The world’s best junior surfers are set to gather in Japan to represent their nations and go for Gold at the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Hyuga from September 23 – October 1.
Here are the ten things you need to know about the upcoming competition:
- 1. The Olympics
With Olympic Surfing set to make its debut in Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Games, the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will serve as a precursor to the high-performance Surfing that will be experienced in 2020. The event, which has proven to be an indicator who will become the future stars of the sport, will provide a preview of the potential future Olympians who could represent their countries at the Games in three years’ time.
- 2. The Records
Riding the Olympic wave of momentum that has allowed Surfing to penetrate new non-traditional markets around the world, the 2016 edition of the event made history as the largest to date with 347 surfers from 39 countries. The 2017 edition is expected to exceed these numbers, featuring more than 40 nations and leading to another record-breaking edition of the event.
- 3. The Rise of Team Japan
Team Japan made history in the 2016 edition of the event, earning the overall Team Copper Medal, their first-ever ISA junior team medal. The Japanese will return four surfers from their 2016 squad with the aim to win another team medal for the local crowd in Japan.
- 4. Watch the Event Live
The ISA World Championship will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com from September 23 – October 1. Visit the official event website for results, photos, videos and news pertaining to the competition.
Fans will also be able to watch the live webcast on the ISA’s Facebook page, International Surfing Association.
- 5. VISSLA – The Title Sponsor
This year’s competition marks the fourth consecutive year that VISSLA has supported the World Championship as the title sponsor, bringing their youthful, unique energy to the world’s largest junior surfing competition.
Vissla is a brand that represents creative freedom, a forward-thinking philosophy, and a generation of creators and innovators. They embrace the modern do-it-yourself attitude within surf culture, performance surfing, and craftsmanship. This is a surf-everything and ride-anything mentality.
- 6. The World Champions
The 2017 edition will feature two teams that are fielding two past ISA Junior World Champions each. Hawaii will bring Summer Macedo (2015) and Brissa Hennessy (2016) and France will bring Leo-Paul Etienne (2014) and Thomas Debierre (2016).
The 2016 Gold Medalists are as follows:
U16 Girls – Caroline Marks (USA)
U16 Boys – Thomas Debierre (FRA)
U18 Girls – Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
U18 Boys – Weslley Dantas (BRA)
ISA Aloha Cup – Hawaii
Team World Championship – France
- 7. The History
The 2017 VISSLA ISA World Surfing Junior Championship will be the first time the ISA has held an event in Japan in over 27 years. The last time an ISA World Championship took place in the ‘land of the rising sun’ was when the 1990 ISA World Surfing Games graced the shores of Miyazaki and Niijima featuring future stars of the sport such as Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and Taylor Knox.
Historically, the ISA has served as a glimpse into the future stars of the sport. Past ISA World Junior Champions include the 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA, 2010), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW, 2014, 2013), Filipe Toledo (BRA, 2011), Tyler Wright (AUS, 2010, 2009), Alejo Muniz (BRA, 2008), Laura Enever (AUS, 2008), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS, 2007), Julian Wilson (AUS, 2006), Owen Wright (AUS, 2006), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS, 2005, 2004), Matt Wilkinson (AUS, 2004), Jordy Smith (RSA, 2003) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA, 2015).
- 8. Social Media
The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and don’t forget use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #VISSLAISAworldjuniors.
- 9. The Schedule
– September 23: Opening Ceremony, Hyuga, Japan
– September 23: Start of competition following Opening Ceremony at Okuragahama Beach
– September 24 – October 1: Competition
– October 1: Closing Ceremony, Okuragahama Beach
- 10. The Mission
Recognized by the IOC as the world governing body for Surfing, the ISA’s mission is to create a better world through Surfing. This is accomplished through annual World Championships, membership development, educational programs, scholarship distribution and working towards Surfing’s inclusion in the Olympic Games.