Australia: back to gold

Australia has conquered the 2011 ISA World Surfing Games Team Gold Medal and the Fernando Aguerre World Team Trophy, in glassy and consistent two-to-four feet waves in Panama’s Playa Venao.

The Aussies recaptured victory after a golden performance in Portugal, in 2008. The Australian Team included Mick Campbell, Drew Courtney, Thomas Woods and Nathan Hedge in the Men division, Harley Ingleby and Dane Pioli in Longboard and Dimity Stoyle and Jessi Miley-Dyer in the Women.

"This year we brought a mixture of experienced surfers and young guys from the Pro Junior Series," said Team Australia Coach, Martin Dunn. "This proves that Australia has great talent in every level; athletes who can perform under pressure."

Fifteen years after the last Team USA Longboard Gold Medal (Geoff Moysa in 1996), Tony Silvagni made history for his country today after a convincing victory in a highly competitive Final.

"I stayed focused the whole contest, listening to everything my coach had to say—that was key. This is the best win of my entire life. I’ve being training hard, surfing every single day, and I’m very, very happy. I want to say thanks to everyone from the United States, as well as my mom, my whole family and friends for their support. This is great!", he said.

The Women’s Final had 2004 ISA and ASP World Champion Sofía Mulanovich (PER) leading almost entirely until the recently crowned Women’s ISA World Junior Surfing Champion Cannelle Bulard (FRA) decided to put her backhand surfing to work. Bulard became the first surfer ever to win the World Junior Surfing Championship and the World Surfing Games on the same year.

"I can’t believe it; it’s like a dream," said Bulard. "Doing this for the French National Team is amazing. We are not going to be together at the top (Gold Medal) of the podium as a team, but it is great. I would like to thank all my family and friends—I can’t wait to go home and celebrate with all of them."

In what many consider the most incredible and unexpected victory in the history of the ISA, Santiago Muñiz from Argentina won the Men’s Gold Medal. Surfing against ASP World Tour surfers from countries with great surfing traditions, the Argentinean clearly stood out, drawing clean lines and completing strong progressive, functional maneuvers.

"This is so amazing, I don’t have words to express my feelings right now," said an excited Muñiz. "I’m so happy, this is a big achievement for Argentina. I’ve trained so hard for this, and now I will celebrate. My team kept me motivated and with good energy. I love all my family and my dad who really supports me. He is responsible for 90 percent of my performance, because without him and my team, I never would have won."

Final Team Standings

1. Australia – 15000
2. Brazil – 12132
3. France – 11816
4. Argentina -11312
5. Peru – 10930
6. Venezuela-10342
7. South Africa – 10008
8. USA – 96796
9. New Zealand -7816
10. Ecuador – 7740
11. Costa Rica -7696
12. Tahiti- 7575
13. Mexico- 6618
14. Puerto Rico – 6606
15. Uruguay – 6466
16. Panama - 6126
17. El salvador - 5568
18. Switzerland – 5328
19. Guatemala – 459520. Japan-4080
21. Nicaragua – 3516
22. Chile – 2832
23. Israel – 2436
24. Colombia – 1920
25. Jamaica – 1440
26. Canada- 1296
27. Ireland – 540