EL SALVADOR 2019 – Opening ceremony and Sprints

We have officially started with the 2019 Surf City El Salvador ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships (note the name change). With a hot, celebratory and joyous opening ceremony, which including the Sands of the World Ceremony and a traditional El Salvadorian dance, the Minister of Tourism welcomed us to their beautiful country and the South African bellowed our vuvuzela’s loud and proud on the coast of Central America. South Africa is here.

Board measurements and last energy bites had Khara and Dylan ready for the 200 m Sprints. Khara shared her heat with Jade Howson (USA) and Jessika Matos de Souza (Brazil), who eventually won 1st and 2nd place. Dylan paired up with Connor Baxter (USA) and Arthur Carvahlo (Brazil) landing third in his heat. The sprints definitely broke down the nerves for the rest of the Championships and are we excited about the Technical races that will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tyra and Ethan will be competing in the Long Distance Paddleboard races today. Tyra will compete at 8:30 am (16:00 in SA) and Ethan at 14:00 (22:00 in SA).

Have a great one, see you on the live.

EL SALVADOR 2019 – Meeting the President and race heat

What an eventful Saturday it turned out to be. With breath taking waves all morning long (leading to not only one session but two), a new burrito place for lunch (not only veggies but chicken, beans and avocado) and a visit to the president’s palace made for a great pre-Champs day.

It is evident that we are closer to game day with how crowded the beaches have become over the last two days. Race boards doing ins-and-outs, catching waves and getting distance rides on the back line and SUP surfs shredding incredible waves at point break – it is definitely not a surfers paradise at the moment. SUPs have been ruling it – especially today

Outside the water…

Migael, Tyra and Ethan was invited to the President’s palace for an official welcome to all teams. Nayib Bukele welcomed them to El Salvador and explained to them his love for the sport and how he believes that water sports have the power to educate and empower children and communities. See the great images below.

Dave and myself (Anja) attended the Managers Meeting at Hotel Acantilado, where a conference room was setup and awaited the 27 countries participating at the ISA World SUP Championships. There was some upset about the sprint not being a straight 200m race this year but a 100m-bouy turn-100m sprint, with a beach start and end. But ISA was set to keep all race-courses as planned. Dave did raise a question about the safety of the athletes and their boards – riding through the shore break and having the rocks on the beach to run over – but they are sticking to the inclusion of a surf element to all races and assured the beach to be cleaned of all rocks before and throughout the course of the races.

The race heat are available, here. We definitely did not come for an easy ride. Here we go – time to race. Catch Dylan and Khara on the Sprints by watching the ISA Live Streaming at 23:00, Sunday evening, SA time.

EL SALVADOR 2019 – Our last two days before World Champs

We are getting more and more on El Salvador’s pace. Morning surf, fruit bowls for breakfast (beans and rice for Matt and chocolate brownies for Dylan), late morning surf, burrito lunches with smoothie’s, midday siestas [an afternoon rest or nap, especially one taken during the hottest hours of the day in a hot climate], sunset surfs and burgers and pesto pasta dinners.

The surf here is incredible with Migael smashing the waves one after the other with great guidance from Dylan and Matt landing on the ISA photo’s page on a daily. We, the SA SUP Team, registered for the ISA World Championships after a boiling midday walk through high tide. A huge thanks to ISA Surfing for all of the arrangements and gift bags as well as to El Salvador for the great service, kindness and help so far.

We also got the 14’ All Star out of its bulletproof (times two) board bag and into the shore break, which Khara, Migael and Dylan will take on in the sprints and technical races. We’ve had some problems with getting the prone board to El Salvador and still trying different ways in getting it here. This might mean that we’ll only get the board tomorrow or Monday or we’ll have to find a board between the other teams. We are, however, not giving up on the new Bark board being delivered bright and early tomorrow morning.

From a sunny El Salvador to all our South African family and friends – we are happy, healthy and excited for World Champs starting on Sunday.

EL SALVADOR 2019 – We found paradise

We found paradise. Beachfront room views, fun breaks, fresh coconut water and burritos. We found paradise.

Our last flight was a quick one. Hoping, praying and trusting that our boards had a safe flight, we met them 6/7 alive. Evette’s Surf SUP experienced a nose and tail trimming on the last flight. We strapped 7 boards on top of an 11-seater Toyato, and there we went.

Closer to El Tunco, San Salvador, meant closer to the ocean, and you can be sure that we are really close to the ocean.

See here the schedule for the next few days and enjoy some more photos.

EL SALVADOR 2019 – En route

Tired eyes, bottoms and necks. 12 hours from Cape Town to London and 10 hours from London to Miami. After running around between terminals and passport controls, we made it to the Miami International Airport Hotel and after a shower and new set of clothes, we made our way to South Beach… well we tried making two not-so-English, Spanish uber drivers understand where we’d like to go, which ended up making 4 of us parade up-and-down and up-and-down along Lincoln Road and the other 5 visit the brightly lit up Ocean Drive with crowds of tourists. 

We eventually made it all to the top of Lincoln Road and like a hungry pride of lions stalking a little springbokkie in the Kruger, we hunted down Mexican Restaurant, a (you guessed it) Mexican restaurant in Lincoln Road, Miami. Veggie tacos, steak tacos and chicken burrito’s made a bunch of hungry South Africans very happy. 

We are departing for El Salvador at 10:45 am (17:45 pm, South African time) and looking forward to meeting up with Dylan and Camila. See you on that side.

Have a great day!