Tia blanco (USA), Noe mar McGonagle (CRI) earn individual gold medals. Portugal wins the silver medal.
The final day of competition at the 2015 Nicaragua Unica… Original ISA World Surfing Games presented by Lafise and Claro ended with an international celebration for the sport of surfing. Twenty-seven National Teams flooded the sands of Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua alongside thousands of spectators to cheer on the action. The entire day was full of fantastic surfing in overhead to double overhead waves.
The lineup for the Women’s Final included Tia Blanco (USA), Leilani McGonagle (CRI), Ella Williams (NZL) and Chelsea Tuach (Bar). 2014 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Bronze Medalist Blanco and Copper Medalist McGonagle took strong leads. However, by the end of the heat it was Blanco that would take the Gold Medal home for her country.
The Men’s Final came next, and included defending 2014 Gold Medalist Leandro Usuna (ARG) and Bronze Medalist Shane Holmes (AUS), against the world renown talent of Nic Von Rupp (POR) and Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI).
Following his sister’s final, Noe Mar made quick work of the competition. Scoring two rides in the eight-point range before anyone earned even a three-point ride, it seemed to be in the bag for Noe Mar. Then, Noe Mar stepped it up again with a near-perfect 9.93 ride. The Gold Medal was his, but the win was for Costa Rica.
With the combined effort of the McGonagle siblings in back-to-back finals, Costa Rica not only left with two individual medals but with the title of Team World Champion. The support of the people on the beach was powerful. During the closing ceremony, Team Costa Rica put their hands together near the front of the stage and were joined by fellow countrymen in the crowd for a final cheer of national celebration.
Men’s Surfing Results:
Gold Medal – Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI)
Silver Medal – Nic Von Rupp (POR)
Bronze Medal – Shane Holmes (AUS)
Copper Medal – Leandro Usuna (ARG)
Women’s Surfing Results:
Gold Medal – Tia Blanco (USA)
Silver Medal – Leilani McGonagle (CRI)
Bronze Medal – Ella Williams (NZL)
Copper Medal – Chelsea Tuach (BAR)