American Surfing Championships Start Up In H.B.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA — June 2, 2004 — Surfing America, the newly-appointed National Governing Body for the sport of Surfing in the United States, presents the first stage of the Official USA Surfing Championships: The American Surfing Championships.

The American Surfing Championships will involve the top ranked athletes from the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA), the Hawaii Amateur Surfing Association (HASA), and the Texas Gulf Surfing Association (TGSA). The event is scheduled to take place June 13-17—just one week before the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Nationals. Surfers from both the American Surfing Championships and the NSSA Nationals will vie for coveted seeds into the official 2004 USA Surfing Championships and USA Team Selection. This series of events officially kicks off Surfing America’s reign as the newly-recognized National Governing Body (“NGB) for surfing in the United States. In order to qualify for the 2004 USA Surfing Championships, athletes must first become a member of a Surfing America-recognized Organization (ESA, HASA, NSSA, or TGSA)—and must compete successfully within their organization. Each one of the four organizations, in its sole discretion, determines which athletes qualify for these events and submits those names to Surfing America.

The American Surfing Championships will crown champions in the following Divisions (ages as of January 1, 2004): Menehune (11 and under), Boys (12-14), Junior Men (15-17), Men (18-24), Masters (25-34), Sr. Mens (35-44), Grandmasters (45-54), Legends (55 +), Girls (17 and under), Women (18-29), Sr. Women (30 +), Open Shortboard (all ages/both genders), Menehune Longboard (14 under), Jr Longboard (15-17), Mens Longboard (18-29), Masters Longboard (30-39), Sr. Longboard (40+), Women’s Longboard (all ages), Menehune Bodyboard (14 under), Junior Bodyboard (15-17), Mens Bodyboard (18+), Womens Bodyboard (all ages).

-more -Because Divisions at the USA Surfing Championships and USA Surf Team Selection in July will mirror those of the International Surfing Association (ISA), many competitors consider this American Surfing Championships as their top-tier “national championship event. The Official ISA Divisions are: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Longboard Open, Bodyboard Men’s Open, Bodyboard Women’s Open, Boys Under 18, Boys Under 16, and Girls Under 18. Athletes selected to the USA Surf Team will represent these divisions at ISA events. ISA, recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, Bodyboarding, and Surfriding, granted National Governing Body status to Surfing America after a vote at the ISA Bienniel General Meeting during the World Surfing Games in Ecuador two months ago.

“The whole surfing community—all around the world—is stoked to see Surfing America grabbing the bull by the horns and leading the USA to where it rightly belongs in the world of surfing, said Fernando Aguerre, ISA President. “We do hope that the whole surfing industry embraces this once in a life opportunity and supports the finally unified surfing NGB, Surfing America. This is it.

Mike Gerard, executive director of Surfing America, concurred. “This is a historic time for competitive surfing in America, he said. “With support of the surfing industry, we’ve created the clear competitive roadmap US surfers have longed for. And it starts with the American Surfing Championships. This structure will finally allow our best young athletes to compete internationally in ISA events. The stars have aligned and the window of opportunity is upon us to take a leadership role in the future of the competitive surfing.

USA Surfing Championships Series of Events ScheduleThe American Surfing Championships takes place June 13-17 in Huntington Beach, CAThe NSSA Nationals will take place June 18-26 at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, CAThe official USA Surfing Championships and USA Surf Team Selection will take place July 23-25 in Huntington Beach, CA.