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Mon, 27 May 2019

A record 102 athletes from 31 nations are attending the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship in historic Biarritz, France, where the sport was first introduced to the continent in 1957.


OLD VS NEW SCHOOL: Biarritz is the birthplace of longboarding in Europe Photo ISA / Jimenez

The South African team of Thomas King, Tarryn King, Alfonzo Pieters and Crystal Hulett gathered with longboarding compatriots from around the world for the ISA's unique Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony along the city's picturesque coast of the Côte des Basques.

Each nation brought sand from their local beaches to pour into a glass container on stage for the Sands of the World Ceremony, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through surfing.

Dignitaries included Mayor of Biarritz Michel Veunac, President of the French Surfing Federation Jean-Luc Arassus, Councillor of Pyrénées-Atlantiques Department Maider Arostegey, and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo.


MOODY SEAS: A surfer leaves the surf on the beach at Biarritz after her heat. Photo ISA / Jimenez

Jean-Luc Arassus officially declared the event open, setting the stage for competition to commence. As competition got underway in the afternoon, the world's best women were led by the local duo of Justine Dupont and Alice Lemoigne. They earned the highest heat totals of the day with 11.96 and 11.60, respectively.

Conditions were tricky: bumpy and wind-effected. USA's Lindsay Steinriede (11.33), Brazil's reigning Silver Medalist Chloe Calmon (10.40), Peru's Maria Fernando Reyes (10.27) and Japan's returning Bronze Medalist Natsumi Taoka (10.26) were among the top performers, advancing through to Main Event Round 2.

Tarryn King also made short work of a low-scoring Round 1 heat, taking a first and a berth in Round 2. Crystal Hulett was relegated to the Repercharge with a 4th. Today's competition includes 16 heats of the Men's Main Event Round 1 this afternoon and evening.

RSA Team_Sean_Evans

TEAM SA: The Saffas pose for their team photo after the Opening Ceremony Photo ISA / Evans

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