Here they go again: With a powerhouse team in both the Men's and Women's draws, Australia took the ISA China Cup Team Gold Medal for the second consecutive year. Brazil placed a close second, earning the Silver Medal, while Hawaii won the Bronze and France took the Copper.
In yet another staggering disappointment, Team USA came in sixth.
The aggregate team results are formed on the basis of each country's individual performances and in the Men's draw nobody surfed stronger than Brazil's Michael Rodrigues, who won the Gold over Australia's Mitch Crews, Vincent Duvignac of France and Connor O'Leary of Australia.
On the women's side, both team and individual results were impacted dramatically with some last-minute drama in the finals. Hawaii's Alessa Quizon was in the lead with the clock winding down and Gold in her sight, when she dropped in on a fellow surfer and was called for interference. The untimely move caused Quizon to drop to second place, allowing Australia's Phillipa Anderson to take the win over Quizon, Nikki Van Dijk and Nage Melamed.
"I'm very happy and satisfied about the hosting of the ISA China Cup for the second year in a row. While the waves were not as strong as last year's event, the athletes have provided a great show of surfing abilities," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. "I'm totally excited about the potential for surfing in China, and certainly proud of our partnership with Womei, in the bringing of both ISA and ASP competitions for two years in a row."
Michael Rodrigues, Men's Gold Medalist, was speechless about his win. "I am so happy and I don't have words to explain what I am feeling," commented Rodrigues. "I have no sponsors, so I came here to win only representing my country. Just being here was already great and with the victory it is even greater, I am very happy, thank you!"
Women's Gold Medalist Phillipa Anderson selflessly remarked, "We didn't really care about individuals we just wanted to get the gold for Australia so this helps a lot."
Australia's coach Martin Dunn remarked about his winning team, "We brought a mixed bag of experienced WQS surfers and some young surfers who we think are going places in the sport. We came here and we expected the waves to be similar to last year with the long left hander and unfortunately that didn't occur, but to be successful you have to able to surf anything, and its great that our surfers proved that."
Tomorrow, Monday, January 28th, marks the start of the second part of the Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival, the Hainan Classic, 4-Star Men's ASP. With a prize purse of $95,000, the competition will take place from Monday, January 28th to Wednesday, January 30th, and will feature the best surfers in the world, including defending Champion and 2013 ASP World Tour surfer Glenn Hall (IRE), 2000 ASP World Tour Champion Sunny Garcia, plus 10 Chinese surfers — by far the most ever in the history of any international surfing competition.
Official Forecaster, Surfline, has predicted for the ENE swell to pulse up a bit more with two- to three-foot faces, and larger sets in the four foot range over the afternoon, for a 7:30am call and likely start at 8am at the main break, the left point at Riyue Bay.
For a full list of today's results, click here.
Gold- Philippa Anderson (AUS)- 15.26
Silver- Alessa Quizon (HAW)- 12.56
Bronze- Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)- 8.53
Copper- Nage Melamed (HAW)- 6.40
Gold- Michael Rodrigues (BRA)- 17.00
Silver- Mitch Crews (AUS)- 14.64
Bronze- Vincent Duvignac (FRA)- 12.43
Copper- Connor O'Leary (AUS)- 9.10
Final ISA China Cup Team Rankings
1. Australia- 13,000
2. Brazil- 11,718
3. Hawaii- 10,140
4. France- 9,836
5. Japan- 9,320
6. USA- 8,570
7. Peru- 8,270
8. Portugal- 8,242
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