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Team SA finish seventh at Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Panama

July 3rd, 2011

South Africa finished in seventh place out of the 27 nations at the 2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Panama which was completed in inconsistent one metre waves at Playa Venao, five hours drive west of Panama City on the Pacific coast of Panama yesterday (Saturday).

The eight person team collected one medal, a copper for placing fourth in the Aloha Cup event. The two South Africans in contentions for medals going into the final day, Nikita Robb in the Women’s division and Matthew Moir in the Longboards, were both eliminated before reaching their respective finals.

Robb was ousted in a wave starved Repecharge Round 7 heat where she placed fourth to finish equal eighth overall in the event, contributing 1 056 points to SA’s team total.

Moir, a two-time former ISA World Longboard Champion (2006 & 2008) had cruised through the Qualifying stream but slipped to fourth place in Round 5, one step away from the Grand Final. Dropping into the Repecharge Final, where he had a second chance to qualify for the final four and a medal, Moir came agonisingly short of the top two result required to qualify for the Grand Final, placing third in the heat for overall 5th place in the event and a haul of 1 220 team points.

These results combined with Argentina’s Santiago Muniz’s surprise victory in the Men’s division saw Team SA drop one place to seventh in the final rankings for the event.

Team Australia clinched the team gold medal for the first time in three years, providing five of the 12 individual medallists who earned two silvers, two bronzes and a copper. Brazil grabbed the runners-up team silver medal with France taking bronze and Argentina the copper.

Having contributed several of the highest individual wave and heat tallies during the seven-day event, Muniz was a worthy Men’s champion. Just 1.33 points separated first from fourth with Australia’s former ISA champion Mick Campbell taking the silver, 18 year-old South African born Thomas Woods (AUS) taking bronze and Ian Gouveia (BRA) the copper.

France’s Canelle Bulard wrote her name into the ISA history books by becoming the first surfer to hold both the Junior and Open titles simultaneously when she won the Women’s division by defeating 2004 World and ISA champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and Australians Jessi Miley-Dyer and Dimity Stoyle, who finished in that order in the final.

Tony Silvagni secured Team USA’s first Longboard gold in 15 years by overcoming the challenge of Harley Ingleby (AUS), Piccolo Clemente (PER) and Antoine Delpero (FRA).

Panama’s President, Ricardo Martinelli, and Tourism Minister, Salomón Shamah, were guests of honour at the closing ceremony and medal presentation where Martinelli thanked everybody and invited the world to Panama to surf and enjoy its excellent waves.

All the results from the 2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games, along with images and video footage of the action, can be found at www.billabongisawsg.com

The preparation, training and travel costs for the South African team were made possible by a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA). Skullcandy and Power Balance added their support to the team.

Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the International Surfing Association (ISA) as the governing body for the sport in South Africa. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and is the governing body for World Surfing.

2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games
Playa Venao, Panama


Final Team Standings
Gold: Australia – 15,000 points
Silver: Brazil – 12,132 points
Bronze: France – 11,816 points
Copper: Argentina – 11,312 points

7th – South Africa – 10 008 points

Men Medalists
Gold: Santiago Muñiz (ARG)
Silver: Mick Campbell (AUS)
Bronze: Thomas Woods (AUS)
Copper: Ian Gouveia (BRA)

South Africans
16. Klee Strachan
25. Gavin Roberts
25. Llewellyn Whittaker
37. Matt Bromley

Women Medalists
Gold: Cannelle Bulard (FRA)
Silver: Sofía Mulanovich (PER)
Bronze: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
Copper: Dimity Stoyle (AUS)

South Africans
8. Nikita Robb
9. Tanika Hoffman

Longboard Medalists
Gold: Tony Silvagni (USA)
Silver: Harley Ingleby (AUS)
Bronze: Piccolo Clemente (PER)
Copper: Antoine Delpero (FRA)

South Africans
5. Matthew Moir
9. Justin Bing

Team points    
1.  Australia – 15 000
2. Brazil – 12 132
3. France – 11 816
4. Argentina – 11 312
5. Peru – 10 930
6. Venezuela – 10 342
7.  South Africa  – 10 008
8. Usa – 9 679
9. New Zealand – 7 816
10-Ecuador – 7 740
11. Costa Rica – 7 696
12. Tahiti – 7 575
13. Mexico – 6 618
14. Puerto Rico – 6 606
15. Uruguay – 6 466
16. Panama – 6 126
17. El salvador – 5 568
18. Switzerland – 5 328
19. Guatemala – 4 595
20. Japan – 4 080
21. Nicaragua – 3 516
22. Chile – 2 832
23. Israel – 2 436
24. Colombia – 1 920
25. Jamaica – 1 440
26. Canada – 1 296
27. Ireland – 540


Issued on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa
Contact: Robin de Kock – General Manager
Cell:  082 454 1149
Email:  surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com
Web:   www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
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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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