Heather Clark (fourth from left) and the South Africa Masters surfing team celebrate on the podium after collecting their bronze medals for finishing third in the team rankings at the 2011 ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in El Salvador on Sunday. Photo: ISA / Watts

The South African Masters surfing team placed third at the 2011 El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships and also bagged five individual medals, one in each of the age categories contested, at the premier international surfing event for surfers aged 35 and older.

Along with the bronze medal in the team standings, Heather Clark and Chris Knutsen clinched silver in the Women’s Masters and Grand Kahunas divisions respectively, Gary van Wieringen and David Malherbe secured bronze in the Men’s Masters and Kahunas and Andre Malherbe took the copper in the Grand Masters.

The predicted increase in swell only produced occasional head-high waves and wave selection became critical in the crumbling 0.5 metre mostly knee to chest high waves at the famous Punta Roca point.

Clark (Port Shepstone) struggled to match the performance of Australia’s Layne Beachley in the conditions, and the seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion went on to secure her first ISA Women’s World crown with Clark, the two-time and defending ISA champion, determinedly holding onto second place just ahead of Andrea Lopez (BRA) and Melissa Proud (HAW).

USA earned the team gold medal and Eduardo Arena ISA World Team Trophy in their first appearance at the event while Brazil placed second followed by SA, Puerto Rico, 2010 champions Australia and Hawaii.

A colourful closing ceremony took place at the podium stage immediately after the last final ended. The dignitaries present were El Salvador Minister of Tourism, Jose Napoleón Duarte; La Libertad Mayor, Carlos Molina; El Salvador Surfing Association President, Saburo Okuzawa; ISA Contest Director Marcos Bukao, and ISA Director General Bob Mignogna.

The El Salvador ISA World Masters Surfing Championships ended on Sunday and all the results from the event along with photo and video galleries can be found online, while Event coverage is also available through the ISA Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The SA Team’s preparations and attendance at the 2011 ISA World Masters Championships was made possible thanks to a R150 000 grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) and a grant from Sport and Recreation SA. Team kit has been provided by Quiksilver South Africa.


Final Results – Team Medallists:

Gold: USA with 9396 points
Silver: Brazil 9086
Bronze: South Africa 8886
Copper: Puerto Rico 8618


Final results – Women Masters:

Gold: Layne Beachley (AUS)
Silver: Heather Clark (RSA)
Bronze: Andrea Lopes (BRA)
Copper: Alissa Cairns (USA)


Country Final Standings:

1 United States 9396
2 Brazil 9086
3 South Africa 8886
4 Puerto Rico 8618
5 Australia 8480
6 Hawaii 7664
7 Costa Rica 6090
8 Argentina 6016
9 France 5821
10 Peru 5548
11 Venezuela 5363
12 Trinidad & Tobago 5335
13 El Salvador 5230
14 Ecuador 5030
15 Uruguay 3640
16 Mexico 2240
17 Sweden 1905
18 Germany 1680
19 Switzerland 680
20 Panama 500
21 New Zealand 450