October 13, 2011

Defending Champion Australia Looks for Another Gold With a Strong Team

Defending Champion Team Australia Looks for Another Gold With a Strong Team

The 1978 Professional World Champion, Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew, will be looking for the Gold in the perfect rights of Punta Roca. Photo: ASP

With the addition of 1978 World Champion, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, the Aussies travel to El Salvador with eight world titles in the bag.

El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championship
October 16 to 23, 2011
La Libertad, El Salvador

Surfing Australia has announced 1978 Professional Tour World Champion Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew as its wildcard surfer for TravelSIM Team Australia at the El Salvador ISA World Masters Championship that will be held in Punta Roca, La Libertad from October 16 to 23.

Bartholomew replaces current ISA Masters World Champion Rod Baldwin, who had to withdraw from the team. His inclusion ensures Australia boasts an imposing line-up, which also includes seven-time ASP World Champion Layne Beachley, for the titles to be held at the perfect and long rights of Punta Roca.

The El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships will see over 20 countries and 124 surfers competing in the Masters, Grand Masters, Kahuna, Grand Kahuna and Women Masters divisions.

“It feels pretty amazing to be part of a team and competing as pro surfing is so much an individual sport,” Bartholomew said. “I’ve been in a position before as national coach and taken teams away, so I’ve experienced life in the team and been part of a winning team, but it was on the management side of things. To be competing as an athlete in a team environment is unexpected but something I’m looking forward to as it’s going to be a unique experience for me.”

Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark said the organization was thrilled to have Bartholomew don the Australian colors for the championships. “Rabbit is a dedicated surfing competitor with a record that speaks for itself,” Stark said. “Having Rabbit and Layne as part of the team is an indication of how seriously we are taking the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships and we’re confident of getting a good result in El Salvador.”

Former ASP World Tour competitor, Toby Martin, strengthens the Defending Champion Team. Photo: Surfing Australia

Former ASP World Tour competitor, Toby Martin, strengthens the Defending Champion Team. Photo: Surfing Australia

Baldwin, from Copacabana Beach in NSW, was devastated to miss the opportunity to defend the title he won at the 2010 ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Panama.

“I was really looking forward to joining the team, particularly with Layne competing this year,” Baldwin said. “I love representing the country and I wish everyone the best as I’ll be watching the live coverage and I hope they all bring back gold.”

The Masters TravelSIM Team Australia representatives:

Women Masters (35 years or older)
– Layne Beachley (NSW)

Masters (35 years or older)
– Mark Richardson (QLD)
– Toby Martin (NSW)

Grand Masters (40 years or older)
– Scott Myers (NSW)
– John Schmidenberg (NSW)

Kahunas (45 years or older)
– Rowan Sapwell (VIC)
– Dean Shaw (NSW)

Grand Kahuna (50 years or older)
– Wayne Bartholomew (Qld)

Press release compiled by Surfing Australia – www.surfingaustralia.com

The ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is sponsored by El Salvador Impresionante, Alcaldía del Puerto de La Libertad, Surfos, Alcatel, TACA), El Gráfico, Olas Permanentes Magazine, TIGO, Decameron, Cushe, Maya Realty, Yamaha, Alamo, La Femenina, CONJUVE, Amate Travel, Línea Ejecutiva, Surfline, Hospital de la Mujer, Arreconsa, Torogoz, Pepsi, Adrenaline, Gray Line El Salvador, CASATUR and POLITUR

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 Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the Tandem Surfing World Title, and will hold the first World Bodyboard Championship in 2011, and the first World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 69 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, 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 three Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER) and Debbie Beacham (USA).