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Saturday, 20 May 2017 22:20

2017 ISA World Surfing Games Declared Open in Biarritz, France

Women display world-class talent in opening day of competition at Grande Plage

The 2017 ISA World Surfing Games is set to kick off in historic fashion on Saturday May 20 in Biarritz, France. 245 surfers from a record-breaking 47 countries will participate in the Opening Ceremony and take to the water at Grande Plage, marking the start of the event that will run from May 20-28.

The 2017 ISA World Surfing Games were officially inaugurated by ISA President Fernando Aguerre at the Opening Ceremony here in Biarritz, France today.
Thousands of locals gathered in the streets of Biarritz to witness the 245 surfers from a record-breaking 47 countries display their national pride and excitement for the week of competition to come.
The ceremony began with the Parade of Nations, as each National Team marched through the vibrant crowds in the streets of Biarritz waving their national flags and performing national chants in unison. The parade continued to the Opening Ceremony stage where they were greeted by the Mayor of Biarritz, Michel Veunac, ISA President Fernando Aguerre, President of the French Surfing Federation, Jean-Luc Arassus, Honorary Patron of the event, Tom Curren, and ISA Vice President, Karín Sierralta.
The procession continued with the Sands of the World Ceremony. Two members from each team took to the main stage pouring sand from their local beach into a glass container while waving their national flag, symbolizing the peaceful gathering nations of the world through Surfing.
After the Sands of the World Ceremony, a traditional Basque performance showed the visiting nations a cultural song and dance.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre, addressed the crowd of thousands at the Opening Ceremony stage.
“Today we come to Biarritz as the true and only ISA, the United Nations of Surfing, to these World Surfing Games, which are truly the Olympics of Surfing. In these times of violence, wars and conflicts, we celebrate our diversity in union. We have all come together, bringing our symbolic Sands of the World, to symbolize the unity of world in peace through Surfing.
“I would like to express the ISA’s maximum gratitude and recognition to the French Surfing Federation and its wonderful President Jean-Luc Arassus, that led and organized these Games. My deepest gratitude also is extended to the city of Biarritz, and our Public and Private sector sponsors and partners. We would not be here if it were not for them and their hard work.
“To all the athletes, enjoy the new friendships, the beautiful Basque culture, and the spirit of Biarritz. Go home as ambassadors of Biarritz and France, our wonderful world-class hosts.”
In addition to the Opening Ceremony, the first rounds of competition took to the water with the Women displaying their world-class talent in fluctuating conditions at Grande Plage. The women opened up with Round 1 of the Main Event and Round 1 of Repechage.
The Main Event started off early in the morning in challenging conditions as rain squalls and stiff onshore wind made it difficult to find waves with high scoring potential. After the mid-morning break for the Opening Ceremony, the conditions improved. Cloudy skies gave way to sun and a light sea breeze and the people of Biarritz filled the beach to catch a glimpse of the action.

France’s Johanne Defay (15.40), Costa Rica’s Leilani McGonagle (14.70) and New Zealand’s Ella Williams (14.03), stood out from the competition, notching the three highest heat totals of the day.
Pauline Ado complimented Johanne Defay’s strong performance for Team France and took first place in her heat as well with a total of 11.40. Ado shared her pride about representing her nation of France after her Main Event heat victory.
“It’s great to be representing France. I’ve always been a huge fan of the ISA World Surfing Games because we get to surf as a team and it adds more excitement.
“The afternoon finished with eight rounds of the first and only Repechage Round in the Women’s Division. Fourteen surfers were eliminated through the 8 rounds, knocking the first competitors out of the competition.
Despite being eliminated in her Repechage heat, Aleyna Hadimoglu from Team Turkey exemplified the growth that Surfing has experienced after Olympic inclusion as the first woman to represent her country in an ISA World Championship.
“I am so happy to be the first female surfer in my country. I want to be a role model for female surfers back in Turkey to inspire them.
“This event truly feels like the Olympics of Surfing with all of the national teams. It makes me proud to represent my country.”
The schedule for Sunday’s competition is as follows:
7:00AM : Women repechage
7:30AM : Women Main Round
12:30PM : Women Main Round
3:10PM : Women Quarterfinals
And for the rest of the week :
Monday, May 22
7 :00am : Women’s competition
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
11 :00am : Press Conference FFSurf – Engie about the Ocean’s economy, Casino – Club Surfing France (Region, FFS, Surfrider, Engie, Syndicat Energies Renouvelables)
4 :00pm : Women’s final and prize giving ceremony
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
Tuesday, May 23
7 :00am : Men’s competition
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
Wednesday, May 24
7 :00am : Men’s competition
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
6 :00pm : Meeting Surf City label (->8pm), Meeting room Casino
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
Thursday, May 25
7 :00 : Men’s competition
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
3:00pm : Stand Up Paddle French Team selection
6 :00pm : Antidopping conference, Casino
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
8 :00pm : Surfing movies night / Jeremy Flores & Grande Plage (->10pm), Casino
Friday, May 26
7 :00am : Men’s competition
9 :30 : Press conference : Biarritz, Surfing Destination with Biarritz Mayor Michel Veunac and Max Brisson representing Béarn – Pays Basque Tourist Office - Club Surfing France at the Casino
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
8:00pm : World Premiere of “Shredding Monsters”, an Olympic Channel Production at the Casino
Saturday, May 27
7 :00am : Men’s competition
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
Street arts Festival, Grande Plage.
11 :00am-7 :00pm : Participative fresco « Vagues Sans Frontières » (Unbounded waves) Grande Plage walk.
Noon : Relay event semi-finals (Aloha Cup)
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
Sunday, May 28
7 :00am : Men’s competition
10:00am : Surfing Village opens
Street arts Festival, Grande Plage.
noon : Relay event final (Aloha Cup)
2 :00pm : Men’s competition final
3 :00pm : Medals & closing ceremony
7 :00pm : Surfing Village closes
From May 20 to 28 (according to conditions)
3 Handi Surf sessions at Milady beach and/or Grande Plage (demo)

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