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Australia Runs Away With Team Title, Winning Three More Individual Gold Medals on Final Day of the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship

Australia Runs Away With Team Title, Winning Three More Individual Gold Medals on Final Day of the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship

With a dominating overall showing in all disciplines at the inaugural ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship, Australia won Team Gold and the perpetual Club Waikiki Trophy, which is being held by Team Captain Jamie Mitchell. Pictured with ISA President Fernando Aguerre (blue jacket) and Club Waikiki President José Osterling (white shirt). Photo: Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer Each Win Three Golds for the Event, While Jamie Mitchell Gets Some Redemption; Brandi Baksic Sweeps Women’s SUP Races

ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship
February 25, 2012
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

Some might call it a victory lap, but for Jamie Mitchell, that last wave into the shore – well beyond the next closest racing competitor in the 18-kilometer SUP Marathon course – was as much a relief on his body as it was on his racing reputation and his soul.“I wanted to redeem myself from yesterday because I made a few silly mistakes,” said Mitchell, in regard to losing a Gold Medal because he didn’t properly complete the Men’s SUP Technical Race. “But I also needed it personally. I had probably one of the hardest five weeks of my life the last five weeks, a lot of heavy stuff is going down. I needed it, I needed it; so I’m glad I got it.”

Mitchell’s Gold Medal-winning performance in the Men’s SUP Marathon division was the beginning of a parade of medals won by Australia on the final day of the historic ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship. Just behind Mitchell came teammate Travis Grant, and shortly behind him, another teammate, Brad Gaul, the winner of the Men’s Paddleboard Marathon. The win was Gaul’s third of the event. Gaul was followed by Joel Mason, who also won the Silver Medal behind Gaul in the shorter paddleboard race three days prior.

Australian Jordan Mercer again proved herself to be among the elite paddleboard racers in the world, winning the Women’s Paddleboard Marathon by several minutes, and, like Gaul, earned her third Gold Medal of the five-day event.

“It’s true: Brad and I, three races and three golds; we can’t ask for anything more,” Mercer said. “Coming to Peru was just a phenomenal experience; a whole new culture, things you don’t see every day. I’m so grateful that we came over here and so honored that I could come with the Australian team to be involved in such a prestigious competition. This may be the first year, but this is history that’s being made, and hopefully these are some records that are going to stand for a long time.”

The Silver Medalist behind Mercer was South Africa’s Anna Notten, who won the Bronze Medal in the shorter course earlier in the week, and was extremely satisfied with her second-place showing in the Marathon. But the course took its toll.

“Dead, I’ve never been so dead in my life,” she said immediately after crossing the finish line. “I caught the wave in and my arms, I couldn’t even barely catch the wave; my whole body is shaking. I’ve never paddled this far in my life. I’ve never paddled half that far in my life. But coming in hearing the vuvuzelas is the most amazing feeling.

“[Heading into the event ] I trained with my lifesaving friends, around the cans (buoys), but when they did long distance ski, I would do it on board with them because we’ve got all of the sharks [in South Africa],” she continued,” so, I can’t really train by myself in the middle of the ocean. So, it’s quite difficult.”

In the Women’s SUP Marathon, USA’s Brandi Baksic completed the sweep of the SUP races, again winning with minutes between her and the next closest division competitor.

“Well, I’m just super stoked. I would have been mad at myself if I didn’t get the second Gold Medal,” she said. “A couple months ago I thought I was done with racing SUPs. But now I have two Gold Medals and I helped USA win the Silver. It’s a pretty cool feeling.”

Australian Angela Jackson won the Silver Medal behind Baksic, her second medal of the event.

In the Women’s SUP Surfing Final, 18-year-old American Emmy Merrill ended the event the way she began: sticking to her strategy and overwhelming the competition with the control of her board and the power of her performance. Entering the Final she had won every heat she had surfed in the event, and by 10 minutes into the heat, she had the three other surfers in the combination situation, each requiring two scores to catch her score of 15.94. Merrill held on for the remainder of the heat and won the USA’s second individual Gold Medal.

“Coming into this event, I felt like I didn’t really have a name or expectations because nobody really knew who I was, so it’s great just coming in as the underdog and for people to just think, ‘Oh, who’s that?’” Merrill said. “I’m really honored to be the first [ISA Women’s SUP Surfing Gold Medalist] and to win a medal at such a young age.”

Antoine Delpero Frenchmen Antoine Delpero won the second ISA Gold Medal in his career with a commanding performance in the final of the Men´s SUP Surfing division. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

Much like the women’s surfing final, the Men’s SUP Surfing Final was decided before most of the competitors could realize what had happened. By the 10-minute mark, France’s Antoine Delpero had the field in the combination situation, with a pair of excellent scores for a total of 17.56. The Gold Medal was his second in ISA competition. He also won the Gold Medal in the Men’s Longboard at the ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica in 2009.

“I don’t realize right now [how it feels to get the win], with the crowd and all, but I feel really good. I think tomorrow I’m going to realize, but we’re going to have a good night tonight,” said Delpero, also appreciative of adding to his medal tally. “It feels so good to have two gold medals with the ISA, it’s always a big pleasure to come with a crew and a team. The support is different than when you go in a competition by yourself, you have really big support, so thanks to the French crew.”

Both Merrill and Delpero will have their names engraved on the perpetual Hector Velarde Trophy, which will be presented annually to the winners of the Men’s and Women’s SUP Surfing divisions. Velarde, who was born and raised in Lima, won the Peruvian national championship in 1963. He donated the trophy to the event.

