The 2015 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships will be getting underway very soon (10th-17th May) in Mexico. It will see the largest group of SUPers and prone paddleboarders from all around the world come together to compete in the Olympics of paddleboarding. Here SUPboarder talks you through all you need to know about the ISA, the different disciplines and who will be representing Great Britain this year.
About the ISA (the Olympics of paddleboarding)
The first ever ISA World Surfing Championship was held at Manly Beach, Australia in 1964. This was very much the start of competitive surfing. For many years and still today, the ISA World Surfing Championships takes place, with different surf disciplines including longboard surfing and bodyboarding, as well as mainstream short boarding. The disciplines of Stand Up Paddleboarding and prone paddlboarding came into the first ISA competition back in 2012. This took place in Peru and saw over 20 countries take part including Great Britain and Ireland. Team Australia dominated the event with their captain Jamie Mitchell fully getting behind the first ever ISA World event.
At the 2014 ISA Worlds in Nicaragua Team Australian won 11 individual medals and the Team Relay gold medal, which made them the overall winners for the third year in a row.
The ISA’s mission
‘Our mission is to develop Surfing and SUP globally. The 2015 edition of the World Championship was brought to Mexico to further develop the sport in the country. The ISA’s mission is fulfilled through annual World Championships, membership development, educational programs, scholarship distribution and working towards Surfing and SUP’s inclusion in the Olympic Games.’ : Words ISA
The 2015 ISA location
All of the ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships to date, have been held on the Pacific East Coast. And 2015 is no different with the event being held in Sayulita, Mexico. Sayulita is a charming fishing village, with picturesque beaches, great surf and average summer temperatures of 31 degrees celsius. Punta Sayulita is a reef bottom break, with right and left handers. It looks like the perfect competition location and a great place to hang out. Hopefully all of the competitors will be training hard and not sipping pina coladas on the beach during their heats!
The different disciplines
SUP Surfing: Mens / Womens
The surfing event will be run over a number of days, with 4 competitors in 15min -20 heats (ISA will decide this). They will be judged on a maximum of 10 waves and the 2 highest scores will be taken and added together to make a total score for each rider in that heat. The 2 highest scoring riders will go through to the next round and the lowest 2 will have another chance to compete in the repicharge rounds. This will be the same for the mens and women competition. Equipment used – any board type or size.
SUP Racing Technical: Mens / Womens
The SUP technical race is a great event for both competitors and spectators, with the course involving riders racing out through the surf and running around a marker on the beach. A lot of board skill is needed to be good at this event. Expect to see lots of close racing and exciting overtaking in the surf line. Equipment used – 12’6” race board only.
SUP Racing Distance: Mens / Womens
A long distance paddle over 20k, with groups of paddlers forming drafting chains. It’s a mind game and a stamina race that will definitely break the weakest! Equipment used – 12’6” race board only.
Paddleboard Racing Technical and Distance: Mens / Womens
Run on the same course as the SUP races but at different times. Equipment used – 12′ prone paddleboard only
Team Paddle Relay
The team relay is where the SUP and Prone Paddlboarders compete together on a technical style course, going out through the surf and taging team mates on the beach. Equipment used – 12’6” SUP race boards and paddleboards.