Starboard Dream Team riders Shakira Westdorp (AUS) and Iballa Moreno (ESP) claim Silver and Bronze in the tightly contested Women’s SUP Surfing Final at the 2019 ISA SUP World Championships hosted by El Salvador. Day 8 of the Competition saw the SUP Surfing Finals roll around after several spectacular days at El Sunzal’s ‘Surf City’ beach, El Salvador.
Shakira gives us the wrap up in her own words before jetting off to the Canary Islands for the APP World Tour final:
From the tropical island of Barbados straight to even hotter, tropical El Salvador to my favourite event of the year, the ISA World SUP and Paddle board championships.
I love this event because of the team vibe and the chance to represent your country, cheer for your teammates, and enjoy the friendships made across the globe. I was excited for try for my 4th ISA title in a row.
I had a few days in El Salvador before the event was to start and the waves were pumping!! Was stoked to rack up hours of surfing time followed by sunset beers every day. I had a session that was one of the best sessions I have had in my life. I was feeling like I was surf good and was pumped to get the event started.
The event got underway with some smaller conditions for the first few days. I had a couple of strong heats scoring the highest heat totals for the first 2 days of competition. The waves started to improve as did the level of surfing going through the rounds. After 3 days of surfing and long days at the beach Sunday would be finals day.
Finals day morning greeted us with an amazing sunrise and pumping clean waves!! I was a little nervous in my main round final and got 3rd which sent me to the repo final. I found a couple of nice waves as the conditions deteriorated with some unexpected onshore winds and won that heat therefore making the gran final for the 7th time in 7 ISA events.
Conditions were rapidly deteriorating but I was feeling really confident. I started with a 5 points in the 30 min final. Nice way to start and to build. I had priority and found a gem of a wave that allowed me to go to town on it scoring and 8.5. I felt like I was going to take the win again, I just needed to build on my back up wave. I held priority for ages but nothing substantial came. I was waiting for another gem but couldn’t find it. Justine Dupont from France kept chipping away at some smaller waves and just scraped into the score she needed with 5 mins to go. I knew I could win I just needed a wave. Unfortunately for me, nothing came through, the title slipped through my fingers and I lost by 0.33
I am stoked but definitely a bit disappointed. After the past 3 years on top, I dropped to second. I have replayed the heat over and over in my head but stoked to still be at the top of the sport.
It was also so epic to see my teammate and friend Benoit Carpentier take his maiden world title after dominating the whole event and Iballa Moreno taking a 3rd place.
I was loving my 2020 7’0 Pro production board. The wave allowed for big drawn out carving manoeuvres and the board held the rail throughout the turns and was able to have some release at the top.
Time now to head to the airport and head to the Canary Islands for the last event on the APP tour!
Teammate and good friend Iballa also sums up what this prestigious event meant for her:
The ISA is probably the most important event of the season for me ~ to represent your country at the highest level of of Stand Up paddle surfing and paddle boarding. I’m really happy to have once again represented Spain and to be in another epic final. The level of the girls is so high!
To do good in the surf contest was really importan for Team Spain to claim the Silver Medal ahead of team USA. My final was good against Shakira, Justine Dupong and Vania Torres. I finished 3rd with the Bronce medal. Although I felt I still didn’t display my best surfing but overall happy with the result.
For this years event I was using the Pro 7’0 x 24 and the Enduro S blade with a Skinny shaft S45 set up.
Iballa has now also jetted home to compete at the 2019 Gran Canaria Pro-Am, the final event of the season on the APP World Tour.