With its strong showing on the final day of the event, Australia locked-up and ran away in the team standings, winning the Club Waikiki Trophy, which will be awarded annually to the overall team champion of the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship, in honor of Peru’s most famous surf club, which was founded by Carlos Dogny in 1942.

At the Awards Ceremony, where medals were handed out to the top four finishers in each of the 12 divisions, ISA President Fernando Aguerre expressed his gratitude to the Peruvian hosts, including Peruvian National Olympic Committee President Jose Quinones, and also had a message to those teams and countries who couldn’t come to compete in the inaugural event.

“I’m sure that some people are wondering ‘Why didn’t we go?’ Don’t worry, don’t feel bad, we’ll be here or some other place next year, because this event is going to happen every year, with the support of the SUPers and the paddlers around the world,” President Aguerre said. “We are here to stay and to share the Olympic and the Aloha spirit. The ISA has a dream: to promote and take our wave-riding sports around the world and every day we work for it. Thank you for your help and we will see you next year. Gracias.”

Tonight, all of the athletes, coaches, officials, local sponsors and local organizers will be celebrating a successful inaugural event with the ISA Aloha Beach Party at Club Waikiki.

An unknown coming into the event, 18-year-old Emmy Merrill (USA) announced her presence in the Women´s SUP Surfing world with a Gold Medal performance. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

Women’s SUP Surfing Final
Gold/Hector Velarde Trophy – Emmy Merrill (USA) – 15.94
Silver – Shakira Westdorp (AUS) – 10.66
Bronze – Penny Stemmet (RSA) – 10.34
Copper – Brissa Malaga (PER) – 9.37

Men’s SUP Surfing Final
Gold/Hector Velarde Trophy – Antoine Delpero (FRA) – 17.56
Silver – Justin Holland (AUS) – 12.50
Bronze – Sean Poynter (USA) – 12.20
Copper – Jackson Close (AUS) – 11.64

Men’s Paddleboard Marathon Final Results
Gold – Brad Gaul (AUS)
Silver – Joel Mason (AUS)
Bronze – Shane Scoggins (USA)
Copper – Ryan Butcher (RSA)
5 – Donald Brierley (RSA)
6 – Matt Becker (USA)
7 – Rodrigo Gamarra (PER)
8 – Carlos Di Pace (ARG)
9 – Luis Eduardo Escudero (PER)
10 – Fabio Velasco (BRA)
11 – Andre Turelly (BRA)
12 – Gilbert Baez (VEN)
13 – Guillermo Pena (SPA)
14 – Fernando Labad (SPA)
15 – Facundo Martin Diaz (ARG)

Women’s Paddleboard Marathon Final Results
Gold – Jordan Mercer (AUS)
Silver – Anna Notten (RSA)
Bronze – Gillian Gibree (USA)
Copper – Concepcion Escatllar (SPA)
5 – Rocio Larranaga (PER)

Men’s SUP Marathon Final Results
Gold – Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Silver – Travis Grant (AUS)
Bronze – Eric Terrien (FRA)
Copper – Jay Wild (USA)
5 – Paul Jackson (NZL)
6 – Luiz Guido (BRA)
7 – Gaetan Sene (FRA)
8 – Rob Rojas (USA)
9 – Belar Diaz (SPA)
10 – Felipe Rodriguez (MEX)
11 – Roman Frejo (SPA)
12 – Chris Bertish (RSA)
13 – Alexander Araujo (BRA)
14 – Mark Slater (GBR)
15 – Gonzalo Miranda (ARG)
16 – Greg Bertish (RSA)
17 – Piero Muscas (ITA)
18 – Jean-Luc Malfroid (SWZ)
19 – John Harvey (GBR)
20 – Jose Schiaffino (PER)
21 – Sebastian Borbero (ARG)
22 – Bruno Garcia (PER)
23 – Gian Paolo Lombardi (CHI)
24 – Robert Etienne (SWZ)
25 – Ed O’Farrell (IRE)
26 – Keith Gorman (IRE)
27 – Carlos Navarro (CHI)
DNF – Hector Gonzales (MEX)

Women’s SUP Marathon Final Results
Gold – Brandi Baksic (USA)
Silver – Angela Jackson (AUS)
Bronze – Brigette van Aswegen (RSA)
Copper – Barbara Brazil (BRA)
5 – Pat Hernandez (SPA)
6 – Edimar Luque (VEN)
7 – Jane Downes (IRE)
8 – Lorena Cemersoni (ARG)
9 – Antonella Podesta (CHI)

Team Title Results
Gold/Club Waikiki Trophy – Australia
Silver – USA
Bronze – South Africa
Copper – Spain
5 ­– Peru
6 – Argentina
7 – Brazil
8 – France
9 – Venezuela
10 – Chile
11 – Ireland
12 – Great Britain
13 – Mexico
14 – Switzerland
15 – New Zealand
16 – Italy
17 – Austria

The ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship is made possible with the support of the following event partners: IPD, ADO, Club Waikiki. Repsol, Movistar, Casa Andina, Sticky Bumps, NSP, Terra, Municipalidad de Lima, Municipalidad de Miraflores, FENTA, Marina de Guerra del Peru, JAO, and Securitas. The media partners are Terra, StandUp Latino and Surfos.

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 Titles, and held the first stand-alone World Bodyboard Championship in 2011 and the inaugural ISA China Cup in 2012. It will also hold the first World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 70 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 three Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER) and Debbie Beacham (USA).

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