Ground-breaking 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship Returns to La Jolla, California for Second Consecutive Year

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Stance Steps Up as Title Sponsor, Continues Strong Support of Event

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is delighted to announce that the 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship will return to La Jolla, California, for the second consecutive year. The confirmation of the second edition of the event highlights the ISA’s commitment to the development of Adaptive Surfing worldwide.

NOR_Ismael_Schmaout_ISA_GREAYNorway’s Ismael Guilliorit competes in the Stand Division at the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in La Jolla, California in 2015. Photo: ISA / Lockwood

From December 8-11, the world’s best adaptive surfers will flock to the stunning beach break of La Jolla Shores to represent their countries and compete for individual and team medals.

Stance, an innovative, industry-leading lifestyle brand and presenting sponsor of the inaugural competition in 2015, has stepped up as the Title Sponsor – boosting their strong support of Adaptive Surfing and the ISA.

The inaugural 2015 ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship marked a historic moment for the global growth and development of the sport as 69 surfers from 18 countries with physical challenges ranging from vision impairment to spinal cord injuries gathered for the largest international Adaptive Surfing World Championship to date. The four Gold Medallists, Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (AUS), Bruno Hansen (DEN), Fellipe Lima (BRA) and Jesse Billauer (USA), all hailed from different continents, displaying the growing international appeal of the sport across the globe.

Jesse_Billauer_Davi_Teixeira_celebration_ISA_ReynoldsThe Assist Division Gold Medalist, Jesse Billauer (USA), congratulates the Silver Medalist, Davi Teixeira (BRA), on his amazing performance at the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA / Reynolds

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship will kick off the festivities on December 8 featuring the traditional Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony at La Jolla Shores. The competition will get underway on December 9, also at La Jolla Shores, and continue until December 11 when the Gold Medallists are crowned at the Closing Ceremony.

In addition to the competition, the ISA will hold an Adaptive Surfing Symposium for the second consecutive year to initiate a conversation and share best practices about the future growth and development of the sport.

Building on the 2015 edition, the ISA has made improvements to the divisions and team size, as well as creating an Olympic-style team competition similar to those used in all other events on the ISA World Championship Series. Each National Team will have the opportunity to field eight athletes in the following divisions:

  • two athletes AS-1 (Below the knee and upper limb amputees)
  • two athletes AS-2 (Above the knee amputees)
  • one visually impaired athlete
  • one athlete Assist (Surfers who need assistance catching waves)
  • one athlete Prone (surfers who ride lying down)
  • one athlete Upright (surfers who ride a waveski and sit in an upright position on the board propelled by a paddle)

Additionally, each team will be required to field a female athlete in one of the aforementioned divisions, or their team will only be allowed to field seven athletes as opposed to eight.

WASC_Final_posterThe official artwork of the 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship, created by renowned San Diego artist, Andy Davis.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“The historic second annual 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship will continue to build on the foundation laid by the inaugural event in 2015 to promote a sustainable and successful future for Adaptive Surfing. These athletes are an inspiration to all and each one of them has a unique story of courage and perseverance that has led them to participate in this competition.

“I am honored to continue the ISA’s strong relationship with Stance, an incredible company that is leading by example in the support of Adaptive Surfing worldwide.”

President and COO of Stance, John Wilson, said:

“We were really inspired by last year’s inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship and have decided to step up our involvement to better support both ISA and the athletes involved. We are excited to see so many teams come from around the globe to compete and experience the joy of surfing in such an exciting platform. The competition was fierce last year and the athletes put on an impressive performance that we fully expect to witness again. It is an honor for us to participate in such a historic and important event and we look forward to seeing it grow in years to come.”

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, 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) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 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).