The 2011 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships Officially Open
Watch the event LIVE WEBCAST beginning 6:00am California, 08:00am Peruvian time
Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Presented by Movistar
Punta Hermosa, Peru
May 21, 2011
A record breaking total of 276 junior competitors from 27 nations and their coaches, managers and fans colored the streets of Lima's Parque de las Aguas with their national flags. The ISA Parade of Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony opened the 2011 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship as the sun set on Saturday evening.
The best junior surfers in the world paraded, showing their cultural traditions, singing and cheering. Meanwhile, the narrow aisles of the water park were overflowed with thousands of locals welcoming the athletes.
Above: Team USA gearing up for the Gold in Peru.
When the entire entourage had gathered at the stage, the traditional Sands of the World Ceremony began. As teams brought sand from their country's beaches up to the podium, they all poured them into a glass bowl. The perennial ritual symbolizes the peaceful union of nations through surfing in the Olympic spirit this event embraces.
"Welcome to Peru, land of a great culture, amazing waves and really warm people," said ISA President, Fernando Aguerre. "Quiksilver has supported our junior surfing events for nearly two decades, but this edition is very special, one to be proud of – it has the largest number of competitors in the ISA's junior championship history!"
Aguerre continued, "The waves are an incredible renewable resource. There are waves everywhere; they just happen. We don't need governments, nor people to make them, they just break, and this is why surfing is a very democratic sport. When you're out in the ocean surfing, there's no difference in races, colors, religions, ages, genders. Tonight we show the world that we are the United Nations of Surfing. They will end in eight days and we will leave Peru as ambassadors, remembering this great land with some of the best waves in the world."
Aguerre was joined on stage by ISA Vice-President and event organizer, Karín Sierralta, Quiksilver Latin America Marketing Director, Jim Compton, Mayor of Punta Hermosa, Guillermo Fernández, 1965 ISF World Champion, Felipe Pomar, Peruvian Surfing Federation Vice-President, Eduardo Cáceres and Lima's Tourism Director, Mariel Rentería.
Jim Compton's words were directed to the youth present at the event when he made reference to a story that 1989 Professional World Champion, Martin Potter, who co-emceed the event, told him, "When he (Potter) was 16 or 17 years old he had the chance to do a trip through South America, starting in Peru and ending in Uruguay. He was stoked about the whole trip but it went so fast that he didn't know what happened. Right now, there are thousands of kids that want to be in your shoes, so please, take your time to enjoy this moment and it will be part of your best memories forever."
A great display of Peruvian cultural dances followed in the ceremony with La Danza de las Tijeras (the scissors dance), Tambores Peruanos (Peruvian drums) and La Marinera.
Finally, the official opening of the event was made by ISA President to a cheering crowd, "It's my pleasure and greatest honor to declare this Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship officially open!"
The prestigious, eight-day competition gets underway Sunday and continues until May 29.
Gold medals will be decided in three divisions, Under 18 and 16 Boys, and Under 18 Girls, plus in the National Team Event.
The surf is forecast to build for the start of the event, with waves in the double overhead range. Round one of Under 18 and 16 Boys will hit the water tomorrow.
The full competition for the world's largest Junior surfing event in history will run from Sunday, May 22 to Sunday, May 29 and will be broadcasted live on www.isawjsc.com.