With a comeback performance in the men's final, Aussie Heath Joske wrapped up the gold medal and clinched the ISA China Cup for Team Australia. With 15 minutes left in the heat and no posted wave scores, Joske found two high-scoring rides, putting the rest of the field in a combo situation. American Cory Lopez finished second for silver, with France's Marc Lacomore in a close third for bronze.
Joske's big finish pushed Team Australia into the first place in the team rankings, edging out France and the U.S., who finished second and third, respectively.
In the women's final, former world champ Sofia Mulanovich continued her tear through the contest en route to her gold medal finish, her second in ISA World Surfing Games competition. Silver went to South Africa's Sarah Baum, and bronze to Brazilian Diana de Souza.
The conclusion of the contest marks a historical day for surfing in China, where the long, reeling left in Riyue Bay produced three days of solid competition at the first ever ISA China Cup. The country has more than 9,000 miles of coastline and little surf culture to speak for it, but this contest is the first of many efforts to change that.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre, decked out in black and white checkered pants and a matching bow tie for the special occasion, said in a press release that this was the first but not the last contest of its kind in China, and the ISA will be back to continue to develop the sport of surfing in the country.
Up next is the Hainan Classic, a 4-star ASP event with a $95,000 purse at the same Riyue Bay. The event will take place from Jan. 11-14. Watch it live here.
Final ISA China Cup Team Rankings
1. Australia – 12,930
2. France – 11,658
3. USA – 10,690
4. Peru – 10,028
5. Brazil – 9,760
6. South Africa – 8,880
7. Argentina – 7,690
8. Venezuela – 7,460
Open Men Final
Gold – Heath Joske (AUS) – 17.50
Silver – Cory Lopez (USA) – 12.33
Bronze – Marc Lacomare (FRA) – 12.30
Copper – Nic Muscroft (AUS) – 4.13
Open Women Final
Gold – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) – 15.27
Silver – Sarah Baum (RSA) – 13.70
Bronze – Diana de Souza (BRA) – 12.60
Copper – Justine Dupont (FRA) – 10.76
Day 1 Highlights
Day 2 Highlights