Best Ever Opening Ceremony of Surfing Festival Combines ISA Traditions With Chinese Culture; Grandest Opening Ceremony in the History of the ISA Welcomes the 8 Competing Nations to China
Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival Presented by Quiksilver
January 7, 2012
Wanning, Hainan Island, China
Watch The Event Live On TransWorldSURF.com
It was a night few will ever forget. What transpired on the beach in front of the 6-star Le Meridien Hotel was part rock-show, dancing spectacular, gourmet dinner and firework show - and it was entirely devoted to the growth of surfing. With the competing surfers, coaches, Chinese dignitaries, sponsors, ISA officials and special guests on hand, the Opening Ceremony for the inaugural Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival Presented by Quiksilver officially launched the eight-day Festival.
The proceedings and the promise of what was soon to come was more than the original visionary behind the event ever hoped or expected.
"Even in my dreams I couldn't have foreseen an event of this magnitude," said Fernando Aguerre, the President of the ISA. "This Festival is the work of so many different people, and I'm so excited it's all come together so well. This will be a day and week everyone in attendance remembers for the rest of their lives." To give oneself a visual: think 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony on a smaller scale, and a beautiful setting by the ocean.
The evening began with a semi-private, formal "Leader's Meeting." On hand to welcome and thank President Aguerre and the 13 surfing VIPs for bringing the sport and the spirit of aloha to China was Mr. Luo Baoming, the Chief of Hainan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.
"We've been looking forward to this event," said Mr. Luo, to the dignitaries and media in attendance. "I've wanted to make a breakthrough in our sporting culture for a long time and I'm so happy that it's finally happened with surfing and with this Festival. It's a dream come true." Minutes after the completion of the gathering, the athletes and coaches from the eight countries competing in the ISA China Cup made their way down the red carpet to a chorus of applause from the hundreds of invited guests in attendance.
"It was pretty unbelievable," said Cory Lopez, a competitor for Team USA. "I've been to a lot of surf events and I've never seen anything even close to this. It's so big that it doesn't even feel like it would be for a surf contest."
With the sheer size of the ceremony and the complexity of it all, one could almost forget that it was meant to celebrate the simple act of riding waves. "Surfing has captured the hearts of so many around the world," Aguerre said, addressing the crowd at the ceremony. "We hope it will capture the hearts of the Chinese people and continue to grow in this country for years to come."
Mr. Luo validated President Aguerre's hopes, confirming his intention to push for the Festival to be an annual event in Hainan. The evening included several choreographed dances with colorfully-dressed performers, musical pieces, speeches by Presidente Aguerre, Mr. Luo and other Chinese officials, an unscripted capoeira demonstration by members of the Brazilian National team, and a spectacular end-of-the-night firework display.
Competition in the ISA China Cup begins on January 8, the morning after the ceremony. The webcast will be broadcast live in three languages (Chinese, English and Spanish) beginning at 8am local time (6pm PST and 9pm EST).
About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the Tandem Surfing World Title, and the first stand-alone World Bodyboard Championship in 2011, and the first World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship will be held in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 70 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA´s three Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER) and Debbie Beacham (USA).
About Womei Media
Womei Media is a complete media group with headquarters in Beijing, China. Womei Media consists of a sports marketing division that is dedicated to introducing new and exciting sports to the Chinese people by organizing and promoting major sporting events throughout the country. Womei Media is an advertising agency for CCTV, China´s largest national TV network. The company also publishes and distributes print magazines, and it is developing a chain of movie theaters throughout China. Womei Media is the primary Chinese commercial agent of the ISA (International Surfing Association), UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale), and the National Basketball Association´s Houston Rockets.
Quiksilver, Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) is the world´s leading outdoor sports lifestyle company, which designs, produces and distributes a diversified mix of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, snowboards and related products.The company´s apparel and footwear brands represent a casual lifestyle for young-minded people that connect with its boardriding culture and heritage.
The reputation of Quiksilver´s brands is based on outdoor action sports. The company´s Quiksilver, Roxy, DC, Lib Tech and Hawk brands are synonymous with the heritage and culture of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding.
The company´s products are sold in over 90 countries in a wide range of distribution, including surf shops, skate shops, snow shops, its proprietary Boardriders Club shops and Quiksilver company-owned retail stores, other specialty stores and select department stores. Quiksilver´s corporate and Americas´ headquarters are in Huntington Beach, California, while its European headquarters are in St.Jean de Luz, France, and its Asia/Pacific headquarters are in Torquay, Australia.
For further information about Quiksilver, Inc., you are invited to take a look into our world at:www.quiksilverinc.com, www.quiksilverfoundation.org, www.quiksilver.com, www.roxy.com,www.dcshoecousa.com, www.hawkclothing.com.