Local Nicaragua Time:
July 8, 2012

USA Reloads its Roster in Hopes of Defending Its Team Gold Medal in Nicaragua

A power surfer to the core , USA´s Allen Sarlo will be hoping to return to the podium after tearing apart some wide-open wave faces in a recent practice session at the content venue in Nicaragua. Photo: MatosFilms

A power surfer to the core , USA´s Allen Sarlo will be hoping to return to the podium after tearing apart some wide-open wave faces in a recent practice session at the content venue in Nicaragua. Photo: MatosFilms

Three 2011 Individual Medalists Returning to Compete at Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana, Along With Additions Shea Lopez and Hans Hagen

Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship
July 14 to 22, 2012
Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana, Nicaragua

Register online for event updates, along with access to video and photo footage free of rights for editorial purposes: www.isawmsc.com/media

Last year, the USA sent a team to compete in the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship for the first time and came home with five individual medals and the Team Gold Medal. Beginners luck? Considering the quality of athletes the team brought to compete, luck would seem to have nothing to do with it. Regardless, Team USA is set to prove that last year’s dominance was no fluke.

Surfing America had to do some last minute shuffling with its roster due to late-breaking commitments, but Greg Cruse, the Executive Director, believes the eight-person roster traveling to the 2012 Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship has what it takes to contend for another Team Gold Medal.

At last year’s event, the Men’s Masters (over-35) division was the only division in which a USA surfer failed to medal – so Surfing America did some recruiting. The Americans came up with Shea Lopez and Rick Takahashi. The older of the Lopez brothers (Cory is still competing regularly), Shea spent 10-plus years on the ASP World Tour before stepping away to focus on a career as an analyst and journalist, and to travel the world as a freesurfer. Lopez will be aiming to improve on his medal-winning performance in 1992 at the ISA World Surfing Games in Lacanau, France, where he won the Bronze Medal in the Junior division. His teammate, Takahashi, is also a contest veteran, with dozens of domestic event wins on display in his trophy room.

Dean Randazzo is returning to represent the Americans in the Men´s Grand Masters (over-40) division, after finishing fifth in the 2011 El Salvador ISA World Masters. A World Tour veteran, Randazzo helped to put East Coast surfing on the map (born in Atlantic City, N.J.). Randazzo will be joined by journeyman surfer, Hans Hagen, who is new to ISA competition but well-traveled and well-versed in the ways of surf contests. He spends his days circling the globe in search of exotic new locales and waves, which will someday appear in surf magazines or a future event.

“It’s an honor to represent Team USA in the 2012 World Master Surfing Championship. I have to admit a feeling of nostalgia coming full circle from my amateur years on the US and NSSA National Teams,” Hagen said. “If Mother Nature greets us with an open hand, Colorado Beach could potentially be a full barrel-fest. I look forward to re-sampling this world-class beachbreak and escaping from the Southern California summer doldrums.”.

USA´s Hans Hagen is new to ISA competition, but he´s surfed some of the finest waves around the world, and the guy knows how to throw fans of water. Photo: Pat Stacy

In the Men’s Kahunas (over-45) division, the Americans will field a pair of surfers who’ve already excelled in ISA events. Jim Hogan won the Silver Medal in the division last year in El Salvador, behind teammate Tom Curren’s gold, and should be the front-runner for the Gold in Nicaragua (Curren had to withdraw). It’s been a while since Ricky Shaffer has been in an ISA event, but when he competed in the ISA World Surfing Titles (now the ISA World Surfing Games) at Aguadilla, Puerto Rico in 1988, he finished 13th in the Open Men division.

Allen Sarlo and Alisa Cairns both won Copper Medals last year in their respective divisions. Sarlo will defend his medal and try to move up the podium in the Men’s Grand Kahunas (over-50) division. Competing in the Women’s Masters (over-35) division, Cairns will be trying to add to her ISA medal haul; prior to her Copper Medal last year, she also won a Copper Medal at the 1982 ISA World Surfing Games in Burleigh Heads, Australia, and the Gold Medal at the 1980 ISA event in Biarritz, France.

When competition begins at the 2012 Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship on July 15th, there will be 150 surfers from 27 nations, both ISA World Masters records. There’s a level of prestige and honor that comes with representing one’s country in competition – as athletes will be doing in the London Olympics – especially in an event that will feature the best over-35-year-old surfers (in five divisions) from around the world. The athletes will be competing for individual medals, team medals and the perpetual Eduardo Arena Trophy, which will be awarded to the Gold Medal-winning team.

The event will begin on July 14th with the Parade of Nations, Sands of the World Ceremony and Opening Ceremony in Rivas, and competition at Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana will commence the following day.

Team USA Roster
Men’s Masters
Shea Lopez
Rick Takahashi

Men’s Grand Masters
Dean Randazzo
Hans Hagen

Men’s Kahunas
Ricky Schaffer
Jim Hogan

Men’s Grand Kahunas
Allen Sarlo

Women’s Masters
Alisa Cairns

Team Officials/Supporters
Greg Cruse – Team Manager
Ian Cairns – Head Coach

The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is made possible with the backing of the following sponsors: Nicaragua Tourism Institute, Gray Line, AmericanAirlines, Canal 13, Amnet, Hacienda Iguana, Taca, VOS TV, Municipalidad de Tola, Flor de Caña, INISER; the following cosponsors: Movistar, Dollar, Alamo, Comité Olimpico Nicaragüense, Hilton, Nuevo Diario, Guacalito, Condor, Servipro, Aqua Spa, CDNN canal 23, Nicasurfing; and the following supporters: Surfari Charters, Corona, Paso Pacifico, Renisa, Parmalat, Credomatic, Cruz Roja, Pantaleon, Canatur. The media partners are Pasión Xtrema, SurfersVillage and Surfos. The Official Forecaster for the event is Surfline.

About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running the Open Division World Championship since 1964, the World Junior Surfing Championship since 1980, the World Masters Surfing Championship since 2007, the World Bodyboard Championship since 2011, and the Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival in China and the World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship beginning in 2012. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the World Tandem Surfing Championship.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 71 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA´s four Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER), Debbie Beacham (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS).

More on www.isasurf.org

About Gray Line Tours Nicaragua
Gray Line Tours is a leading tour operator in Nicaragua, and is affiliated with Gray Line Worldwide, which provides tourism services around the world. The company offers complete services in accommodation, transportation, tours, as well as the organization of congress and incentive travels (DMC). It offers quality and professional services, as well as personalized attention to its clients 24 hours a day.

Gray Line offers competitive rates and a wide range of products from nature and cultural packages to surfing and adventure programs. International surfing competitions in Nicaragua have been possible since 2010 thanks to Gray Line Nicaragua efforts.