Surfing Team South Africa set for ISA China Cup tomorrow

The  ISA China Cup gets underway at Wanning on Hainan Island in China tomorrow.

Team South Africa will field a strong line-up against four man and two women squads from the ISA’s top eight surfing nations, namely reigning team champions Peru plus Australia, Brazil, USA, France, Argentina and Venezuela. The SA Team is captained by former ASP World Tour stalwart and multiple SA champion Greg Emslie (East London).

Emslie is joined by Royden Bryson (Cape Town), Brandon Jackson (Durban North) and Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) in the men’s competition with former East Londoner Nikita Robb, now living in Cape Town, and Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) carrying the SA challenge in the women’s event.

Team SA is managed by Dave Fish from East London and Surfing South Africa (SSA) General Manager, Robin de Kock.

Legendary surfer, Graham Hynes from St Francis Bay, who has trained some of  the country’s top surfers, including Dale Staples , is unfortunately not part of the group.

Today’s completion of the opening ceremonies  set the stage for the start of competition in the ground breaking for the first event in the Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver.

After arriving in China on Thursday and practicing in the excellent left breaking waves at Riyue Bay, the South African team joined participants from the other seven nations contesting the event in the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World ceremonies on Saturday ahead of tomorrow’s opening rounds of the event.

“This is a three-year process that has finally come together – it was a dream, then a plan, and now a reality,” said Fernando Aguerre, President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), of the eight-day Festival. “We are bringing surfing and the aloha spirit of the sport to China.”

Among the many international stars in the ISA China Cup are the likes of Cory Lopez and Chris Ward (both USA), former ASP and ISA Women’s World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (Peru), Wiggolly Dantas (Brazil) and former ASP and ISA Junior Women’s World Champion Pauline Ado (France).

Surfline, the official surf forecasters for the event, predict that a new swell will fill in for the start of the event on Sunday, providing head higher and bigger waves with North East offshore winds throughout the contest.

The ISA China Cup runs until Tuesday 10 January when the individual and team gold, silver, bronze and copper medals will be presented.

The Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival presented by Quiksilver continues with the Hainan Classic, a 4-Star rated, US $95 000 ASP event which runs from 11 to 14 January at the same venue.

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