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The ISA World Games Through the Eyes of the Aussie Girls

How special would it be to be selected to represent your country at the International Surfing Association’s World Games 50th Anniversary!? 50 years ago Phyllis O’Donnell and Midget Farrelly won the first ever World Championships on Manly Beach, Australia. It was an all longboard event and there were no leg ropes. Judging was basic and well, progressive based on how creative the competitors were on their board. From that day every year, thanks to Midget for initiating the ISA that year, there has been a World Championship as run by the ISA.

In 2014 the surfing nations of the world gathered in Peru to celebrate 50 years and the ever expanding membership of surfing countries since it’s initiation as well as the ever increasing number of female competitors.

Australia was pipped at the post by the host nation Peru who had local knowledge and a talented team this year. The 2 girls who represented Australia were Philippa Anderson and Jessica Grimwood. Both girls dominate home competitions are are powerful and strong in their style and competitive nature.

The waves could not have been more perfect – world class to say the lease and the girls were thriving on the conditions.

Philippa Anderson is from Merewether in Newcastle, NSW and receives support from her local boardriders to chase her surfing dream and compete in the WQS. We spoke to her about surfing for Australia in 2014. After making through the repercharge rounds and winning her spot back into the main final Philippa surfed her heart out but in the final seconds when she thought it was done and dusted Anali Gomez from Peru and Dominic Barona from Ecuador took the last 2 set waves to push their total point score into first and second respectively.

“I was in Peru for 8 days and all of those 8 days the waves were amazing. Getting to surf the contest bank 5ft sick right handers was epic.” Says Philippa. “Obviously its like every contest, to get the big scores you gotta go big, so I was focusing on catching the bigger two set waves and making sure you smash that first opening turn and then end off with a good finish. The waves were pretty solid and in my first heat I definitely under estimated how powerful the waves were, but I managed to get a few middle to excellent rides.”

What’s it like surfing in Peru? It was actually my second time to Peru and I was super excited to be back. Punta Hermosa was so much fun. Great waves all week round, nice and helpful locals, the food was amazingly cheap not to mention so good and the landscape was a different kind of unique so overall I had the best 8 days.

Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

The vibe must be incredible competing against 21 other countries and representing your own country… Being chosen to represent my country is an honour. Wearing the green and gold at the opening ceremony with 21 other countries is an amazing feeling. I’ve represented Australia a few times and it never gets old. Its such an amazing thing that ISA can put on event like these, its like our own Olympics.

What’s it like for you and Jess being the girls on the team? Jess is rad, she’s such a down to earth chilled back girl, so we got along great. The boys were awesome, I felt like we had a really strong team and everyone cheering each other on was cool to see.

Women's Final Photo ISA/Michael Tweddle

Women’s Final Photo ISA/Michael Tweddle

Who would you say has been the strongest team throughout the whole event? On the girls side there were some strong athletes, Anali who won gold and Dominic who placed second, where ripping all event. I surf and hang with them when we compete on the WQS so I knew their level of ability to rip, which they did. Jess too was shredding. Probably on the boys side there were a few names that I’d never heard of before that were surfing so powerful and had great style, there was two Japanesse surfers that did some amazing turns and there were a few others from random countries that you wouldn’t think would produce great surfers, it was a real eye opener.

What’s it like surfing in Peru? It was actually my second time to Peru and I was super excited to be back. Punta Hermosa was so much fun. Great waves all week round, nice and helpful locals, the food was amazingly cheap not to mention so good and the landscape was a different kind of unique so overall I had the best 8 days.

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Team Australia with their Silver Medals Photo: ISA / Rommel Gonzales

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