In three weeks, one of the most prestigious surfing events today, the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games, will be underway at Punta Hermosa, Peru from October 19 until 27.
The best surfers from more than 30 countries will meet in the perfect waves of Señoritas and Caballeros to decide the winner of the World Team Gold medal, as well as the ISA World Champions in the Open Men, Open Women and Longboard divisions. The 10 things you should know about the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games are:
1 – The Games will be held at Punta Hermosa, 35 miles south of Lima. The waves chosen are the perfect left and right-hand pointbreaks of Señoritas and Caballeros.
2 - Ancient Peruvians used to ride waves in reed boats known as “Caballitos de Totora,” around 5000 years ago. Modern surfing in Peru started in the mid 1940s on the beaches of Lima´s region of Barranco. The sport expanded to the neighborhood of Miraflores, where surfing had its major growth during the 1960s with the creation of the Waikiki Surf Club, the foundation of the International Surfing Federation by Peruvian Eduardo Arena, and the 1965 World Championship won by Peruvian Felipe Pomar.
3 – The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games began in 1964 under the name ISF World Championships, and were run by the International Surfing Federation, the first surfing international organization in history. In 1976, the ISF gave way to the ISA. From their beginning and until today, the contestants in these championships traveled to compete as a team, to defend the colors of their countries.
In 1996, a year after the ISA was recognized by the International Olympic Committee, ISA President Fernando Aguerre proposed a name change to the World Surfing Games. He also created the Sands of the World Ceremony and Parade of the Nations to highlight the importance of the union of nations through surfing.
4 – The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games is one of the greatest surfing events in existence. It is undoubtedly the most cosmopolite, with around 200 athletes competing as members of their national surfing teams coming from over thirty countries.
5 – Since 1996, the nations that won the gold medal for their team positioning were the following:
1996 – Huntington Beach, USA: United States
1998 – Carcavelos, Portugal: Australia
2000 – Maracaípe, Brazil: Brazil
2002 – Durban, South Africa: South Africa
2004 – Salinas, Ecuador: Australia
2006 – Huntington Beach, USA: Australia
2008 – Costa de Caparica, Portugal: Australia
2009 – Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica: United States
2010 – Punta Hermosa, Peru: ?
6 - This is the second time in history that Peru will host the event. In 1965 the ISF World Championship was held at Punta Rocas, less than five miles south of this year's host town of Punta Hermosa. Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the event, the ISA decided to go back to Peru. The host country has shown in past years an enormous growth, not only in their level of surfing, but also in their institutional infrastructure. This is why, among other reasons, Peru was chosen to host this year’s Billabong ISA World Surfing Games.
7 – The World Champions of the previous edition of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games that took place in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, August 2009 are:
Open Men: Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Open Women: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Billabong team surfer.
Longboard: Antoine Delpero (FRA)
8 – The format of the event consists of three divisions, and teams will include eight athletes; four Open Men, two Open Women and two Longboarders. Additionally each team includes Managers, Coaches, other Technical Staff and Supporters.
9 – Following the efforts of the nations to win the Gold medal, the growing presence of the best athletes is once again confirmed. Surfers confirmed to participate include former ASP and ISA World Champion Chelsea Hedges (AUS) and the 1998 ISA World Champion and former ASP Word Tour runner up, Mick Campbell (AUS).