Team Updates International Surfing AssociationLa Libertad, El Salvador16 – 23 October 2011
Layne Beachley and Mark Richardson take first place in their divisions Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 October, 2011 : – – Layne Beachley and Mark Richardson are the toast of Australian surfing today after winning the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship for TravelSIM Team Australia in El Salvador. In clean .5m swell at Punta Roca, Beachley (Manly, NSW) dominated the Female Masters (35 years or older) for an eighth world title in her competitive comeback after retiring three years ago, while Richardson (Palm Beach, QLD) was equally impressive in the Male Masters (35 years or older).The championship included more than 20 countries with more than 120 surfers competing in the Masters, Grand Masters, Kahunas and Grand Kahunas divisions. In the only other final featuring an Australian, Nick Pearson (Byron Bay, NSW) finished third in the Grand Kahunas (50 years or older).TravelSIM Team Australia, the defending champions, finished fifth behind new champions the USA, Brazil, South Africa and Puerto Rico. Seven-time ASP World Champion Beachley was never headed in the Female Masters, taking out the final with a score of 13.10 to beat South Africa’s Heather Clarke (9.67), Andrea Lopes (9.23) from Brazil and the USA’s Alissa Cairns (5.03).“It feels really satisfying to come home with the Gold. I have eight world titles now,” Beachley said. “To have the whole team at the rocks supporting me was a really great experience. We are doing the country proud and I was really honoured to surf for Australia. This was a wonderful experience and I hope to come back next year.”After a slow start to the championship finishing third in his first heat, Richardson was forced to surf through the six elimination repechage heats but surged into the final with five firsts and a second. His momentum didn’t stop in the final scoring a day-high 15.34 for a convincing win ahead of Puerto Rico’s Carlos Cabrero (10.66), Gary van Wieringen (9.10) of South Africa and Ross Williams (6.33) of Hawaii.
“I’m just so stoked, I came third in the World Surfing Games in 2004, when I was winning and with one minute to go a wave was taken away from me and I was left in third,” Richardson said. “So this is the one that I really wanted to win. I’m so happy it happened.”Byron Bay’s Nick “Zippy” Pearson was almost the unlikely hero in the Grand Kahunas after a last-minute call-up following the late withdrawal of Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew. Pearson impressed leading into the final, but the waves deserted him during the decider to score 7.83 in finishing third behind Costa Rica’s Craig Schieber (9.86) and Chris Knutsen (8.26) of South Africa. Allen Sarlo (7.70) from the USA was fourth.In the other divisions, three-time World Champion Tom Curren won the Kahunas (45 years or older) and Juan Ashton, from Puerto Rico, won the Grand Masters (40 years or older).Final points: 1 United States 9396, 2 Brazil 9086, 3 South Africa 8886, 4 Puerto Rico 8618, 5 Australia 8480, 6 Hawaii 7664, 7 Costa Rica 6090, 8 Argentina 6016, 9 France 5821, 10 Peru 5548, 11 Venezuela 5363, 12 Trinidad & Tobago 5335, 13 El Salvador 5230, 14 Ecuador 5030, 15 Uruguay 3640, 16 Mexico 2240, 17 Sweden 1905, 18 Germany 1680, 19 Switzerland 680, 20 Panama 500, 21 New Zealand 450.The Masters TravelSIM Team Australia representatives:Female Masters (35 years or older)- Layne Beachley (NSW)Male Masters (35 years or older)- Mark Richardson (QLD)- Toby Martin (NSW)Grand Masters (40 years or older)- Scott Myers (NSW)- John Schmidenberg (NSW)Kahunas (45 years or older)- Rowan Sapwell (VIC)- Dean Shaw (NSW)Grand Kahunas (50 years or older)- Nick Pearson (NSW)Surfing Australia would like to recognise the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), TravelSIM and Suncorp for their continuing support of the Team Australia Program.