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Thomas Woods wins 1st round heat for Australia at the ISA World Surfing Games

June 27th, 2011 Posted in Contest Results

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Perfect Start for TravelSIM Team Australia at Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Panama

PANAMA – Monday 27th June, 2011: THE annual Billabong ISA World Surfing Games got underway today at Playa Venao’s perfect three-to-five foot lefts and rights in Panama, with TravelSIM Team Australia enjoying a perfect start.

The race for the Fernando Aguerre ISA World Team Trophy has begun with 27 countries in contention, which over the next six days will narrow down to only one champion of the premiere world team surfing event.

All of the 173 registered surfers in the Open Men, Open Women and Longboard divisions surfed today with qualifying round one action. A total of 48 heats were completed in a day full of action and emotion, in two simultaneous surfing venues, located 250 meters from each other.

Team Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa are the only countries that made it through the first day without losing any surfers into the repechage heats. Defending Team Champion Peru, USA and France, all of them powerhouse surfing nations, had at least one surfer that will now surf the do-or-die heats in the repechage rounds.

Australian surfers proved to be the standout performers of the day in the Open Men division, with Drew Courtney (Umina, NSW), Nathan Hedge (North Narrabeen, NSW), Thomas Woods (Burleigh Boardriders, Qld) and Mick Campbell (Port Macquarie, NSW) all recording convincing wins to move through to Round 2.

Former World Tour surfer Hedge closed out the perfect day for Australia by winning his heat and said he was very excited to be competing for Team Australia.

“Paddling out for Australia is a unique experience,” he said.

“It’s one thing to surf as a professional but competing for your country is an entirely different thing. Everyone had some nerves today but we managed those nerves and got the results.”

“It’s been awesome to be part of a team as surfing is usually a very individual sport. The team camaraderie has been really great so far.”

Dimity Stoyle, Team Australia debutant was also victorious in her Round 1 Open Women’s heat to backup  a win by fellow Australian Jessi Miley-Dyer (Bronte, NSW).

“I was nervous going into the heat because I had never surfed for Australia before and there is a lot of pressure being a team event and didn’t want to let the team down,” said Stoyle.

“I got a really good left and then a decent back up score. Because it was right on high tide I was very happy to get the scores to win in the conditions that we had.”

In the day’s second to last heat, a shocking victory by Uruguayan Marco Giorgi over 2009 ISA World Champion, Jeremy Flores from France, made the news on the beach.

The Australian longboard pairing of Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and Dane Pioli (Coolangatta, Qld) were undeniably some of best longboarders of the day, winning their heats and making it to the Main Event Round 2.

The event continues tomorrow with the following heats:

Podium 1 (will be webcasted live)

Open Main Event Round 2
Longboard Main Event Round 2
Open Main Event Round 3

Podium 2 (will have scores online)
Women Main Event Round 2
Open Repechage Round 1
Longboard Repechage Round 1
Women Repechage Round 1

Watch the event LIVE WEBCAST beginning at 8:00 a.m. (local time), 6:00 a.m. (US PDT), 9:00 a.m. (US EDT) and 11:00 p.m. (Australian EST) – http://billabongisawsg.com/isa11/

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