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Hawaii Wins The Gold Medal At The Isa Aloha Cup

Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana, Nicaragua

The much-anticipated big swell finally arrived on Day 7 of the Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship. Just a slight change in swell direction made a significant difference in the conditions at Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana, with long, clean barrels being ridden nearly every heat.

The Women’s Masters (over-35) took to the water and the action continued to be fast-paced and exciting. Rochelle Ballard (HAW) came out of back-to-back barrels and had the field in the combination situation just minutes into the heat. She won handily, with a score of 14.17, qualifying for the Grand Final, along with Lucia Gil (ARG), the first ever Argentinean woman to be in the final of an ISA World Championship.

“It was fun now that the waves have picked up. I found a couple of barrels and I’m just surfing and doing my best,” Ballard said. “I’m so glad that the Argentinean girl (Gil) went through the heat. This is a great event. I just have to stay humble and continue surfing. You can’t think too far ahead in this competition.”

In total, 14 competitors and three nations were eliminated from the event today. The USA lost its first athlete, Shea Lopez, but still leads in the race for Team Gold and the perpetual Eduardo Arena Trophy.

Hawaii Wins the Gold Medal at the ISA Aloha Cup
A closely contested Final of the ISA Aloha Cup came down, simply, to finishing. Any team that does not complete all 15 of its rides (3 per competitor) is penalized. With Glen Pang in the lineup needing one ride – any ride – to lock down the win, he managed to catch a small one and stand-up. He reached the shoreline with 15 seconds to make it into his team’s zone to prevent Australia from winning Gold. With four seconds to go, he crossed the line and secured the win for Hawaii.

The ISA Aloha Cup is a unique tag-team event that is run at every ISA World Championship, featuring eight qualifying nations. Each team includes five athletes (4 men, 1 woman) to compete in the semifinal/final format.

Women’s Masters Qualifying Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Rochelle Ballard (HAW), 14.17; Lucila Gil (ARG), 6.50; Alisa Cairns (USA), 6.33; Sandra English (AUS), 3.23

ISA Aloha Cup Finals Results
Gold – Hawaii, 47.4
Silver – Australia, 44.68
Bronze – Costa Rica, 34.39
Copper – Puerto Rico, 30.11

Photo Credits: ISA/Rommel Gonzalez & ISA/Shawn Parkin

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