International surfers, the games are on! The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games will take place in Panama from June 25 to July 3, 2011. The event will gather the best of the best of the sport of surfing, and for seven days, Panama will be the surfing capital of the world.
Yes… in just a little over a week, 200 of the world’s best surfers from over 28 countries will blow into Panama’s gorgeous Playa Venao, five hours southwest of Panama City. What are the waves like? The waves at Playa Venao, depending on the tide can be hollow beach-break barrels or perfectly rippable for both left and right handers. So, let the games begin!
Four Open Men, two Open Women and two longboarders from each country will vie for one of Surfing’s biggest honors, to earn a medal for their country. In each of the three divisions, competitors will surf to win individual gold, silver, bronze and copper medals. The Fernando Aguerre ISA World Team Trophy will go to the nation that achieves the highest points total, taking all team members performances into consideration.
Peru is the defending champion of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games, having won last year’s games in their home court. But, Australia has the record of victories in the event, Team USA had a Gold Medal finish in 2009, not to mention that Brazil, France, South Africa, Tahiti and New Zealand are always worthy competitors.
Since 1996, the nations that won the gold medal for their team are:
1996 – Huntington Beach, USA: United States
1998 – Carcavelos, Portugal: Australia
2000 – Maracaípe, Brazil: Brazil
2002 – Durban, South Africa: South Africa
2004 – Salinas, Ecuador: Australia
2006 – Huntington Beach, USA: Australia
2008 – Costa de Caparica, Portugal: Australia
2009 – Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica: United States
2010 – Punta Hermosa, Peru: Peru
2011 – Playa Venao, Panama: ?
Which team do you think will take it this year?