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Tandem surfing champs named at Trestles event

Clement & Dhelia © ITSA Tandem

Tandem Surfing World Championship

ITSA World Tandem Tour
Church's, San Clemente California
7 - 9 January 2011

Clement & Dhelia (FRA) claim their second ISA World Title in a row

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 January, 2011 : - - The new year, 2011, has already heralded in several notable firsts in the history of tandem surfing. It was the first time that the ISA Tandem Surfing World Championship, held January 7-9th at Trestles, took place on the mainland USA. It was also the first time, since the inception of the International Tandem Surfing Association (ITSA), that the same team has won the World Championship title in two consecutive years.

This is a fact that Clement Cetran and Dhelia Birou, 2010 and 2011 World Champions, can now proudly boast. And, it was the first time that the youngest competitor (Hana McEvilly, 10) and the oldest competitor (Kathy Terada, 58) in the entire contest battled against each other in the Finals.

The contest was held over three days, and contestants battled a variety of conditions from small wind chop to glassy, chest-high waves, high tide lulls, and low-tide rocks. Weather varied between grey clouds with brutally cold wind, to sunny blue skies that were more reminiscent of days in June than in January. Hungry rocks tried to bite into many teams, and several boards were dinged and others lost fins and had to be replaced mid-heat. Luckily, despite many close calls where teams crashed onto the rocky shore, no one was seriously hurt, only a few bruises, which is nothing new to seasoned tandem surfers.

The quarter final heats showed no surprises as the top eight-ranked competitors easily advanced to the semi-final rounds. A new competition format introduced this year (another historic first) allowed the remaining contenders to surf again in a Division B semi-finals. The difficult conditions on Saturday culled the very best from the best as teams struggled to find viable rides in the peaky, high-tide and wind swell-driven surf. I kept chasing the bumps, said Clay Huntington, veteran tandem surf competitor (this contest was his and his wife Kristen s seventh ITSA World Championship in a row).

But wherever I was, the waves just weren t or Clement got there first! But the top four teams who advanced to the final round did not appear to have much trouble picking off the cherry bombs. Ah, it was perhaps a bit difficult out there, but we are used to such waves as this in France, said Rico Leroy, the reigning ITSA World Tandem Tour champion. We had a lot of fun.

Sunday morning showed more promise, as a new ground swell began building and the sky remained sunny and clear. Even the mid-day wind died down a bit as the hour for the Final heat approached. The top four teams very happily paddled out into almost glassy, well-formed, and consistent surf. In yellow, Clement and Dhelia from Biscarosse, France drew first blood on a bomber wave and executed a flawless Arabesque/ Contortion/Americano/Flat combination that earned them a perfect 10 in the sequence component of the score.

The father/daughter team in Red, Brian and Hana McEvilly (in her first professional tandem surfing contest) quickly answered that challenge with a never before seen Flat straight from the board. They followed that with an Arabesque to Americano and ended with another Flat, which got them a perfect 10 sequence score and very high surfing scores that put them into the lead at that point.

However, the other two teams still had much to prove. In Blue, Rico Leroy and Sarah Burel, arguably the most graceful, polished, and professional team in tandem surfing today and two-time ITSA World Tandem Tour Champions (2009, 2010) have yet to claim the elusive ISA World Champion title. In White was the new team of Kathy Terada and Kalani Vierra. Though they have never competed together

professionally, Kathy won the World Champion title in 2006 with partner Brian Kealana and Kalani won the title twice, once in 2007 with 60s surf legend Blanche Yoshita and then again in 2009 with his daughter Ala. Kalani also won the World Tandem Tour in 2007 with Blanche and again with daughter Ala in 2008.

In the next 25 minutes of the 30 minute heat, the fans and tandem followers on the beach saw an exhibition of the greatest tandem surfing ever witnessed in an international contest of this high caliber. Rico and Sarah successfully managed to execute the second hardest lift twice, the very difficult Accro. Kathy and Kalani invented some new transitions, taking the Back Angel back to the Shoulder Sit, which has never been seen before and allowed them to build some unique combinations.

Clement and Dhelia continued executing their tried-and-true front-arch-split, contortions, and American/Flat maneuvers, but earned the highest surfing marks of the entire contest. After a very strong start, the McEvilly team showed signs of fatigue (Brian had surfed many of the individual divisions that day as well) and struggled to hold their lifts for the requisite 3 seconds.

It was one of the closest final heats in ISA Tandem Surfing history, with the first and second place scores differing by less than half a point. In the end, the deciding factor was the surfing component. Clement and Dhelia, riding their new R-World custom tandem board had the advantage and took home the title World Champions for the second time in a row.

For more information, pictures, and video coverage, go to or Add comments or Friend tandem surfing on Facebook (search Tandem Waveriders Organization , TWO).

Quarter final :
Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 12,97
Mark & Debbie (USA) 10,81
Ray & Tammy (USA) 5,06
Alex & Theresa (USA 0,00

Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 14,10
Clay & Kristen (USA) 9,39
Craig & Tanya (USA) 5,61
Chris & Kat (USA) 2,74

Chuck & Tiffany (HAW) 15,80
Pauly & Kristl (USA) 11,13
Heston & Kayla (USA) 4,18
Travis & Kate (USA) 3,87
Brian & Cindy (USA) 1,33

Rico & Sarah (FRA) 15,94
Brian & Hana (USA) 12,94
Loic & Celine (FRA) 9,36
Charles & Myra (USA) 6,99

Semi final :
Brian & Hana (USA) 13,37
Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 13,02
Chuck & Tiffany (HAW) 10,31
Clay & Kristen (USA) 3,79

Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 12,51
Rico & Sarah (FRA) 11,31
Pauly & Kristl (USA) 10,02
Mark & Debbie (USA) 8,72

Final A :
Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 16,74
Rico & Sarah (FRA) 16,26
Brian & Hana (USA) 15,43
Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 13,01

Final B :
Charles & Myra (USA) 8,15
Loic & Celine (FRA) 7,71
Craig & Tanya (USA) 6,92
Ray & Tammie (USA) 5,99

ITSA WTT 2011 Ranking
1 Clement & Dhelia (FRA) 898 pts
2 Rico & Sarah (FRA) 786 pts
3 Brian & Hana (USA) 675 pts
4 Kalani & Kathy (HAW) 585 pts
5 Chuck & Tiffany (HAW) 438 pts
6 Pauly & Kristl (USA) 438 pts
7 Mark & Debbie (USA) 416 pts
8 Clay & Kristen (USA) 416 pts
9 Charles & Myra (USA) 406 pts
10 Loic & Celine (FRA) 406 pts
11 Craig & Tanya (USA) 406 pts
12 Ray & Tammy (USA) 406 pts
13 Chris & Kat (USA) 316 pts
14 Heston & Kayla (USA) 316 pts
15 Travis & Kate (USA) 316 pts
16 Brian & Cindy (USA) 316 pts
17 Alex & Theresa (USA) 317 pts


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