- 17 July 2009 | Surfing
Surfing America, the National Governing Body (NGB) for Surfing in the United States, announced today the PacSun USA Surf Team for the 2009 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games that begin July 31st and run through August 8th in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. The U.S. side will look to improve upon last year's team silver, though they will be without defending Men's Champion, CJ Hobgood.
Instead, the Americans will send former ASP World Tour standouts, Ben Bourgeois and Cory Lopez. With over a decade of World Tour experience between them, the injection of these two savvy veterans instantly puts the U.S. side in the middle of the championship debate.
Lopez's barrel riding exploits have been well documented since leaving the Tour and both he and Benny B, who retired from World Tour competition after the 2008 campaign, are well suited to this particular wave-type.
Rounding out the PacSun USA Surf Team men's squad are Austin Ware, who is currently ranked in the Top 10 on the WQS, and Nat Young, the fifth rated Junior in North America, both of whom have proven that they can perform and turn in solid, if not winning, results against top flight competition on the world stage. Look for all four competitors to not only deliver, but also open some eyes, in the barreling surf at Hermosa.
Currently without a representative on the ASP Women's World Tour, the United States opted to go with a youth movement on the women's side. Courtney Conlogue and Sage Erickson are America's two most heavily touted female surfing prospects, and the ISA World Surfing Games will be a very true indicator as to just how big of an upside each has when they go up against an international field featuring a handful of the Top 16.
Conlogue, 16, has shown she can hold her own against the biggest names in the sport and at the highest level - look no further than her eye popping performance at the 2006 Billabong Pro Maui at Honolua Bay - and is the 2009 ISA Girls Under 18 silver medalist. And Erickson, 18, is in the top 15 on the WQS. Clearly, these two products of the American amateur ranks will be out to prove they can produce at the next level.
In the Longboard division, the PacSun USA Surf Team will be represented by Tony Silvagni and Steve Newton. Newton is number three on the Professional Longboard Association (PLA), the North American qualifying series for the ASP World Longboard Tour. Silvagni is also currently ranked in the Top 10 on the PLA this year.
"We have a mix of seasoned and young pros that have a real chance against the other countries," said Ian Cairns, PacSun USA Surf Team Coach. "We are using the US Open in Huntington Beach as preparation for the Team. This is my first time as US Coach at this event so I am looking forward to the rough and tumble!"
Meet the PacSun USA Surf Team