Sayulita Provides Perfect Backdrop for 2015 SUP World Championship
The International Stand Up Paddle World Championship was just held here in Sayulita, with competitors representing 27 national delegations traveling from around the world. This was the first time the competition has taken place here in Mexico, and there was no better place to host it than our beautiful beaches. With our reputation as the SUP Mecca of Mexico, Sayulita provided the perfect backdrop for the 4th ISA SUP Competition.
First established in 2012, the ISA has experienced a tremendous amount of growth and has almost tripled in terms of athlete participation. Our beautiful coastline welcomed participants traveling to Sayulita from more than two dozen countries who were able to take advantage of the fabulous weather and world-class waves. While the competition just missed one of the best swells of the year by just a week, the rock/reef bottom break of our local break offered ample conditions for the event. The fact that Mexico was chosen as the site for the competition is certainly a historic moment for our country.
During the multiday event, athletes from around the world were able to enjoy a sense of friendly rivalry while our village of Sayulita hosted the competition in a traditional, welcoming style. Our country was well represented, with Mexico reaffirming the fact that we have one of the best teams in the world and finishing in sixth overall place by team.
Although there was naturally a strong desire by our team members to take their place on the winner’s podium, our team performed quite well, particularly considering the fact that it is still very young. Team Mexico certainly has tremendous potential for taking a spot on the winner’s podium in future events as half of our team has placed in the top five worldwide, while the other half has just begun to compete professionally and will certainly demonstrate tremendous potential at upcoming events.
During the first day of the competition, our own Felipe Hernandez was met with celebration and cheering on the beach after he entertained the crowd by boosting the largest air yet seen in the competition and taking a heat win.
A variety of different disciplines was represented in the competition, including SUP Surfing, SUP Racing Technical, Paddleboard Racing Technical, SUP Racing Distance, Paddleboard Distance Racing, and a special Team Paddle Relay event. Each team was comprised of eight men and five women along with five alternate athletes. Each competitor was able to participate in a maximum of three event disciplines. Activities began at 8 a.m. each day and concluded at 5 p.m. each day.
Mexico’s Final Results
Team Mexico was primarily comprised of paddlers and surfers from the Riviera Nayarit. Heading up our team was Captain Fernando Stalla, who has achieved the ranking of 18th in the world as an SUP racer. In the SUP Technical Men’s discipline, Javier Jimenez took sixth place and in Men’s Surf, Felipe Rodriguez took 11th. Jimenez also took the silver in the SUP Racing Distance event, while Fernando Stalla took ninth place.
In the SUP Racing Technical Women’s discipline, Erika Benitez took ninth place, while Alejandra Brito took 18th place for the SUP Racing Distance Women’s event. Felipe Hernandez took bronze for Paddleboard Technical Men, with Felipe Rodriguez taking eighth.
In the Paddleboard Distance Men’s event, Diego Cadena came in 19th, with Oliver Cruz finishing in 21st place. Italvi Fuente Cid finished ninth for both the Paddleboard Technical Women’s and Paddleboard Distance Women’s events.
Photography provided by Wicked Fotos