ISA World Games
Portugal & France Finish Top Four At ISA World Games
Portugal have just repeated their 2015 finish at the ISA World Games by finishing in second place overall behind champions Peru. France; who finished in fourth place, further solidified the continentʼs success on the world stage. This isnʼt the first time a European nation has finished in the top four, Portugal were repeating their 2015 position, and France had also finished 2nd in the 2009 event. The fact that two teams from the continent made the top four positions shows how far the sport has come in Europe over the last decade. Four other European nations made the journey to compete in Costa Rica, and although Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark failed to make the top ten (finishing 18th,19th, 23rd and 25th respectively), this was undoubtedly a watershed moment for European surfing.
Pedro Henrique and Guilherme Fonseca shone for Portugal in the mens division, both surfers achieved outstanding results, although they were knocked out one heat short of competing in the grand final, their performances stood out in a very competitive division; the quality on display highlighted by the fact that seasoned French professional Marc Lacomare fell short in repercharge round four.
The European women were outstanding. Pauline Ado of France finished 3rd in the womenʼs grand final, followed by compatriot Justine Dupont in 4th in a closely fought contest. Portugalʼs Teresa Bonvalot finished in 5th place overall and her team mate Carol Henrique finished in eighth completing a brilliant performance by the European women.
Entering the final day, it could have been even better for Portugal as they maintained a slender advantage at the top of the overall table over Peru, with France following closely in third. The performance of Peruvian Lucca Messinas in particular on the final day propelled the South American nation to victory. Messinas had fought back through the latter stages of the repercharge round to finish 2nd in the mens grand final. Melanie Giunta and Anali Gomez also placed in the top ten for Peru in the womens. The USA eventually pipped France to third. Traditional powerhouse Australia finished a distant 9th.
Waves for the event were consistently fun, clean, and in the 3ft range, drenched in the tropical heat of Costa Rica.