Three Days Remain to Crown First ISA World Champions in Olympic Cycle at ISA World Surfing Games

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Competition to resume with Open Men as swell expected to increase on Friday morning

Just three days remain for the ISA World Surfing Games to crown the first ISA World Champions in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle.

Italy’s Angelo Bonomelli will take to the water in the Opening heat of Round 3 on Friday. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Competition at Grande Plage is set to resume on Friday morning with Round 2 and 3 of the Open Men Main Event, as the swell is expected to fill in and provide the world’s best National Surfing Teams with a platform to put their world class talents on display.

The ISA World Surfing Games kicked off on May 20 with the festive Opening Ceremony featuring record-breaking 47 countries united to represent their nations and compete for Gold. The effects of Surfing’s inclusion in the Olympic games has left its mark on the 2017 edition of the event. Non-traditional Surfing nations such as, Afghanistan, China, Chinese Taipei, South Korea and Greece, have experienced the wave of global growth and fielded teams for the first time.

The Women’s competition kicked off the event May 20-22, where the home nation heroes Pauline Ado and Johanne Defay respectively took the Gold and Silver Medals. Costa Rica’s Leilani McGonagle earned the Bronze Medal for the second time in three years and South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag took the Copper.

In the Men’s side of the competition, the heats are loaded with world-class talent. Coming up in Round 2 are superstar heats featuring Jeremy Flores (FRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA), and the reigning ISA World Champion, Leandro Usuna (ARG).

As part of a strategy to enhance the global reach of Surfing and more closely align with the Olympic Movement, the ISA recently signed an agreement with the Olympic Channel to live stream the ISA World Surfing Games and collaborate on content. The Olympic Channel will live stream the event on May 27 and 28 to give fans around the world a look into the Finals of the competition.

The Olympic Channel will be showing the World Premiere of their first ever surf movie ‘Shredding Monsters’ on Friday night in Biarritz. The movie tells the story of five big wave legends Jamie Mitchell, Hugo Vau, Alejandro Marciano, Andrew Cotton, and Garrett McNamara on the infamous wave of Nazare in Portugal. Mitchel, Vau and Marciano are all in Biarritz to celebrate the premiere. The premiere will take place in the Barriere Casino on Friday night and entry is free. Visitors simply need to download the Olympic Channel app to enter.

In additional to the premiere of ‘Shredding Monsters’, the French Surfing Federation put on a movie screening of ‘Biarritz Surf Gang’ and ‘Dancing in the Waves’ and a SUP Race Demo, an ISA discipline, to enhance the environment and surf culture surrounding the event.

On this lay day at the ISA World Surfing Games, coaches, athletes, and officials from the ISA’s National Federations were invited to attend an educational anti-doping seminar. The seminar was part of the ISA’s ongoing commitment to the fight against doping in sport and compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. The seminar included a discussion on topics such as in-competition testing, out of competition testing, registered testing pool, whereabouts administration, therapeutic use exemption forms, and other related topics. The goal was to educate athletes and National Federations about their new responsibilities as an Olympic sport heading to Tokyo 2020.

The schedule for Friday’s competition is as follows*:

8am – 1:00pm: 20 heats Men Main Event Round 2
1:00pm – 4:00pm: 12 heats Men Main Event Round 3

*Schedule subject to change. Local time.

The schedule for the remainder of the event is as follows:

May 26-28 – Men’s Competition, Grande Plage
May 26 – World Premiere of “Shredding Monsters”, an Olympic Channel Production, 8pm CET at the Municipal Casino Theatre, Biarritz
May 28 – Closing Ceremony, Grande Plage

Watch the event live May 20-28 on

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).