EL SALVADOR 2019 – Let the surfing begin

Surfing – Day 1

A good, great, sunny day in El Salvador and the surfing is getting everyone hyped up and ready for the entertainment. Matt, Dylan and Khara had their first round in the World Championship Surfing. All surfers had quite a challenge to get waves in their heats because of the swell that died down throughout the week – so it was all about getting waves where you could and showcasing as much skill as possible on the waves you got.

Matt started off with a great first wave with a few critical turns on the below average conditions and managed to hold second place until the last 20 seconds where the New Zealand surfer got a great set and jumped from third to first. Matthew will be partaking in the repo rounds on day 2. Dylan was up next and got to surf a few killer waves keeping a steady second place behind Tamil Martino from Peru. The commentators enjoyed Dylan’s board swimming below sea level but this didn’t stop him getting great turns on every wave he went for. Khara partook in heat 5 with Hannah Finlay-Jones from Australia, Takayo Yokoyama from Japan and Viania Torres from Peru. Khara went for the first wave and scored well with 5 turns placing first in the first 5 minutes. Vania from Peru got the second wave and jumped the scoreboard to first place. Khara ended her heat at third place behind Australia and will be going through to repo rounds with Matthew.

Today is Surf Day 2 where Dylan will take part in round two at 9:20 am and Matt and Khara will take part in repo rounds this afternoon. You can stay up to date on the live streaming on the ISA website, on our Whatsapp chat (let Anja know) or on Instagram live on the SASUPTEAM profile.

EL SALVADOR 2019 – Technical Races and Relay Day

We had an early start on Tuesday. 6:00 check in, 7:00 race brief and a 7:30 start to 4 very exciting Technical Race heats. Khara had a tough heat to compete in and paddled into 9th with 0.24.34, which would’ve landed her a 3rd in the first heat where Candice Applebey paddled a 0.24.39 placing her third. Drained and heated, Khara had a great race. Dylan’s heat followed the women’s second heat. A tough group but with a great start he made it into 7th from the front knowing that he would have to keep his pace and overtake at least 1 paddler to make it to finals on Wednesday. He gave it all he got. Went for a wide on the surf to paddle Panama in, which sent him a little bit further from the buoy than preferred. But with a perfect run in the last 100 m. Dylan made it to the beach, jumping on the sand and making his way across the finish line a few meters before Panama, getting him his 6th place and into the final.

With great excitement, Dylan, Khara, Tyra and Ethan got ready for the Relay race. The relay started with the Prone men (Ethan Buncombe), followed by SUP women (Khara Doyle), Prone women (Tyrs Buncombe) and finished with SUP men (Dylan Frick). Lined up and off they went. Most of the field of prone men cleaned up by a big set as they rounded the first bouy on lap one but Ethan survived and recovered to end his 400m in 4th place. Khara and Tyra paddled well to maintain our position, with Khara catching a great wave and Tyra keeping up brilliantly. Dylan started the last leg in 7th place and was sitting in 8th by the time he rounded the outside mark. He spotted a large set wave approaching and paddled wide of the bouy to allow himself room to catch it and surf past 3 paddlers ahead of him. Japan just managed to catch the same wave on the inside and because they were closer to the finish chute had a shorter run and just managed to sprint to the line ahead of him to claim the Copper medal position.

The event ended early today – which allowed everyone to get sme good El Salvadorian food and rest, foolowed by an ocean and pool swim, smoothie, siesta and walk on the beach.


EL SALVADOR 2019 – Long distance races and a gold

Who thought long distance races could be so exciting. It started out to be a sunny, warm morning in El Salvador. Tyra spent the first hour of the day getting used to the England Team board and the rest had a surf. 7:00 – check in; 8:00 race brief and 8:35 – Tyra got on her prone board and off she went. 18 kilometers. El Salvadorian heat. And salty water. The first 6 km’s went good for all athletes. The problems starting coming in on the second round where a lot of the athlete’s missed the 2nd or 4th buoy. Everyone, on land and on the streaming were running around, asking questions and stating bold statements about possible disqualifications, but all had to wait for ISA comments. As for the athletes, they were unaware of it all and continued on their race. Tyra almost missed buoy 2 but luckily corrected it as she almost passed it. Little did she know that she was one of only two prone athletes who made all the buoy turns, resulting in a gold or silver. Read our Press Release below.

Women long distance were followed with a two hour rest and the men final. Conditions looked different, but Ethan was ready to take it on. After a cut in his foot while celebrating Tyra’s gold, he got on his board and started his 18 km journey. It was a fast, grueling 18 km for the men with great excitement as the exitted the water. Ethan ended with a 7th place, showing great skill, calls on the water and good wave surfs in round 1 & 2.

A massive well done for both of our athletes, we are incredibly proud of you! Thank you for all of the support back home.

South African wins Gold at the 2019 International Surfing Association World Stand-up Paddleboarding Championships in El Salvador.


Tuesday November 26th: Tyra Buncombe of the Western Cape was crowned the 2019 ISA Woman’s World Long Distance Prone Paddleboard Champion yesterday, after winning the 18km race in brutally hot conditions at Playa El Tunco, El Salvador.

In a day of high drama, numerous competitors in both the Woman’s Stand Up Paddleboard, as well as the Woman’s Prone Paddleboard Races, completed the three lap course incorrectly and were disqualified.   

Twenty year old Buncombe, who is competing in the World Championships for the first time, navigated the course correctly and was awarded the Gold Medal.

Her win was made even more impressive by the fact that the young South African was paddling an unfamiliar paddleboard which she borrowed from the English team. Logistical problems in getting her own board to El Salvador meant that she was unable to train or familiarise herself with the course since arriving in El Salvador five days ago.   

The 2019 Surf City El Salvador ISA WSUPP Championships began on November 24 and ends on December 2. It includes various SUP and Prone Paddleboard Race Disciplines as well as SUP Surfing.

The six member South African Team are competing against 150 athletes from 27 Countries in the eighth edition of the annual event. In 2018 Tarryn King from Cape Town became the first South African Gold Medallist at the event when she won the Woman’s Stand Up Paddleboard 200m Sprint Race. 

More information on the event is available at www.isasurf.org

Stand Up Paddling South Africa (SUPSA) is a partner of Surfing South Africa, the recognised governing body for all forms of surfriding in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

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 – 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 – 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!