Team USA: the title is heavy

Tom Curren led the US surfing team to victory in the 2011 ISA World Masters Surfing Championship, in El Salvador. In the last day of competition, the USA won the Eduardo Arena ISA World Team Trophy, in contestable 3-to-4 feet waves.

Team USA’s debut in the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship proved to be more than successful. They are taking home the Team Trophy, the Kahunas Gold and Silver Medals won by Tom Curren and Jim Hogan. Also Grand Kahunas and Women Masters Copper Medals were won by Allen Sarlo and Alissa Cairns respectively.

The team also had Masters Sean Mattison and Jason Senn, and Grand Masters Dean Randazzo and David Giddings placing in top 16 positions.

“Of course, the great performances in the Kahunas with Tom Curren and Jimmy Hogan were key,” said Team USA Head Coach, Ian Cairns. “But it was also a good, consistent performance by the whole team, as most of our guys made the finals. In this event you have to make the finals; you must have all of your team do well. We had a great time in El Salvador and to come out as champions, it’s just really amazing for us.”

Seven-Time ASP World Champion, Layne Beachley, added an eighth World Title to her trophy cabinet. An ISA Masters World Title that came three years after she retired from professional surfing shows that her surfing skills remain intact.

"I have eight world titles now!” said seven-time ASP World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS) after winning her first-ever ISA Gold Medal.

Stylish Craig “Tequila” Schieber was the surprise of the day, winning the first ISA Gold in the history of Costa Rican surfing. Coming from the Repechage rounds, Schieber was quick and effective in the 25-minute final match-up. A combined total of 9.86 (6.33+3.53) was enough to win the World Title.

“I have no words to describe how this feels. I’m so happy! Thank you to the ISA for making this event. I still can’t believe it. I guess now I’m Tequila Gold,” laughed Schieber. “I hope this becomes an inspiration for all the young great surfers we have in Costa Rica. I would like to see them winning gold medals and maybe even some day a team gold medal.”

Tom Curren, the three-time ASP World Champion, 1980 ISA Junior Gold Medalist and 1982 ISA Open Gold Medalist entered into surfing’s history books once again by becoming the first surfer ever to have won the Gold in the main three ISA signature events (Juniors, Open and Masters).

After a slow start, Curren found a nice right that that he ripped with strong and stylish turns, earning him an 8.17. He backed that up with a 4.60 that was worthy of a Gold Medal.

“This is a great feeling and I’m really stoked about the team we have,” said Curren after the final. “It’s really fun to be part of the team, and having Ian as a coach has been great this week. Being a World Champion in three ISA divisions is a great addition to my resume.”

Today, Puerto Rican Juan Ashton became the “poster boy” for the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships. His victory in the Grand Masters division gave him four gold medals in the four ISA Masters events held in the last 5 years.

With seven minutes remaining until the end of the final, Ashton was third and needed a 7-point ride. A set wave came on his final wave and after combining six solid turns, he received a 7.77 from the judges, jumping straight to the first place and to the top of the podium.

An overjoyed and pumped up Ashton screamed the number “four,” while smiling and hugging his peers all the way from the point at Punta Roca to the podium. He said afterwards, “I can’t put this into words. I guess I just didn’t give up, and I was like, ‘I can do it; I just need one more wave.’” With seven minutes left, I got that wave and I surfed it almost with my eyes closed; I was so pumped to make it all the way trough. I’m just super happy.”

Australian Mark Richardson came all the way from the first round of the Repechage, surfing in seven heats before making it to the final and ending up being crowned the ISA Masters World Champion.

A former ISA Medalist and Australian Professional Champion, Richardson knew how to take advantage of his amazing backhand approach. He started strong by posting an 8.17 and ended the same way with a 7.17, making a total of 15.34, the highest combined score of the day.

Afterwards, an emotional Richardson, hugging his young son, said, “I’m just so stoked, I came third in the World Surfing Games in 2004, when I was winning and with one minute to go, a wave was taken away from me and I was left in third. So this is the one that I really wanted to win. I’m so happy it happened!”

Country Final Standings

1 United States 9396
2 Brazil 9086
3 South Africa 8886
4 Puerto Rico 8618
5 Australia 8480
6 Hawaii 7664
7 Costa Rica 6090
8 Argentina 6016
9 France 5821
10 Peru 5548
11 Venezuela 5363
12 Trinidad & Tobago 5335
13 El Salvador 5230
14 Ecuador 5030
15 Uruguay 3640
16 Mexico 2240
17 Sweden 1905
18 Germany 1680
19 Switzerland 680
20 Panama 500
21 New Zealand 450