The International Surfing Association (ISA), recognised as the worldwide governing body for the sport, has approved the petition of Surfing America to become the official National Governing Body for surfing in the USA.

The decision, which replaces the long standing approval of the United States Surfing Federation (USSF), a foundation member of the ISA since 1976, was taken at the Biennial
General Meeting (BGM) staged at the 2004 World Surfing Games (WSG) being staged in Salinas, Ecuador.

The BGM deals with membership matters and the election of officers and also re-elected Fernando Aguerre as president of the ISA for a sixth successive term, along with three of
the four Vice-Presidents with only Moncho Gil (Spain) not standing for re-election due to pressures of business.

The meeting started with the President’s report and Aguerre expounding on the success of the two previous ISA events in South Africa – the 2002 WSG and the inaugural ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in 2003. He confirmed that Tahiti would be staging the inaugural ISA World Kneeboard Championships in July this year and the
second ISA World Junior champs in December.

The Nations Cup, a Davis Cup like tournament using smaller teams competing at an international level with an overall grand final would start with trails this year and is
planned for full implementation in 2005. In the lead up period, smaller nations were encouraged to start exploring international events within their regions.

Negotiations were ongoing with the IOC regarding the inclusion of surfing in the Olympic Games and this was also the case with PASO, the Pan American Sports Organisation, regarding the inclusion of surfing in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.

The ISA has also been congratulated by the IOC for being one of eight out of all the international sports federations that have achieved a level of 20% or
more of its executive positions being in the hands of women.

The elections became a formality when the two nominations from Brazil for executive positions were withdrawn leaving just five nominations for the five positions. Aguerre was nominated for President and unanimously approved before Alan Atkins (Aus), Robin de Kock (SAfr) and Maile Aguerre (Hawaii) were returned and Paul West (USA) were voted on as Vice Presidents.

Turning to membership issues, the Bahamas Amateur Surfing Association received full non-voting and non-competitive approval, Morocco was approved as a provisional voting and
competing nation while the NGB from Fiji and the Pan American and Christian Surfing Associations were accepted as provisional non-voting and non-competing organisations.

A very professional presentation from Surfing America to petition the ISA to become the official NGB for the USA included input from Exec Director Mike Gerard, Surfing America President Peter Townend and Surf Industry Manufacturers of America (SIMA) and Oakley President Dick Baker. They also submitted a declaration of unity signed
by the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA), the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) and the Hawaiian Surfing Association (HASA).

A rebuttal by the USSF’s Paul West led to a lengthy debate with questioning of both parties that lasted into the early hours of the morning before the motion to approve
Surfing America and withdraw support for the USSF was put to the vote. A secret ballot returned approval by 14 votes to seven with one abstention.

The meeting drew to close at approximately 1.30am and everyone present then lined up for a group photograph.

For further information contact:

International Surfing Association (ISA)
Lindsay Nelson