ISA Stand Up Paddlesurf Worlds - Nicaragua May 2014
Holly Bassett 16 years old returns from The ISA Stand Up Paddlesurf Worlds in Nicaragua ranked No 11 in the world , in the women's surf SUP division.
The International Surfing Association hold each year the World SUP surf and flat water Worlds with over 31 different countries competing in Surf SUP, Distance and Technical SUP flat water racing and prone surfboard events. Teams are selected from each countries national qualifying events in Holly's case she was British Women's SUP champion in 2013. It is a mini Olympics for Stand Up Paddlesurfing.
The whole event was paraded in country order through the city of Grenada with thousands of spectators – Holly was the UK teams official sand pourer where sand from each country (West Wittering Beach ) was poured to represent surfers uniting from around the world, in front of the ISA panel, Mayor of Granada and the Nicaraguan Minister of Tourism.
Holly was part of a 7 person team from all over the UK -the Surf side of the event was held in La Boquita on the pacific coast of Nicaragua. Each countries Teams were seeded then split into heats of 20 or 15 minutes to compete in riding the waves –Holly's first heat was against the 2013 World champion from Brazil and top world ranked Costa Rican Surfer. Holly made it through 3 days of heats going through the reportage to get over all = 11 in blistering heat and humidity. Team GB was ranked 12 overall out of 31 countries.
The Team consisted of Aaron Rowe, Matt Barker Smith, Ollie Shilston, Marie Buchanan, riding SUP and prone surfers Andre Le Geyt and Robbo Conner ,plus myself Abi Barker-Smith and Catherine Andre's girlfriend. The Team crew stayed in Grenada in a small very decent hotel Casa San francisco have to say we had a great time out there even though the comp time was intense.
The competition was super tough most of the women competing are full time professionals –world champions in other sports and full time paddle surfers –for Holly at 16 years old and just starting her GSCEs at Seaford College it was challenging the 10,500 mile trip the time change and 80 degree temperatures!
This ISA World competition has certainly fired Holly up, she competed in the prone surfing relay and was one place out of qualification – so she will compete in more events and aiming for the 2014 National Championships in October this year .
Have to thank also the TEAM Holly Bassett support crew –Jane, Daisy, Rich & Sandy Dale –The Humberstones and Mark Perry for their donations to team Holly Bassett.
The Team was sponsored by Aquapak -Brightstar–Penguin-Lifeproof-ION-2XS-Prosport-Waterbourn-Palmeria Local
Holly has been sponsored by Fanatic, Kialoa, Ion, 2XS, X-train West Witttering and Prosport sunscreen.
Photo credits Simon Bassett –team opening ceremony Rommel Gonzales & Michael Tweddle..