Jamie Mitchell: SUP master

Australia has taken gold at the inaugural ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship, held at Miraflores, in Peru. Jamie Mitchell, Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer secured the top places in the Men's SUP Marathon, Men's Paddleboard Marathon and Women's Paddleboard Marathon, respectively.


"I wanted to redeem myself from yesterday because I made a few silly mistakes," said Mitchell, in regard to losing a Gold Medal because he didn't properly complete the Men's SUP Technical Race.

"But I also needed it personally. I had probably one of the hardest five weeks of my life the last five weeks, a lot of heavy stuff is going down. I needed it, I needed it; so I'm glad I got it."

Mitchell's Gold Medal-winning performance in the Men's SUP Marathon division was the beginning of a parade of medals won by Australia on the final day of the historic ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship.

Just behind Mitchell came teammate Travis Grant, and shortly behind him, another teammate, Brad Gaul, the winner of the Men's Paddleboard Marathon. The win was Gaul's third of the event. Gaul was followed by Joel Mason, who also won the Silver Medal behind Gaul in the shorter paddleboard race three days prior.

Australian Jordan Mercer again proved herself to be among the elite paddleboard racers in the world, winning the Women's Paddleboard Marathon by several minutes, and, like Gaul, earned her third Gold Medal of the five-day event.

In the Women's SUP Marathon, USA's Brandi Baksic completed the sweep of the SUP races, again winning with minutes between her and the next closest division competitor.

"Well, I'm just super stoked. I would have been mad at myself if I didn't get the second Gold Medal," she said. "A couple months ago I thought I was done with racing SUPs. But now I have two Gold Medals and I helped USA win the Silver. It's a pretty cool feeling."

In the Women's SUP Surfing Final, 18-year-old American Emmy Merrill ended the event the way she began: sticking to her strategy and overwhelming the competition with the control of her board and the power of her performance.

Entering the Final she had won every heat she had surfed in the event, and by 10 minutes into the heat, she had the three other surfers in the combination situation, each requiring two scores to catch her score of 15.94. Merrill held on for the remainder of the heat and won the USA's second individual Gold Medal.

"Coming into this event, I felt like I didn't really have a name or expectations because nobody really knew who I was, so it's great just coming in as the underdog and for people to just think, ‘Oh, who's that?'" Merrill said. "I'm really honored to be the first [ISA Women's SUP Surfing Gold Medalist] and to win a medal at such a young age."

Much like the women's surfing final, the Men's SUP Surfing Final was decided before most of the competitors could realize what had happened. By the 10-minute mark, France's Antoine Delpero had the field in the combination situation, with a pair of excellent scores for a total of 17.56.

The Gold Medal was his second in ISA competition. He also won the Gold Medal in the Men's Longboard at the ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica in 2009.

"I don't realize right now [how it feels to get the win], with the crowd and all, but I feel really good. I think tomorrow I'm going to realize, but we're going to have a good night tonight," said Delpero, also appreciative of adding to his medal tally.

"It feels so good to have two gold medals with the ISA, it's always a big pleasure to come with a crew and a team. The support is different than when you go in a competition by yourself, you have really big support, so thanks to the French crew."

Both Merrill and Delpero will have their names engraved on the perpetual Hector Velarde Trophy, which will be presented annually to the winners of the Men's and Women's SUP Surfing divisions. Velarde, who was born and raised in Lima, won the Peruvian national championship in 1963. He donated the trophy to the event.

Women's SUP Surfing Final
Gold/Hector Velarde Trophy – Emmy Merrill (USA) – 15.94
Silver – Shakira Westdorp (AUS) – 10.66
Bronze – Penny Stemmet (RSA) – 10.34
Copper – Brissa Malaga (PER) – 9.37

Men's SUP Surfing Final
Gold/Hector Velarde Trophy – Antoine Delpero (FRA) – 17.56
Silver – Justin Holland (AUS) – 12.50
Bronze – Sean Poynter (USA) – 12.20
Copper – Jackson Close (AUS) – 11.64

Men's Paddleboard Marathon Final Results
Gold – Brad Gaul (AUS)
Silver – Joel Mason (AUS)
Bronze – Shane Scoggins (USA)
Copper – Ryan Butcher (RSA)
5 – Donald Brierley (RSA)
6 – Matt Becker (USA)
7 – Rodrigo Gamarra (PER)
8 – Carlos Di Pace (ARG)
9 – Luis Eduardo Escudero (PER)
10 – Fabio Velasco (BRA)
11 – Andre Turelly (BRA)
12 – Gilbert Baez (VEN)
13 – Guillermo Pena (SPA)
14 – Fernando Labad (SPA)
15 – Facundo Martin Diaz (ARG)

Women's Paddleboard Marathon Final Results
Gold – Jordan Mercer (AUS)
Silver – Anna Notten (RSA)
Bronze – Gillian Gibree (USA)
Copper – Concepcion Escatllar (SPA)
5 – Rocio Larranaga (PER)

Men's SUP Marathon Final Results
Gold – Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Silver – Travis Grant (AUS)
Bronze – Eric Terrien (FRA)
Copper – Jay Wild (USA)
5 – Paul Jackson (NZL)
6 – Luiz Guido (BRA)
7 – Gaetan Sene (FRA)
8 – Rob Rojas (USA)
9 – Belar Diaz (SPA)
10 – Felipe Rodriguez (MEX)
11 – Roman Frejo (SPA)
12 – Chris Bertish (RSA)
13 – Alexander Araujo (BRA)
14 – Mark Slater (GBR)
15 – Gonzalo Miranda (ARG)
16 – Greg Bertish (RSA)
17 – Piero Muscas (ITA)
18 – Jean-Luc Malfroid (SWZ)
19 – John Harvey (GBR)
20 – Jose Schiaffino (PER)
21 – Sebastian Borbero (ARG)
22 – Bruno Garcia (PER)
23 – Gian Paolo Lombardi (CHI)
24 – Robert Etienne (SWZ)
25 – Ed O'Farrell (IRE)
26 – Keith Gorman (IRE)
27 – Carlos Navarro (CHI)
DNF – Hector Gonzales (MEX)

Women's SUP Marathon Final Results
Gold – Brandi Baksic (USA)
Silver – Angela Jackson (AUS)
Bronze – Brigette van Aswegen (RSA)
Copper – Barbara Brazil (BRA)
5 – Pat Hernandez (SPA)
6 – Edimar Luque (VEN)
7 – Jane Downes (IRE)
8 – Lorena Cemersoni (ARG)
9 – Antonella Podesta (CHI)

Team Title Results
Gold/Club Waikiki Trophy – Australia
Silver – USA
Bronze – South Africa
Copper – Spain
5 ­– Peru
6 – Argentina
7 – Brazil
8 – France
9 – Venezuela
10 – Chile
11 – Ireland
12 – Great Britain
13 – Mexico
14 – Switzerland
15 – New Zealand
16 – Italy
17 – Austria