Three young East London surf stars have been included in the South African team who are in Huntington beach, California this week for the prestigious 2019 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.
Close to 350 surfers from 44 nations celebrated the opening of the event on Saturday, which is the culmination of the world’s best juniors surfers, crowning Boys and Girls U-18 and U-16 World Champions.
The visiting delegations kicked off the festivities by marching down Main St. in Huntington Beach in the Parade of Nations, echoing out chants of national pride among the thousands of spectators in attendance.
The iconic Sands of the World followed, where a member from each nation poured sand from their local beaches into a container, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Surfing.
Joining the delegation of Team Brazil was Gabriel Medina, 2010 ISA Junior World Champion and two-time WSL World Champion, showing his support for his younger sister Sophia and the future generation of surfers.
Dignitaries present at the event included VISSLA President Paul Naude, CEO of Visit Huntington Beach Kelly Miller, Mayor of Huntington Beach Erik Peterson, and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who was not able to attend in person, sent a voice message to the visiting delegations.
“We are gathering here today to show the leaders of the world that peace between the people is a possibility and reality. We are all building a better world through Surfing.
“A few of you have already won a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but many of you will very likely be Olympic surfers in 2024 at the Paris Games.
“At the end of this week, some of you will go home with medals, but you are all already champions for being here today representing your nation as members of your National Surfing Teams.”