Competitors Take to the Streets of Miraflores for the Opening Ceremony of the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship

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ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship
February 19, 2012
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

As the 17 nations paraded through the streets of Miraflores, a coastal city in Lima, with flags waving, wearing their national colors and singing the songs of their country, the excitement of the first-ever ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship struck nearly every sense of the body. Locals and tourists lined the streets around Parque Kennedy and cheered the teams as they came by, saving their most intense applause for Team Peru.

“Peru! Peru! Peru!” they cheered as the team passed, with the national flag being waved by Oswaldo Velez, one of the team officials.

“I’ve been coming to Peru for many, many years, and the passion of the people in this country is why the ISA keeps coming back to host events here,” said Fernando Aguerre, the president of the ISA. “This is the first official gathering of the best StandUp Paddle and Paddleboarders in one place, and we should have an amazing week.”

Following the Parade of Nations, which was led around the park by Aguerre, Peruvian surf legend Hector Velarde, event organizer and Executive Director of FENTA, the Peruvian Surfing Federation, Karin Sierralta, the president of Club Waikiki, Jose Antonio Osterling and Alan Atkins, vice president of the ISA and event technical director, the teams and spectators congregated outside the Miraflores Mayor’s Office for the remainder of the ceremony.

Each team sent a flag bearer and a representative onto the stage for the traditional Sands of the World Ceremony, where sands from home beaches are poured into a glass container, representing the peaceful gathering of nations through the love of surfing. One highlight in particular was Robert Etienne, who poured the “sand” for Team Switzerland – which was all rocks – and then took a moment to grace the crowd with his yodeling ability.

Aguerre shared words with the crowd explaining why he wanted to include an SUP and paddleboard event in the mission of the ISA – citing the ancient surfing roots of both sports – and he repeated his recurring dream for the sport of surfing: to have surfing, SUP and paddleboarding in the Olympic Games.

Several dignitaries spoke after Aguerre including, Jose Quinones, the president of the Peruvian Olympic committee; Guillermo Gonzalez, the president of FENTA; and Carlos Alarco Proaño, the deputy mayor of Miraflores.

Quinones echoed Aguerre’s hopes to have surfing included in the Olympics, pointing to the presence of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Miraflores in April 2013 as an opportunity for Peruvians and surfers to prove that the sport belongs amongst the world’s greatest gathering of athletes. One step toward that ultimate goal will begin with the Bolivarian Games, which is a multi-sport regional event held in honor of Simon Bolivar, a famous Venezuelan politician, and involves six countries, including Peru.

“I had a brief conversation with ISA President Aguerre and have told him that we intend to have surfing, SUP and paddleboarding in the next and every edition of the Bolivarian Games,” Quinones announced.

The speeches were followed by two traditional dances, the Marinera and the “Dance of the Scissors.” The performing artists received loud applause from the athletes and 1500 locals surrounding the Opening Ceremony stage.

Immediately after, Aguerre again approached the microphone. “Everyone, this is my favorite part,” he began. “I now officially declare the event open!”

The event press conference will be held on Monday, February 20 at 12:30pm local time (9:30am PST), and will be held in the conference room at Miraflores’ City Hall. Competition begins on Tuesday mornings at 8:00am local time (5:00am PST) with SUP surfing.

The live webcast resumes Tuesday morning when competition begins, and can be seen at

The ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship is made possible with the support of the following event partners: IPD, ADO, Club Waikiki. Repsol, Movistar, Casa Andina, Sticky Bumps, NSP, Terra, Municipalidad de Lima, Municipalidad de Miraflores, FENTA, Marina de Guerra del Peru, JAO, and Securitas. The media partners are Terra, StandUp Latino and Surfos.


About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the Tandem Surfing World Titles, and held the first stand-alone World Bodyboard Championship in 2011 and the inaugural ISA China Cup in 2012. It will also hold the first World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 70 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA´s three Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER) and Debbie Beacham (USA).

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