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Third placed South Africa bag six medals at ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in El Salvador

October 24th, 2011 No comments

 

El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships

Punta Roca, La Libertad, El Salvador

October 16 to 23, 2011

 

The South African Masters surfing team placed third at the 2011 El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships and also bagged five individual medals, one in each of the age categories contested, at the premier international surfing event for surfers aged 35 and older.

Along with the bronze medal in the team standings, Heather Clark and Chris Knutsen clinched silver in the Women’s Masters and Grand Kahunas divisions respectively, Gary van Wieringen and David Malherbe secured bronze in the Men’s Masters and Kahunas and Andre Malherbe took the copper in the Grand Masters.

USA earned the team gold medal and Eduardo Arena ISA World Team Trophy in their first appearance at the event while Brazil placed second followed by SA, Puerto Rico, 2010 champions Australia and Hawaii.

The predicted increase in swell only produced occasional head-high waves and wave selection became critical in the crumbling 0.5 metre mostly knee to chest high waves at the famous Punta Roca point.

Clark (Port Shepstone) struggled to match the performance of Australia’s Layne Beachley in the conditions and the seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion went on to secure her first ISA Women’s World crown with Clark, the two-time and defending ISA champion, determinedly holding onto second place just ahead of Andrea Lopez (BRA) and Melissa Proud (HAW).

Knutsen (Durban) had no trouble in qualifying for the Grand Final in the Over 55 division earlier in the day and had a fast start in the finale. However, it was Craig Schieber from Puerto Rico, in his first year in the Grand Kahunas, who earned the gold medal with a ride of 6.33 out of 10 on the only head-high wave that came through during the 25 minute heat.

Van Wieringen went from Round 1 to the final of the Men’s Masters undefeated but his heat strategy of waiting for the best waves in the finale didn’t pay off. The Warner Beach local only rode two waves while gold medallist Mark Richardson (AUS) rode six, including an 8.17 and a 7.17 that gave him an overwhelming victory. Former Pipeline Masters champion Carlos Cabrera from Puerto Rio just pipped van Wieringen for the silver medal.

Expectations were high that David Malherbe (Coffee Bay) and younger brother Andre (East London) would better their respective Kahunas and Grand Masters bronze medals from last year.

David came through a difficult repecharge heat to make the Grand Final and went on the build an early lead. The legendary Tom Curren and fellow former World Tour stalwart Jim Hogan (both USA) managed to find longer running waves and grabbed the top two spots with ‘Herbie’ remaining in contention until the final minutes but having to settle for another bronze ahead of Brazilian David Husadel.

Andre staged a magnificent campaign, coming through five consecutive sudden death repecharge rounds to qualify for the Grand Final. But he could only post a pair of four point rides in the finale and will bring home a copper medal after finishing fourth behind four-time gold medallist Juan Ashton (PUR) and the Brazilian pair of Jojo de Olivenca and Fabio Gouveia.

A colourful closing ceremony took place at the podium stage immediately after the last final ended. The dignitaries present were El Salvador Minister of Tourism, Jose Napoleón Duarte; La Libertad Mayor, Carlos Molina; El Salvador Surfing Association President, Saburo Okuzawa; ISA Contest Director Marcos Bukao, and ISA Director General Bob Mignogna.

Final Results – Team Medallists
Gold: USA
Silver: Brazil
Bronze: South Africa
Copper: Puerto Rico

Final results – Women Masters
Gold: Layne Beachley (AUS)
Silver: Heather Clark (RSA)
Bronze: Andrea Lopes (BRA)
Copper: Alissa Cairns (USA)

Final results – Grand Kahunas
Gold: Craig Schieber (CRI)
Silver: Chris Knutsen (RSA)
Bronze: Nick Pearson (AUS)
Copper: Allen Sarlo (USA)

Final Results – Kahunas
Gold: Tom Curren (USA)
Silver: Jim Hogan (USA)
Bronze: David Malherbe (RSA)
Copper: David Husadel (BRA)

9th – Colin Buitendag (RSA)

Final results – Grand Masters
Gold: Juan Ashton (PUR)
Silver: Jojo de Olivença (BRA)
Bronze: Fabio Gouveia (BRA)
Copper: Andre Malherbe (RSA)

8th – Kevin O’Brien (RSA)

Final Results – Masters
Gold: Mark Richardson (AUS)
Silver: Carlos Cabrero (PUR)
Bronze: Gary Van Wieringen (RSA)
Copper: Ross Williams (HAW)

15th – Graeme Field (RSA)

Country Final Standings
1 United States 9396
2 Brazil 9086
3 South Africa 8886
4 Puerto Rico 8618
5 Australia 8480
6 Hawaii 7664
7 Costa Rica 6090
8 Argentina 6016
9 France 5821
10 Peru 5548
11 Venezuela 5363
12 Trinidad & Tobago 5335
13 El Salvador 5230
14 Ecuador 5030
15 Uruguay 3640
16 Mexico 2240
17 Sweden 1905
18 Germany 1680
19 Switzerland 680
20 Panama 500
21 New Zealand 450

The El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships ended on Sunday and all the results from the event along with photo and video galleries can be found at www.elsalvadorisawmsc.com

Event coverage is also available through the ISA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The SA Team’s  preparations and attendance at the 2011 ISA World Masters Championships was made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and a grant from Sport and Recreation SA.

Team kit has been provided by Quiksilver South Africa.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa

Robin de Kock

General Manager

C:         082 454 1149

E:         surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

W:        www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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