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RSA Team Longboarding-Worlds-2018-1200-th

Fri, 19 January 2018

A record 71 longboarders from 22 nations paraded along the beach of Riyue Bay on Hainan Island, China early today to open the historic ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship.


SOUTH CHINA SEA: Riyue Bay lies on the SE corner of Hainan Island. Pic Windy.com

The parade and opening ceremony of the event - the first time that the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship has been held in China - was officially opened by Chinese IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing.

The South African longboard team - comprising Alfonso Peters, Sam Christianson, Christy Gilmour and Roxy Davis with manager Paul O' Connell - participated in the ISA's signature Sands of the World Ceremony, mixing their sands in a clear container to symbolize the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Longboarding.

In keeping with the ISA’s push to promote gender equality in surfing, the Championships offer equal slots per team for men and women of two per team, plus a manager / coach.

Free Surf_Sean_Evans

AERIAL VIEW: This drone shot gives a good perspective of the spot. Photo ISA / Evans

The ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship joins the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Champs and ISA World Surfing Games as ISA events that have adopted gender equal team sizes.

Competition starts tomorrow at Riyue Bay, a long left-hand point with a sand bottom on the SE coast of Hainan Island off southern China. Swell for Riyue Bay comes mostly from east trade winds off the east coast, making for consistent 2 or 3' surf. Sometimes groundswell appears from low pressure systems in the Pacific, the swell pushing into the South China sea between Taiwan and the Philippines.

The forecast is for 2' surf - occasionally 3' - during the event, with 3-4' surf set for the business end of the competition on 24th and last day, 25th January. The event will be streamed live on www.isaworlds.com

RSA Team_Sean_Evans

TEAM SA: Let's hope that our 2x2 team of four can bring home the gold. Photo ISA / Evans

Riyue Bay has been the epicenter of the growth of surfing in China. Since the sport was introduced to the area less than two decades ago, local development has been highlighted by ISA World Championships held since 2012, ISA instructing and certification courses run since 2013, and China fielding their first team to compete in the ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France in May of 2017.

Longboarding aims to preserve the elegant, traditional style of the original sport as practised in Hawaii. Boards must be at least nine foot long. Judges look for a combination of old and new school moves that need to be executed with artistic style and grace.

Two Up_Tim_Hain

TWO UP: The rolling lefts of Riyue Bay are perfect for longboarding. Photo ISA / Hain

Longboard was first held as an ISA medal division at the 1988 ISA World Surfing Titles (now the ISA World Surfing Games) in Puerto Rico. The discipline continued as part of the ISA World Surfing Games until 2013, when it was held as a stand-alone event for the first-time in Huanchaco, Peru, when our own Simone Robb won gold in the women's event.

The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat and don’t forget to use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #ISAWLSC.

Facebook: International Surfing Association (@ISAsurfing)
Instagram: @ISAsurfing
Twitter: @ISAsurfing
Snapchat: @ISA_Surfing
Youtube: @ISAsurfing

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