Australia Triumphs At The ISA World Games

Australia emerged triumphant at the 2004 ISA World Surfing Games in Salinas, Ecuador, today when the clinched the prestigious IOC President’s Trophy and the ISA World Champion Nation title for a record seventh time overall and for the first time since 1998 in Portugal.

The Aussie team also claimed ISA Trophee tag team event and two of the five individual discipline titles when Kira Llewellyn and Andrew Lester won the women and men’s bodyboard crowns respectively.

The other three titles were shared between Tahiti, whose Hira Teriinatoofa earned the premier men’s surfing gold with an exciting blend of high risk manoeuvring, Peru, whose Sofia Mulanovich went through the event unbeaten, and Brazil whose Marcelo Freitas wrapped up a third successive longboard title.

The Australian team, which had representatives in all six finals staged today, accumulated 16 554 points from their 10 person squad, 2 272 points ahead of second placed Brazil, with defending champions South Africa another 1025 points back in third position and only 97 points ahead of fourth placed Peru whose result was their best ever.

The crowds that flocked to Playa de le FAE, in an Ecuadorian air force base, for the final day of the nine day ‘Olympics’ of surfing were treated to world class performances in the excellent if sometimes inconsistent overhead waves that poured through all day. Highlights included the high scoring men’s bodyboard final where three of the top four all notched up more than 17 out of a possible 20, and the tension filled ending to the men’s surfing final.

The men’s final started slowly with only Mark Richardson (Aus) securing a counting ride in the first eight minutes, but came alive midway through when Teriinatoofa caught an overhead wave outside the point and created an outstanding ride that used his entire repertoire of radical manoeuvres to earn 9.33 points from a possible 10, leaving just 2.70 points off Richardson’s lead.

A great exchange of rides with six minutes to go had Teco Padaratz (Brazil) and Richardson both awarded 7.83 for long rides while Sean Holmes (South Africa) received his best score of 6.27 and the Tahitian only 1.33 and now 5.83 off Richardson’s lead.

All except Richardson caught rides in the final minute with Holmes’ 5.10 leaving him in fourth place, while Padaratz completed an exceptional combination of manoeuvres to receive 9.43 and the lead, with just Teriinatoofa’s score to come. After deliberating for some time the judges awarded his last ride 8.0 points, giving the title to the ecstatic Tahitian.

By comparison the women’s surfing final was more clear cut as Mulanovich, the world #7, earned the highest score of the final on her first ride and her lead was never seriously threatened after she received 7.33 for her third ride. The only drama came in the last exchange that ended after the siren had sounded when Julia Christian’s (USA) last ride of 5.60 secured her the silver medal ahead of Andrea Lopez (Brazil) with Sheridan Shields (Aus) not finding any waves offering scoring potential to place fourth.

The longboarding also produced drama in the closing minutes when Jason Ribbink (SAfr), with the single highest scoring ride of the final, snapped his leash attempting a re-entry on an overhead wave and had to swim to the beach to pick up a replacement. This lost him valuable time and with just one minute remaining and needing just 6.16 points, he had only reached the mid break where he turned around and caught his final ride.

Despite completing a number of radical backhand manoeuvres and a long nose ride and ending with a jubilant raising of his arms to roars from the crowd, the judges stuck to their criteria of only rewarding rides from the outside with big scores and scored him 5.57. This left him second to Brazil’s Marcelo Freitas whose two early rides had netted 7.83 and 6.50 and an iredible third successive title. Josh Constable from Australia clinched the bronze while Antoine Delpero (France) took the copper medal.

The men’s bodyboard final started with a flurry of rides that scored between 6.83 and 8.33 points and set the pattern for the 25-minute heat. Alvaro Padron, fellow Spaniard Yeray Martinez and Andrew Lester (Aus) all led at one stage or another after recording nine plus point rides.

Only defending champion Nicolas Capdeville (France) seemed unable to connect with the long running outside waves and it was eventually Lester’s last ride of 8.83 points that secured him the gold medal, with Martinez taking home the silver and Padron the bronze.

