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Competition Gets Underway at INS ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica

August 7th, 2016
The South African surfing team at the INS ISA World Surfing Games at Jaco Beach in Costa Rica. (LtR) Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis), Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Tanika Hoffman (Hout Bay), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) and SSA President Johnny Bakker (Port Elizabeth),who is the team manager. Photo: Surfing South African (SSA)

The South African surfing team at the INS ISA World Surfing Games at Jaco Beach in Costa Rica. (LtR) Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis), Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Tanika Hoffman (Hout Bay), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) and SSA President Johnny Bakker (Port Elizabeth),who is the team manager. Photo: Surfing South African (SSA)

Opening Ceremonies Concluded on Saturday

The four men in the 2016 South African Surfing Team will take to the waves at Playa Jaco in Costa Rica today after the INS ISA World Surfing Games were officially opened at a stirring ceremony in Jaco in the north of Costa Rica yesterday (Saturday).

Local spectators thronged the streets as the 142 competitors and their officials from 26 nations marched to the beachfront in the ‘Parade of Nations’. South African team captain Faye Zoetmulder and Dylan Lightfoot then joined two delegates from each of the other nations in the symbolic ‘Sands of World’ ceremony where sand from each country’s beaches was deposited into the special glass receptacle.

After a rousing rendition of the Costa Rican national anthem followed by traditional local dancers, ISA Vice President Casper Steinfath officially declared 52nd ISA World Surfing Games open.

“A special thank you to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and all its welcoming people for giving us all such a warm welcome. Costa Rica truly is a surfing nation of the World and we are grateful that they will be sharing their amazing waves with us all this week,” said Steinfath, representing ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who is currently in Rio de Janeiro attending the 2016 Olympic Games following the International Olympic Committee’s decision earlier in the week to include Surfing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Aguerre addressed the assembled gathering via voice recording, saying “It would have been an honour to welcome you in Jacó, but I am currently in Rio de Janeiro attending the Olympic Games. 100 years ago, the founder of modern Surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, asked for Surfing to be included in the Olympic Games. The last 22 years the ISA has been paddling into the Olympic wave, and now finally, three days ago, we are riding the Olympic wave.”

Surfing competition gets underway at Jaco Beach at 8am (4pm South African time) on Sunday. The opening day’s schedule will feature the 24 heats in Men’s Round 1 with South Africa’s four men scheduled to compete in Heat Nos. 3, 7, 19 and 23.

South Africa, who are unseeded as no team was sent to the 2015 event, face tough opposition from the outset of the eight day event which ends with the finals next Sunday.

Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) will be the first South African to compete in the event when he takes on opponents from Australia, New Zealand and Venezuela in Heat 3. Sykes will be followed by Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) in H7, Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in H19 and Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) in H23.

In the double elimination format used at ISA events, the top two surfers in each of the three or four person heats advance to the next round of the Main Event. Those finishing third or fourth drop into the grueling Repercharge Rounds where they are given another chance to reach the final of their division, provided they do not finish outside the top two in any subsequent heat.

Gold, silver, bronze and copper medals will be awarded to the top four in the Men’s and Women’s divisions, as well as the top four national teams at the event, after the finals are concluded on Sunday 14 August. South Africa won the team title in 1978, 2001 and 2013.

The South African women, Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis), who was unanimously elected the team captain on Friday, and Tanika Hoffman (Hout Bay) will be in action when the Women’s event gets underway tomorrow.

Fun-sized, contestable waves are expected for the competition, as Surfline, the official forecaster of the 2016 INS ISA World Surfing Games, has predicted a run of fading Southwest swell for the beginning of the contest period, to be followed by a reinforcing swell for the second half of the holding period.

The full Surfline Forecast can be found on www.isaworlds.com/wsg/forecast

All the action from INS ISA World Surfing Games including news, results, video footage, images and live webcasts can be found at www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and http://isaworlds.com/wsg/2016/en/

Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). All South African surfing teams that participate in international events are chosen by the National Selectors and in terms of the SSA Constitution all national teams are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Robin de Kock
General Manager
Surfing South Africa
0824541149
surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

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Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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