ISA World StandUp Paddle & Paddleboard Champs
International Surfing Association
La Boquita Beach, Nicaragua
30 April - 11 May, 2014
Lake Nicaragua hosts the world's best women paddlers today
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 May, 2014 - Another beautiful, hot and windy day on Lake Nicaragua set the stage for the Women’s SUP and Paddleboard Long Distance Races, where Canada’s Lina Augaitis won the 18km SUP Race and Australia’s Jordan Mercer won the 18km Paddleboard Race.
The world’s best female SUP and Paddleboard Racers navigated their way to the medals through the “Isletas de Granada” on Day 6 of the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC). The 365 islands provided an amazing backdrop for the race as the athletes navigated through the course located southeast of the city of Granada.
“What a day!,” remarked a jubilant ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “We are in the beautiful Lake Nicaragua and had an amazing day of racing. The ladies impressed me today in the challenging 18km distance race under the strong Nicaraguan heat. Everyone put on an incredible fight through the islands and then, of course, the final kilometer against the wind, the toughest part of the competition. Congratulations to all of the ladies for their amazing effort.”
Lina Augaitis © ISA/Gonzalez
In the Women´s SUP Race, Canada’s Lina Augaitis is the new ISA Women’s World SUP Long Distance Champion, after finishing the 18 kilometer course in 1:58:24 to win the Gold Medal. The Canadian and the Australian, Shakira Westdorp took off from the start and separated themselves from the pack, but it was ultimately Augaitis who finished in 1st and earned the Gold Medal.
“This race had a little bit of everything, flatwater, some head wind, some really hard side chop, and a really nice downwind,” said the elated Gold Medalist, Augaitis. “The scenery was beautiful with the islands, and the monkeys came out and cheered us on. For a distance race, it’s the kind I like. I like point-to-point races because they are an adventure and you don’t know what’s coming up next, so I thought it was a really great course.”
Westdorp earned the Silver Medal (AUS, 2:00:20) after winning the Bronze Medal just three days ago in La Boquita in the SUP Surfing. Barbara Brazil (BRA, 2:02:49) won Bronze, and the 15 year-old Shae Foudy (USA, 2:03:40), the Copper.
In the Women’s Paddleboard Long Distance Race, Aussie Jordan Mercer achieved her third consecutive Gold Medal and ISA World Championship. The 20 year-old Australian once again showed her talent by taking the lead from the start of the race, along with USA’s Carter Graves, who followed closely for the first few kilometers of the race. With 7 kilometers to go, Mercer left Graves behind and finished the race in 1:59:16.
Ana Vanegas © ISA/Gonzalez
“For me,” said Mercer while recovering in the in the winners circle. “The preparation is very important. I don’t like to enter races I’m not 100% prepared for and to know that I’m going to give the best I possibly can. When it comes to race day, all of the hard work is done and it becomes a mental game, so staying positive, making the right decisions, and racing smart is often better than racing hard.”
Mercer continued talking about her experience on the course: “It was absolutely amazing to take in the beauty of where we are when we are hurting so much in the race. We were working our way and navigating through all of these islands, and everywhere you looked it’s just beautiful islands, big rocks, and trees. It was a real adventure trying to make our way through the course and navigate to where we needed to be. I really enjoyed when we came out of the islands and went downwind and got to chase all the bumps and surf our way. Although, to finish off that race was a massive headwind coming back home and was one of the toughest parts.”
USA’s Carter Craves earned the Silver Medal (2:02:20), Spain’s Itzair Abascal Rivero, the Bronze Medal (2:09:49), and New Zealand’s Ashley Cochrane, the Copper Medal (2:17:19).
Shakira Westdorp © ISA/Gonzalez
Of special note was the local SUP Racer Ana Vanegas, who finished 10th in the world with a time of 2:26:23. Vanegas is a seasoned canoe paddler that trains and competes in this discipline, who lives in one of the islands, and just learned how to SUP race less than two weeks ago. Her sister Maria is also representing Nicaragua and competed today in the Paddleboard Race and finished in 10th as well.
“It was tough because of the conditions, but I maintained myself,” said Ana Vanegas. “I was focused on the racer ahead of me and was trying to catch her. I am very happy and very proud to represent my country.”
Competition resumes on Saturday with The Morning Show hosted by Beau Hodge and Jamie Mitchell at 8:40am, followed by the Men’s SUP and Paddleboard Long Distance Race at 9:00am. The course will run through the breathtaking “Isletas of Granada” and will be 18km in length.