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Nicaragua is set for the World Masters Surfing Championship

Fabiola Villarreal Núñez | Jul 11, 2012

A surfer enjoy the Colorado Beach waves. | Photographer: ISA

The event begins on July 14 with an opening parade and the competition kicks off on July 15 July in Colorado Beach, Tola.

26 national teams from five continents, including Nicaragua, have arrived and are ready to take part in the World Masters Surfing Championship from Saturday July 14 to Sunday July 22 in Colorado Beach, Tola, in Rivas. This is the world’s biggest surfing event for over 35s.

The event has taken place each year since 2007 and is run by the International Surf Association (ISA), the world’s governing surf organisation, recognised by the International Olympic Committee. This is the first time the world championships take place in Nicaragua, and it is organised by Gray Line Tours and the Nicaraguan Tourism Board (INTUR).

“This event brings together the best Masters surfers from around the World, competing in teams for their country in an Olympic style event. The surfers will compete for medals and have the honour of representing their country. The athletes are challenging for both individual and team medals of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper and the Eduardo Arena Permanent Trophy for the country winning the team gold medal”, Fernando Aguerre, the ISA President told

Nicaragua won the right to host the championships thanks to its emerging recognition as an international surfing destination with excellent beaches. “We will show that Nicaragua can host surfers from around the world and that as a country we are in the world’s top 10 since we have five of the best waves in the world”, Julio Videa, Marketing Coordinator for INTUR, said in an interview.

For the ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, “Nicaragua is a new surfing nation with excellent waves and a charming people… I am sure this will be a memorable ISA Masters, and the start of a good relationship between Nicaragua and the ISA”.

According to the ISA, Colorado Beach in the Iguana Estate, Tola Municipality, Rivas Department (in the south eastern part of Nicaragua) was chosen because of its world-class caliber. It's ideal in tides both high and low, and offers both lefts and rights, barrels and sections for big turns and aerials.

The infrastructure is ready

As part of the preparations for the infrastructure, “a three-storey tower has already been installed for the judges and national and international media, as well as a Food Court and a fully equipped office for the ISA team”, said Julio Videa.

According to Lucy Valenti, Executive President of Gray Line Yours Nicaragua and the person in charge of the logistics arrangements for the participants and ISA staff “all the teams have already arrived in Nicaragua and will register on 12 and 13 July. On Saturday 14 July the participating teams will march from the Pan-American Highway in Rivas to the Main Square in Rivas as part of the traditional ISA Opening Ceremony and the “World Sand Ceremony”,

Each team will carry a Beckett of sand from their own country, a symbol of unity and harmony. According to Lucy Valenti, the ceremony will take place in the city of Rivas, the administrative capital of the Department, situated about 40 km from Playa Colorado, where the competition will begin the following day.

“This event will have the best level of surfing ever, with the greatest number of surfers and countries taking part in the history of the ISA Masters. So we think it will be an unforgettable experience for everyone” said Fernando Aguerre.

The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship 2012 in Nicaragua will be televised by international channels such as ESPN, FOX Sport, Telehit, and there will be live coverage on the ISA LIVE web page.

At least 161 athletes will take part, including international figures such as:

  • Rob Page (Australia), Pipe Masters Champion in 1988, ISA Gold Medallist.
  • Shea Lopez (USA), ASP Veteran Tour, in the world’s top 16.
  • Kenneth Myers (Panama), Bronze Medallist, Panama’s first surfist to win an ISA medal.
  • Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), six times Triple Crown Surf Champion, ASP World Champion in 2000.
  • Armando Daltro (Brazil), ASP Tour Veteran, in the world’s top 16.
  • Juan Ashton (Puerto Rico), 4 gold medals in the Grand Masters Category, and the surfer with the biggest medal haul (4 golds, 1 copper).
  • Rochelle Ballard (Hawaii), in the world’s top 10 in the ASP Women’s Tour
  • Alisa Cairns (USA), Winner of 3 ISA medals (1 gold, 2 copper).

The participating countries are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Tahiti, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.