Held at the Grande Plage in Biarritz, France, the event offered up small but fun conditions for three days straight. And through a superstar final featuring some of the world’s best female surfers, it was Team France’s Pauline Ado who came out on top, with fellow countrywoman Johanne Defay (FR) taking out the Silver.
“I am so stoked to finally win the ISA World Surfing Games,” Pauline said, post-heat. “This victory has slipped through my fingers several times in the past, and now, to win here in my hometown Biarritz, it just doesn’t get any better.”
Pauline dominated her final heat against Johanne Defay (FR), Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica) and Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), posting a heat total of 12.17, while the other women trailed behind with totals of 10.43, 8.40 and 7.47, respectively.
“To be with all of the French Team (coaches and surfers), to be supported by my family and friends… all of these factors gave me a boost of confidence and motivation,” Pauline continued. “I’d like to thank them for helping me get here, and I’d also like to thank Johanne Defay (FR), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica), who all surfed really well throughout the event and the final.
“I’m leaving soon for the Fiji Women’s Pro, the fifth stop of the World Surf League Championship Tour, and because of this win I’m feeling really confident. To spend the entire week here with friends and family in France has helped me recharge my batteries. Now, I feel motivated and confident going into Fiji.”
Following the final heats, the women’s award ceremony was held at Grande Plage, where ISA President Fernando Aguerre, addressed the crowd.
“Thank you everyone for coming and witnessing us crown the first ISA World Champions in Biarritz in 37 years. For many years the ISA has been running team World Championships, often referred to as the ‘Olympics of Surfing’, and this year is very special because for the first time we are crowning gold medalists in the Olympic cycle.
“I would like to congratulate all the women competitors who have done a great job surfing for their countries over the last three days, and especially Team France for their impressive performance. Thank you to the Mayor of Biarritz, Michel Veunac, the President of French Surfing Federation, Jean-Luc Arassus, and all of the supporters. You have put on a superb edition of the event that will go down as the best World Surfing Games in history.”
Congratulations on taking home the Gold, Pauline! And good luck in Fiji!
Open Women Medalists:
Gold – Pauline Ado (FRA)
Silver – Johanne Defay (FRA)
Bronze – Leilani McGonagle (CRC)
Copper – Bianca Buitendag (RSA)