ISA World Games Kickoff Saturday In Panama

ISA World Games Kickoff Saturday In Panama

Gold Up For Grabs At World’s Largest Team Surf Event; Twenty Seven Teams Arrive In Panama For ISA World Surfing Games

Playa Venao, Panama (Friday, June 24th, 2011): More than 200 surfers from 27 countries have arrived at Playa Venao, Panama in preparation for the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games, which runs for eight days commencing June 25th.

Surfers from nations as diverse as Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Switzerland, Tahiti, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela will compete for gold medals and the Fernando Aguerre ISA World Team Trophy.

Team Peru are defending world champions, Team Australia holds the record for most wins and Team USA are primed for a repeat of their 2009 victory, however many nations are capable of glory.

Each team has arrived with heavy hitters. Australia's team includes former Open Men's Gold Medalist Mick Campbell, 2010 Longboard medalist Harley Ingleby and 2003 ISA World Junior Champion Jessi Miley-Dyer.

World Tour surfer Jeremy Flores is France's biggest name along with recently crowned ISA World Junior Surfing Champion Cannelle Bulard and 2009 ISA Longboard World Champion Antoine Delpero.

Silvana Lima, another World Tour standout, is Brazil's best hope for a gold medal.

Peru bring to Panama 2004 ISA and ASP World Champion Sofía Mulanovich and 2010 Silver Medalist Gabriel Villarán.

Always a contender, South Africa has a strong Open Men and Women team, along with two-time ISA Longboard World Champion, Matthew Moir.

Other big names expected to compete include: Santiago Muniz (ARG), Rudá Carvalho (BRA), Manuel Selman (CHI), Luis Vindas (CRC), Carlos Goncalves (ECU), Icah Wilmot (JAM), Diego Cadena (MEX), Paige Hareb (NZL), Rex Calderón (NIC), Gary Saavedra (PAN), Héctor Santamaría (PRC), Gavin Roberts (RSA), Jocelyn Polou (TAH), Marco Giorgi (URU), Tony Silvagni (USA) and Justin Mujica (VEN), and are contenders in each of their divisions.

The Official Press Conference will take place tomorrow, Friday, June 24, 4:00pm at the Hotel Casa de Campo in the town of Pedasí, where the Opening Ceremony will also be held.

All media are invited. The following panellists will be answering questions:
Ernesto Orillac, Panama Tourism Authority
Bob Mignogna, Director General, International Surfing Association
Chris Heffner, Global Event Manager, Billabong
Silvana Lima (BRA), ASP World Tour surfer
Gary Saavedra, 11-time National Champion of Panama
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 2009 ISA World Champion
Sofía Mulanovich (PER), ISA and ASP World Champion

The event kicks off with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony, webcast live on Saturday, July 25 at approximately 4:30pm (Local Time), 2:30pm (US PST), 5:30pm (US EST) and 7:30am (Australian EST) via