The 2018 Urban Research ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) was officially inaugurated by
ISA President Fernando Aguerre in a display of team spirit and camaraderie in Tahara, Japan on Saturday.
The Parade of Nations kicked off the festivities, as each National Team marched through the streets of Tahara waving their flags and ringing out national chants. Thousands of locals took to the streets to cheer on the 42 nations represented by the 200 surfers participating in the event.
Six surfers are representing Ireland at the Championships. They include Irish Champion, Gearoid Mc Daid (Sligo), Sam Moore (Waterford), Kerry Larkin (Sligo), Grace Doyle (Waterford), Holly Widger (Waterford) and Rachel Moore (Waterford).
The parade arrived at the Opening Ceremony stage, where the athletes were greeted by delegates of the ISA, Prefecture of Aichi, City of Tahara, the Title Sponsor Urban Research, the Nippon Surf Association, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Following the Parade of Nations, the ISA celebrated its signature Sands of the World Ceremony in which two members from each team took to the stage and poured sand from their local beach into a glass container while waving their national flag, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Surfing. Kerry Larkin proudly delivered the sand from Sligo accompanied by teammate, Holly Widger who carried the flag.
Notably, The Chief Operating Officer of Tokyo 2020 Yukihiko Nunomura and the Sports Director of Tokyo 2020 Koji Murohushi were in attendance to show support for Surfing ahead of the sport’s Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The competitors were greeted by an epic typhoon swell to open the competition at the 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games on Sunday. Gearoid McDaid led the charge for Ireland, taking a win in his first heat, beating Taro Watanabe, USA and Joel Chavez, Nicaragua. In Round 2, he progressed with an excellent 12.40 heat score to knock top seed, Tomas Fernandes, Portugal and I Made Darma Yasa, India in to the Repechage. The rest of the team had mixed results on Day 2 of competition with Holly Widger, breaking her surfboard during her heat and Kerry Larkin were eliminated but Sam Moore, Rachel Moore and Grace Doyle put in solid performances to progressing in their heats.
The event will run all week and finish on Sunday 23rd with Grand Finals. Follow the Irish Surf Team on at the World Surfing Games. http://isasurf.org/wsg/2018/en/live/