Fiji Hosts First Ever ISA Event

Fiji Sun - - Sport - LEONE CABENATABUA

The 2016 Fiji ISA World SUP and Pad­dle­board Cham­pi­onship is all set to kick-off to­day with the open­ing cer­e­mony in Port De­na­rau. All 26 na­tional SUP and Pad­dle­board teams fea­tur­ing 244 ath­letes have an­nounced their ros­ters to com­pete in the SUP Surf­ing, SUP Rac­ing and Pad­dle­board Rac­ing dis­ci­plines for the week of com­pe­ti­tion to come. The na­tional teams that are con­firmed to com­pete are Ar­gentina, Aus­tralia, Brazil, Canada, Colom­bia, Cook Is­lands, Costa Rica, Den­mark, Fiji, France, Great Bri­tain, Hawaii, In­dia, Ire­land, Ja­pan, Mex­ico, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, Slove­nia, South Africa, Spain, Swe­den, Switzer­land, Tahiti and USA. To­day at 4:30pm, the open­ing cer­e­mony will kick-off the fes­tiv­i­ties fea­tur­ing the Pa­rade of Na­tions and Flags of the World in Port De­na­rau. All 26 na­tions will pa­rade through the ma­rina of Port De­na­rau to the Open­ing Cer­e­mony stage, where they will par­tic­i­pate in the Flags of the World Cer­e­mony.

A tra­di­tion that usu­ally fea­tures sand from each na­tion, the flags of the world cer­e­mony will unite the flags of ev­ery na­tion in a con­tainer to re­spect the re­stric­tions of bring­ing for­eign sand into Fiji. This cer­e­mony sym­bol­ises the peace­ful gath­er­ing of na­tions of the world through SUP. Rep­re­sent­ing the global growth of the sport of SUP in non-tra­di­tional na­tions, In­dia has fielded a team in an ISA World Cham­pi­onship for the first time in his­tory. Two In­dian ath­letes, Sekar Patchai and Tanvi Ja­gadish, are con­firmed to com­pete.

Tanvi Ja­gadish, 16-year-old SUP racer from In­dia, said: “I feel re­ally good to rep­re­sent my na­tion of In­dia. This is my first in­ter­na­tional and ISA SUP com­pe­ti­tion.

“SUP is grow­ing in In­dia, es­pe­cially with the girls. Ev­ery year the num­ber of girls com­pet­ing is in­creas­ing along with the num­ber of com­pe­ti­tions in our na­tional cham­pi­onship tour. With this op­por­tu­nity pro­vided by the ISA, more girls will be in­spired to prac­tice SUP and Surf­ing.” ISA pres­i­dent, Fernando Aguerre, said: “As the glob­ally recog­nised World Gov­ern­ing Body for SUP in all its vari­a­tions, the ISA is proud to bring the 2016 Fiji ISA World SUP and Pad­dle­board Cham­pi­onship to Fiji for the first time is a great step for­ward for the sports of SUP and Pad­dle­board. The crys­tal clear wa­ters of Fiji and the pow­er­ful waves of Cloud­break will pro­vide the per­fect plat­form for the world’s best SUP surfers, SUP rac­ers and Pad­dle­board ath­letes to push the lim­its of th­ese sports.

“This event fea­tures true Olympic spirit with ath­letes from all five con­ti­nents rep­re­sent­ing their na­tions. It’s an­other step­ping stone in our vi­sion and push for SUP’s Olympic in­clu­sion.” The 2016 Fiji ISA World SUP and Pad­dle­board Cham­pi­onship will be a Deep Blue Surf­ing Event, which means that it has set a clear path for re­duc­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts. The event will fo­cus on di­vert­ing waste pri­mar­ily from the boats, open­ing cer­e­mony and the is­land of Tavarua into re­cy­cling and com­post. Ad­di­tion­ally, the event will be car­bon neu­tral through a part­ner­ship with Star­board and the Thor Hey­er­dahl Cli­mate Park in Myan­mar, which will off­set the car­bon foot­print of the flights, lodg­ing and food through the CO2 that is ab­sorbed by plant­ing man­groves.

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