Huntington Beach, California, USA, October 23, 2019 - The 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Visit Huntington Beach is set to kick off Oct 26 - Nov 3. Here are the ten things to know about the upcoming competition.
1. The Record
The 2019 edition has matched the record of 44 nations that was set just last year, also in Huntington Beach. 343 surfers will be present to represent their nations and contest the Gold Medals.
2. The Olympic qualifiers
Japan's Shino Matsuda and Daniella Rosas have both earned provisional qualification in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will represent their nations in Huntington Beach. Matsuda earned her continental slot at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, while Rosas secured hers at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The next (and final) qualification opportunity for surfers will come at the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games to take place in May of next year.
3. The returning World Champions
Five individual Gold Medalists will return in search of their second Title in 2019. Japan's Keanu Kamiyama (2018) and Joh Azuchi (2017) will both look for their second Gold Medals in the Men Division, while USA's Alyssa Spencer (2017) and Caitlin Simmers (2018) will attempt to earn another Gold in the Girls U-18 and Girls U-16 Divisions, respectively. Germany's Rachel Presti will defend her Title in the Girls U-18 Division.
4. The emergence of Team Japan
Team Japan made history in 2018 by narrowly edging out the defending Team World Champion USA to earn their first-ever Team Title in the event's history. Japan will look to repeat their strong performance, while USA, the 2015 and 2017 Gold Medalist, will look to retake the Gold on their home turf.
5. How to watch live
The live webcast will be streamed on www.isasurf.org from October 26 - November 3. Visit the official event page for results, team rosters, photos, videos, and news pertaining to the competition. The event can also be viewed live on the ISA's Facebook page: International Surfing Association.
6. The venue - Huntington Beach Pier
Having hosted numerous world-class events over the years, such as the ISA World Surfing Games and US Open of Surfing, Huntington Beach Pier will once again step into the global spotlight as the venue of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. The event will run across two podiums on the south side of the pier.
7. VISSLA and the support
This year's competition marks the sixth consecutive year that VISSLA has supported the World Championship as the title sponsor, bringing their youthful, unique energy to the world's largest junior surfing competition.
The 2019 edition also counts on the support of Visit Huntington Beach as the Presenting Sponsor, Pasea Hotel and Spa as the Official Host Hotel, and Hydroflask and Surfrider Foundation as the Official Sustainability Partners.
8. The history
Historically, the ISA has served as a glimpse into the future stars of the sport. Past ISA World Junior Champions include the two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA, 2010), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW, 2014, 2013), Filipe Toledo (BRA, 2011), Tom Curren (USA, 1980), Tyler Wright (AUS, 2010, 2009), Alejo Muniz (BRA, 2008), Laura Enever (AUS, 2008), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS, 2007), Julian Wilson (AUS, 2006), Owen Wright (AUS, 2006), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS, 2005, 2004), Matt Wilkinson (AUS, 2004), Jordy Smith (RSA, 2003), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA, 2015), Brisa Hennessy (CRC, 2016), and Caroline Marks (USA, 2016).
9. Social media
The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube and don't forget use the official hashtags #ISAworlds and #VISSLAISAworldjuniors.
10. The schedule
October 26 - Opening Ceremony 10:00am - 12:00pm; Parade of Nations down Main St. and Sands of the World Ceremony at Pier Plaza
October 26 - Potential start to competition, 3pm on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier
October 27 - November 3 - Competition on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier, 7:30am - 5pm
November 3 - Closing Ceremony at Pier Plaza following the close of competition