Top USA talent to meet world’s best in preview of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Surfing
San Clemente, California (September 10, 2018) – USA Surfing named its six-member team to compete in the 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games (WSG) in Tahara, Japan, on September 15-22. Head coach Joey Buran said the three women and three men have significant International Surfing Association (ISA) experience and success, which bodes well for the largest international team surfing event attracting the world’s best surfing talent.
USA Surfing’s junior team won gold in Japan last year and its WSG team placed seventh in 2017. USA’s team will face 202 elite surfing athletes from 42 nations – a preview of surfing’s debut in the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
“This is such an exciting team. Five of the six surfers have already been on an ISA podium and one will be experiencing the global stage for the first time at age 12,” said Buran, who coached the gold medal winning U.S. team and before that Team Chile. “Our dynamic newcomer will be surfing with athletes, who are used to getting on a plane and coming home with checks, trophies and medals. And they are all stoked to be competing in the World Surfing Games as it prepares to become an Olympic qualifying event next year.”
The 2018 USA Surfing World Surfing Games team members are:
Summer Macedo– This 18-year old Maui native is a standout in both the QS and Junior Pro contests earning a Los Cabos Open junior champion title last year and a gold medal at the 2015 ISA junior world championship.
Zoe McDougall– The 18-year old North Shore ripper has racked up a prolific QS and Junior Pro career, earning multiple wins including the 2018 Vans US open junior championship title and the 2017 junior women’s and women’s champion titles at the South Africa Open of Surfing – a rare WSL double triumph.
Caitlin Simmers– At 12-years old, this Oceanside, Calif. spitfire will be the youngest USA Surfing WSG team member. Simmers is on a tear -- ranked No. 1 in the girls Under 16 West Coast Prime, named NSSA 2018 Rookie of the Year, and posted three perfect 10s at NSSA nationals, a first in contest history.
Jordy Collins– The 19-year old from San Diego is a serious competitor, winning the North America QS Regional Title in 2017 and making the semifinals at last year’s World Surfing Games. He’s hungry for more this year.
Kevin Schulz– No. 2 on the North American QS with one of the strongest air games, Schulz is a rising star winning the 2018 Jack's Surfboards Pro QS and consistently making finals. His electric, in-form performances make him a contender for medals in Japan.
Taro Watanabe– The 16-year old from Malibu won the 16/U Ripcurl GromSearch in Huntington Beach this year and took second in the NSSA Open Juniors event. He’s gaining QS experience and has extra motivation to earn WSG medals after being a runner up at last year’s ISA World Junior Surfing Championship where he earned the highest two-wave total in the first heats of the competition with a nearly perfect score of 19.03.
The 2018 World Surfing Games will offer equal competition slots for men and women. USA Surfing offers equal opportunities for men and women to compete in its competitions and encourages gender equality in all competitive venues.
“The level of competition at the World Surfing Games just keeps getting gnarlier with better talent, more numbers and diversity each year,” Buran said. “It is such a special venue where breakout performances are encouraged and celebrated. The diversity and infusion of fresh faces each year creates an electricity and sense of possibility you don’t get anywhere else.”
“There is nothing like the World Surfing Games. To surf for your country with a team that depends on you is a huge honor and responsibility,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse. “The surfers on Team USA know they are part of something much bigger than themselves as individuals. The culture of high expectations and excellence that Joey has created should bring out peak performances. I’m stoked to watch it unfold.”
To learn more about the 2018 UR World Surfing Games and the talent it attracts, go to http://isasurf.org/wsg/2018
Contact: Becky Fleischauer, 302-588-0671, becky (at) usasurfing (dot) org