2019 VISSLA ISA World Juniors Officially Open: Thousands Celebrate Pinnacle of Global Junior Surfing
Competition kicks off on Sunday with all divisions
Brazil’s 2010 ISA Junior World Champion and two-time WSL CT Champion Gabriel Medina shows support of future generation
The 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Visit Huntington Beach was officially declared open by Huntington Beach Mayor Erik Peterson at Pier Plaza.
342 surfers from 44 nations celebrated the opening of the event, which is the culmination of the world’s best juniors surfers, crowning Boys and Girls U-18 and U-16 World Champions.
The visiting delegations kicked off the festivities by marching down Main St. in Huntington Beach in the Parade of Nations, echoing out chants of national pride among the thousands of spectators in attendance.
The iconic Sands of the World followed, where a member from each nation poured sand from their local beaches into a container, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Surfing.
Joining the delegation of Team Brazil was Gabriel Medina, 2010 ISA Junior World Champion and two-time WSL World Champion, showing his support for his younger sister Sophia and the future generation of surfers.
Dignitaries present at the event included VISSLA President Paul Naude, CEO of Visit Huntington Beach Kelly Miller, Mayor of Huntington Beach Erik Peterson, and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who was not able to attend in person, sent a voice message to the visiting delegations.
“We are gathering here today to show the leaders of the world that peace between the people is a possibility and reality. We are all building a better world through Surfing.
“A few of you have already won a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but many of you will very likely be Olympic surfers in 2024 at the Paris Games.
“At the end of this week, some of you will go home with medals, but you are all already champions for being here today representing your nation as members of your National Surfing Teams.”
VISSLA President Paul Naude said:
“Congratulations to all the competitors for making their teams and for traveling from all around the word to get here.
“Since contest surfing began, every great competitor has competed at the Huntington Beach Pier. You can have the opportunity to go out there and make your mark.
“Make the most of these next days here. Represent your families well. Represent your countries well. But most importantly, forge great friendships.”
CEO of Visit Huntington Beach Kelly Miller said:
“Welcome to the surfing capital of the world, Huntington Beach Surf City USA.
“You are in the center of the universe for surfing. From the pier, to the International Walk of Fame, to the Hall of Fame, to the statues, to the surf museum, to the world’s largest surfboard, to some of the best surf shops in the world, you will be putting in your hearts and mind the memories from Huntington Beach that will never be erased.”
Huntington Beach Mayor Erik Peterson said:
“This is an amazing event for us and an amazing event for the world. You all will meet people during your time here that you will know for the rest of your life.
“Surfing is a cure-all. You have a bad day, you go surfing. You have a good day, you go surfing. It makes life better and you get to express that to everyone in your country.
“It’s amazing to have surfers from all around the world here again. We had you all last year, and we want you all again in the future.”
The 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship will be broadcast live October 26 – November 3 on isasurf.org.
The event schedule is as follows*:
October 27 – November 3 – Competition on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier, 7am – 5pm
November 3 – Closing Ceremony at Pier Plaza following the close of competition
*Subject to changes. Pacific Standard Time.