The TravelSIM Team Australia has shown its strength on the opening day of competition at the 2013 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship in Peru.
Yesterday, after a three hour delay due to heavy fog, team members Justin Holland from Kingscliff , Beau Nixon from Tweed Heads and Shakira Westdorp hit the water. With light winds and fun one metre waves at La Pampilla Beach, Miraflores, Lima, the Australians showed why they are the favourites for this event, producing two of the highest heat scores of the day.
Justin Holland was on fire, linking one major manoeuvre after another to score a total of 14.1 and comfortably win his morning heat, before taking out his round 2 heat in the afternoon a well. ‘I’m stoked! There are fun little waves out there, not super big but there’s a swell coming in a couple of days, so it’s going to be a good week,’ said Holland with his trademark enthusiasm. ‘Beau and Shakira are ripping out there as well.’
In the following heat, Beau Nixon put on a show to nail the single biggest score of the day (8.33) and produce the highest heat total of the morning session with 14.83. The current Australian champion pushed it even harder in the afternoon with a 15.74, the best performance of the day.
In the women’s SUP surfing event, 2012 silver medallist Shakira Westdorp won her heat and progressed straight through to the next round, avoiding the dreaded repechage.
The day started with Team Captain and 10 times World Champion Jamie Mitchell chatting to ISA President Fernando Aguerre on the Morning Show. The pair discussed not only this event but also the potential for SUP to become part of the Olympics in the near future, a goal that is a major part of the ISA’s charter.
The 2013 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship runs from February 25 to March 2nd and features SUP surfing, SUP racing and prone paddleboarding events, with results combined to crown an overall World Championship Team.
TravelSIM Team Australia is looking to defend the overall Gold Medal it won 12 months ago, though standing in their way are 22 nations from around the world. Strong teams from Mexico, Brazil and South Africa look set to be the biggest threats, but if Day 1 is anything to go by the Australians will be hard to catch.
Today the SUP and prone paddleboard races get underway and Australia has its first shot at individual gold. First up is the 22km Long Distance event, which is set to feature Molokai-2-Oahu World Champions Brad Gaul (prone), Jamie Mitchell (SUP), Jordan Mercer (prone), Australian Champions Kelly Margetts (SUP) and Angela Jackson (SUP), as well as Sunshine Coast young gun Lincoln Dews (prone).