Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Panama
In just 10 days time, 200 of the world's best surfers from over 28 countries will descend upon Panama's beautiful Playa Venao to compete in the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games presented by Panama.
From June 25 until July 2, four Open Men, two Open Women and two Longboarders from each country will vie for one of surfing's biggest honors, to earn a medal for their country.
In each of the three divisions, competitors will surf to win individual gold, silver, bronze and copper medals. The Fernando Aguerre Trophy will go to the nation that achieves the highest points total, taking all team members performances into consideration.
The event will gather the best of the best of the sport of surfing, and for seven days Panama will be the surfing capital of the world.
Ten things to know about the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games
1) The 2011 Games will be held at a beach known as Playa Venao, five hours East of Panama City.
2) The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games is an 'Olympic Style' event. The ISA was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1995.
3) Teams compete for medals with the honor of representing their nations. Medals are awarded to individuals and as well as overall team placings.
4) A "Parade of Nations" will commence proceedings, followed by the "Sands of the World" ceremony where sand from each participating nation is mixed.
5) Approximately 200 athletes from nearly 30 countries will compete.
6) This is the first time in history that Panama will host the event.
7) Team Australia is the most successful of all nations to compete.
Team Peru are defending champions. Team USA won in 2009. France (runner-Up in 2009), South Africa (2002 champions), Tahiti, Brazil (2000 champions) and New Zealand are always threats.
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) 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.
10) Honour Roll - since 1996, nations who have won team gold medals are:
1996 Huntington Beach, USA: United States
1998 Carcavelos, Portugal: Australia
2000 MaracaÃpe, 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: Peru
About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the Tandem Surfing World Title, and will hold the first World Bodyboard Championship in 2011, and the first Stand Up Paddle (SUP) World Championship in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 67 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA's four Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Mike Gerard (USA) KarÃn Sierralta (PER) and Debbie Beacham (USA).