Peru Wins Billabong ISA World Surfing Games. US Places 6th.

The Peruvian team celebrates their Victory at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games. Photo:La Torre
The Peruvian team celebrates their Victory at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games. Photo:La Torre

After a week’s worth of highs and lows, closeout lefts and rippable rights, the 2010 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Peru came to a climactic finish at the 3-foot rights at Senoritas. With 31 teams competing at this year’s event, the sleepy surfside village was transformed into surfing’s version of Olympic City with as many languages being spoken as there were waves on tap for the contest. Throughout the week, flags were raised and anticipations swelled as the dream of taking a home a team gold took root in the minds of every surfer in the event. Remarkably, the overall gold medal didn’t have to travel very far as the Peruvians took the win at this year’s games by placing a surfer in each of the three finals. The Australians would come in second and the South Africans third and the Americans sixth.

On the individual level, with the surfers thinned down over the course of the last week, a veritable pantheon of current surfing giants and future stars proved to be razor sharp. Claiming the prestigious men’s shortboard gold, Tahiti’s Hira Teriinatoofa squeaked out a narrow win over Peruvian hometown hero Gabriel Villaran. Throughout the games, both Teriinatoofa and Villaran looked impeccable, but it was Teriinatoofa’s precision and strategy that proved golden. As they played the Tahitian anthem, Teriinatoofa shrouded himself in his flag, held his hand to his heart, and emotionally soaked in the glory of winning a gold medal.

For the women, Australian surfing superstar Chelsea Hedges dropped the highest-heat score of the final with a blistering performance on the rippable rights to the tune of a 17-point combined heat total. In second place stood New Zealand’s Paige Hareb and in third was Peruvian Sofia Mulanovich with France’s Pauline Ado rounding out the final.

A reflection of more than just progressive surfing, the ISA Games also included a longboarding division that was swept with the effortless poise and grace of Brazil’s Rodrigo Sphyer who took down Australians Josh Constable and Harley Ingleby and Peruvian Benoit Clemente.

Despite being last year’s champions, the American squad opened up the games on a tear but faltered in the last few days with the loss of frontline surfers like Ben Bourgeois and Mike Losness in the fourth round. Although there weren’t any Americans standing tall on the podium by event’s end, head coach Ian Cairns stated that this was a growing year for the team.

Although surfing may not be an Olympic Sport, at the end of the ISA Games, with the teams crowding the podium, some wearing medals, some not, all proud, all smiling, there was no denying that the Olympic spirit was alive and well in Peru—it just happened to be under a different name.

TEAM RESULTS:
Gold: Peru
Silver: Australia
Bronze: South Africa
Copper: Brazil

INDIVIDUAL FINAL RESULTS

Open Men
Gold: Hira Terinatoofa (TAH)
Silver: Gabriel Villarán (PER)
Bronze: Alan Jhones (BRA)
Copper: Mick Campbell(AUS)

Open Women
Gold: Chelsea Hedges (AUS)
Silver: Paige Hareb (NZ)
Bronze: Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Copper: Pauline Ado (FRA)

Longboard
Gold: Rodrigo Sphyer (BRA)
Silver: Josh Constable (AUS)
Bronze: Harley Ingleby (AUS)
Copper: Benoit Clemente (PER)

Final Nations Rankin
1. Peru
2. Australia
3. South Africa
4. Brazil
5. Tahiti
6. USA
7. France
8. New Zealand
9. Costa Rica
10. Spain
11. Venezuela
12. Puerto Rico
13. Chile
14. Argentina
15. Mexico
16. Great Britain
17. Panama
18. Japan
19.  Ecuador
20. Germany
21. Uruguay
22. Switzerland
23. Guatemala
24. Portugal
25. Canada
26. Sweden
27. Dominican Republic
28. Israel
29. Jamaica
30. Ireland
31. Barbados

Peru Takes Gold Medal at Billabong ISA World Surfing Games

Gabriel Villaran displaying top-notch surfing to earn victory. Photo: Marotta
Gabriel Villaran displaying top-notch surfing to earn second place.. Photo: Marotta
Open Women's Winner and World Tour surfer, Chelsea Hedges floating the oncoming section. Photo:
Open Women's Winner, Chelsea Hedges tearing the top-off an unfortunate wave. Photo: La Torre
San Clemente's own, Mike Losness surfed well in the early rounds but fell just short in Round 4. Photo:
San Clemente's, Mike Losness surfed well in the early rounds, but fell just short in Round 4. Photo: Marotta
Open Men's fourth place finisher, Mick Campbell showing off that powerful backhand. Photo:
Open Men's fourth place finisher, Mick Campbell showing off that powerful backhand. Photo: Marotta
Sofia Mulanovich heads out for her Round 4 heat, which she would later win. Photo:
Sofia Mulanovich heading out for her Round 4 heat. Photo: La Torre
Tahiti's Hira-Teriinatoofa powerful fronthand assualt earned victory in the Open Men's division. Photo:
It was Tahiti's, Hira Teriinatoofa's powerful fronthand assualt that earned victory in the Open Men's division. Photo: La Torre
Benoit Clemente going vertical on his Round 2 heat. Photo:
Fourth place finisher, Benoit Clemente going vertical in his Round 2 heat. Photo: Marotta
Down time at the Team Venezuala camp. Photo:
Downtime at the Venezuala camp. Photo: La Torre
USA's Kulia Doherty drawing her line. Photo:
USA's Kulia Doherty drawing her line. Photo: Lopez
Peru's next rising star, Cristobal de Col with a standard frontside double grab.
Peru's next rising star, Cristobal de Col with a standard frontside double grab. Photo: La Torre