- 19 October 2010 | Surfing
The International Surfing Association welcomed more than 30 nations to the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Presented by Amarok by Volkswagen today in Lima, Peru. The official program started with a press conference hosted by a panel of participants and organizers at the magnificent Municipalidad de Lima in the heart of the city today.
Peru’s Sofía Mulanovich, 2004 ISA gold medalist and ASP World Champion, ranked 3rd in the world, Gabriel Villarán, a bronze medalist of last year’s edition of the event, and Antoine Delpero, defending World Champion were the surfing stars leading the press conference. They all spoke of Peru’s rich surf heritage, and the excitement they felt competing in such a prestigious event. Attending along side them was the President of the ISA, and the President of the Peruvian Surfing Federation.
“I thank the Peruvian people, for welcoming us with open arms. This is a special moment not only for the ISA but for Peru,” said Fernando Aguerre, the ISA President, "It has been 45 years since our last Open event here.” Aguerre was referring to the 1965 World Championships in Peru where local hero Felipe Pomar won the World Title.
The rich culture of Peruvian surfing was one of the prime reasons for Billabong’s enthusiastic support of the contest: “Due to the surfing history and tradition of Peru,” said Graham Stapelberg, VP of Marketing at Billabong USA. “It was important for Billabong be a part of this global surf gathering. We support the ISA because it develops surf around the world.”
"It’s an honor to have an event of this magnitude in Peru and more even at Punta Hermosa, my home break”, commented Sofía Mulanovich, the 2004 ISA and ASP World Champion. “I hope we can have a good time and hope Peru can win the title.”
”It is a real pleasure to be able to host this championship, since they are considered the “Olympics of the Surfing,” said Guillermo Fernandez, Mayor of Punta Hermosa. “Punta Hermosa has 4 kilometers of coast where we have 10 top quality waves.”
“I want to publicly thank Billabong and the ISA, since without them it had been really impossible to even dream of this event.” Artur Woodman, president of the IPD (Peruvian Sports Institute) said, “This is a World championship with more than 200 competitors, so we will reward the any Peruvian surfers that are winners of medals.”
The competitors are as excited as anyone for the chance to show their national pride: “At the World Surfing Games you compete for your flag, for your country, and that outweighs all,” said Gabriel Villarán who won a bronze medal at Costa Rica 2009. “Winning a medal at last year World Surfing Games has been the most beautiful achievement on my career.”
“This is the best opportunity to see the best competitors from each country surfing for their flag, purely for the honor of their nation,” Concluded Fernando Aguerre as the conference closed. “There’s one thing that we can’t do, controlling the waves. And the wave forecast shows excellent waves for the whole week. That’s part of the aura of the ISA events wherever they are held”.
The Opening Ceremonies and Parade of Nations will take place at Lima’s main square (the Plaza De Armas) at 9:30AM, Peruvian time on Tuesday. The opening event will be attended by 31 nations and Peru’s President Alan Garcia will be in attendance.