Kira Llewellyn from Australia clinched the gold medal in the women’s bodyboard with a great opening ride that netted her 8.66 points, the highest score of the final, and a 7.33 at the end of the heat. Defending champ Neymara Carvalho took second with two good rides while Marina Taylor Spain placed third ahead of Claire McGowan (UK) who incurred a paddling interference that halved the score of her second ride.

The ISA Trophee tag team event was dominated from the outset by Australia with David Reardon-Smith, their power surfer, entering the water first and racking up three excellent scores. Sasha Stocker followed that up with a 9.17 and the writing was on the wall for the other teams.

South Africa held second place until successive two point rides saw them slip behind Spain, who held on to the silver medal with a strong showing from their women’s surfer. Defending champions New Zealand trailed in fourth needing a combination of waves totalling 11.34 points to win.

The team positions were event high best results for Tahiti in fifth place and Spain who overtook France for sixth place thanks to the results from their men’s bodyboarders. Venezuela went fro 12th in 2002 to 8th this year and Costa Rica from 30th and last two years ago to 9th, just 18 points behind the South Americans.

Ecuador, the host nation, finished a creditable 11th out of the 26 attending nations, just behind the UK, and can be justifiably proud of organising one of the best World Surfing Games to date despite being one of the youngest of the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) member nations.

The 20th gathering of surfing nations enjoyed consistent surf, at times reaching three metres, and received massive support from both public and private institutions in the country, including the influential head of the national Olympic committee, as well as huge media coverage for the sport nationally.

The next event on the ISA schedule is the World Kneeboard Championships in Tahiti in July followed by the second World Junior Surfing Championships, also in Tahiti, in December. The 2005 Junior event is scheduled for the USA with the same country hosting the 2006 WSG.

2004 ISA World Surfing Games

Salinas, Ecuador

Results

Men’s Surfing
1. Hira Teriinatoofa (Tahiti)
2. Flavio ‘Teco’ Padaratz (Brazil)
3. Mark Richardson (Australia)
3. Sean Holmes (South Africa)

Women’s Surfing
1. Sofia Mulanovich (Peru)
2. Julia Christian (USA)
3. Andrea Lopes (Brazil)
4. Sheridan Shields (Australia)

Longboard Surfing
1. Marcelo Freitas (Brazil)
2. Jason Ribbink (South Africa)
3. Joshua Constable (Australia)
4. Antoine Delpero (France)

Men’s Bodyboarding
1. Andrew Lester (Australia)
2. Yeray Martinez (Spain)
3. Alvaro Padron (Spain)
4. Nicolas Capdeville (France)

Women’s Bodyboarding
1. Kira Llewellyn (Australia)
2. Neymara Carvalho (Brazil)
3. Marina Taylor (Spain)
4. Claire McGowan (UK)

ISA Trophee
1. Australia
2. Spain
3. South Africa
4. New Zealand

ISA World Champion Nation
1. Australia 16 554
2. Brazil 14 282
3. South Africa 13 257
4. Peru 13 160
5. Tahiti 11 931
6. Spain 11 080
7. France 11 060
8. Venezuela 9 760
9. Costa Rica 9 742
10. United Kingdom 9 215
11. Ecuador 9 013
12. Argentina 8 695
13. New Zealand 8 433
14. Mexico 7 748
15. Barbados 6 840
16. Japan 6 630
17. Switzerland 6 185
18. Ireland 5 819
19. USA 5 345
20. Italy 5 066
21. Jamaica 3 840
22. Panama 2 843
23. Sweden 2 598
24. Guatemala 2 256
25. Chile 1 560
26. Canada 855

ISA World Champion Nation
1. Australia 16 554
2. Brazil 14 282
3. South Africa 13 257
4. Peru 13 160
5. Tahiti 11 931
6. Spain 11 080
7. France 11 060
8. Venezuela 9 760
9. Costa Rica 9 742
10. United Kingdom 9 215
11. Ecuador 9 013
12. Argentina 8 695
13. New Zealand 8 433
14. Mexico 7 748
15. Barbados 6 840
16. Japan 6 630
17. Switzerland 6 185
18. Ireland 5 819
19. USA 5 345
20. Italy 5 066
21. Jamaica 3 840
22. Panama 2 843
23. Sweden 2 598
24. Guatemala 2 256
25. Chile 1 560
26. Canada 855