of these people from all over the world, will leave as ambassadors of our country.”

“Everyone that is involved in sports knows that even with great support, a lot of work goes into putting on this kind of World Championship,” said Panama’s National Olympic Committee President Camilo Amado. “These types of occurrences have a great effect on our national athletes to help them develop and represent our country by improving year after year.”

After a beautiful showcase of local Panamanian traditional dances, the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games was officially declared open.


The Official Press Conference of the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games took place featuring local authorities, officials and team representatives in front of dozens of Panama’s media outlets. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

Following the Opening Ceremony, the Official Press Conference took place featuring ISA President Fernando Aguerre, Panama’s Vice Minister of Tourism Ernesto Orillac, Mayor of Soná Faustino Camaño, Reef Latin America Marketing Manager Alejandro Azpiazu, Panama’s National Olympic President Camilo Amado, Team Panama’s Gian Carlos “Oli” Gonzales, and Team Australia’s Coach Mike McSuliffe. Dozens of Panama’s media outlets were in attendance.

Competition starts on Sunday with The Morning Show at 7:40am (local time) followed by all 24 heats of the Open Men’s Qualifying round.

The live webcast of the entire championship is available on

Here is the schedule:
Sunday, 7:40am Santa Catalina, Panama
Sunday, 5:40am West Coast USA
Sunday, 2:40pm Western Europe/ South Africa
Sunday, 11:40pm Sydney, Australia
Monday, 12:40am Auckland, New Zealand

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).