Joyful Ceremony Officially Opens the 2023 ISA SUP Championship

LES SABLES D'OLONNE, France – The streets of the picturesque town of Les Sables d’Olonne in France were filled with thousands of people to welcome the 2023 ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championship. The Parade of Nations kicked off proceedings, featuring 200 athletes, representing 30 national teams, including Belgium and Saudi Arabia for their very first WSUPPC. The teams flew their flags high, as they marched through the city and along the waterfront with loud cheers ringing out, led by a local batucada ensemble and backed up by the Atomic Brass Band.

Spectators lined the streets to welcome the athletes to the Opening Ceremony stage, where the ISA’s signature Sands of the World tradition took place. A flag-bearer and sand-pourer representing each national team poured sand from their local beach into a single container, a symbol of the peaceful gathering of the nations through sport. 2019 ISA SUP Surfing Gold Medalist Justine Dupont (FRA) represented each of the surfers gathered in swearing an oath of good sportsmanship alongside ISA Judge Andreia Silva, before a beautiful Dance Tahitienne cultural performance was provided by Mave Mai.

Dignitaries present included Président Conseil Départemental de la Vendée Alain Lebœuf, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne Yannick Moreau, President of the Local Organising Committee Pascal Caduc, ISA Vice President Jean-Luc Arassus, and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo.

Parade of Nations ph Sean Evans ph 3 Parade of Nations ph Sean Evans ph 5

Parade of the nations. | Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Speaking by video, ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“I know that this is going to be an amazing championship. I want to thank our hosts for putting this incredibly successful event, the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships, together. To all of you, ladies and gentlemen of the SUP community, we are very, very happy to have you today in this 2023 World Championship. We hope you have a great time, enjoy the camaraderie, the kindness of our hosts and go home happy to be a part of this wonderful competition. In just another month we’ll be with the SUP Surfing and SUP Racing at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in our work towards the inclusion of SUP in the Olympic Games. Just like we did with surfing, we will get SUP in the Olympic Games.”

Président Conseil Départemental de la Vendée Alain Lebœuf said:

“When Yannick Moreau suggested to me that we should host the World Championships here in Les Sables d’Olonne in the Vendée, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. We couldn’t pass up such an opportunity. We decided that we wanted to make a great event here and as you can see today, it is really a great moment.”

Competition will begin tomorrow at Plage de Tanchet at 8:30 am CEST with Men’s SUP Surfing Main Event Round 1, followed by Women’s SUP Surfing Main Event Round 1.

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Last modified onMonday, 25 September 2023 13:16

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