Surfing America’s Paddle Team Ready for Peru

(San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) – Surfing America is pleased to announce the first ever PacSun USA Standup/Prone Paddle Team to compete in the ISA World SUP Championships in Miraflores, Peru, February 19 – 25. The team is coached by the legendary Ian Cairns as Head Coach and SUP Surf Coach and 4-time Olympian, Jim Terrell, as paddle coach. The coaches selected the team from Mainland USA competitors based on the Battle of the Paddle at Doheny State Beach and Standup World Tour results. The competitors are:

Men’s SUP Surf
Colin McPhillips – Colin is a two-time World Longboard Champion from San Clemente, Calif. Colin was early onto the standup surf scene, seen regularly plying the beach breaks of San Clemente. His amazing surfing skills have translated well to SUP and he is regarded as one of the top SUP surfers in the world.
Colin McPhillips

Sean Poynter – Sean is one of the new school SUP surfers whose competitive star is rising quickly. He recently placed 5th at the first event of the Standup World Tour at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, in formidable surf. He was named “Most Committed” in the event as he charged huge Sunset bombs. Sean is from Fla. but is currently residing in Oceanside, Calif.

Men’s SUP Elite
Jay Wild – Truckee California’s Jay Wild is serving double duty for Team USA, racing in both the technical and distance divisions in Peru. Jay is considered one of the best racers in the nation and is highly regarded and feared by fellow competitors for his speed, endurance and technical skills, honed in the tricky waters of Lake Tahoe.

Matt Becker – Santa Barbara’s Matt Becker is the youngster on the scene. At only 17 years old, Matt is making a name for himself as one of the best young paddlers in the nation.

Men’s SUP Distance
Rob Rojas – In addition to Jay Wild, Rob Rojas will be competing in the Men’s SUP Distance division plus the Prone Paddle. Rob is an all around waterman who usually races unlimited class but has been training feverishly on the 12’6″ boards that will be utilized in Peru. While not standup or prone paddling, this San Clemente native can be found busting poachers off the coast for the CA Department of Fish and Game or surfing some of his favorite San Clemente breaks.

Men’s Prone Paddle
Shane Scoggins – Joining Rob in the Prone Paddle division is Goleta born and raised, Shane Scoggins, now residing in Oceanside. 25-year-old Shane is a speed demon and considered one of the fastest and most technical prone paddlers in world. Years of lifeguard training and competition have prepared him well for Peru.

Women’s SUP Surf
Emmy Merrill – 18-year-old San Clemente native Emmy is the quintessential waterwoman. She is a champion surfer, winning events in the highly competitive Surfing America Prime Series and anchoring the San Clemente High School Surf Team to two National Titles. In addition to SUP surf where she beats every other female competitor and regularly competes successfully against the guys, Emmy paddled outrigger canoes and is a student at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego where she also surfs on the school’s surf team.

Women’s SUP Elite/Distance
Brandi Baksic – Brandi was born and raised in San Clemente, Calif. As a result, she adopted the ocean as her playground. She was a competitive swimmer from 8- years-old through high school, but received a full ride scholarship in volleyball (go figure). She later went on to compete in triathlons, and most recently completed her triathlon career in 2008 at the Ironman World Championships in Kona. She was a state beach lifeguard for 11 years and is now currently a Torrance Firefighter. Brandi started paddling in May of 2009, and hasn’t stopped since. In 2009, she placed first in the US and International Championships for SUP. She also competed in her first Battle of the Paddle, where she finished with a third in the elite race, 1st in the distance, and received the award for “Most Combative”. Her results for the next two years have been pretty close to the first. She paddles because she likes to compete, but mostly, she likes to win.

Women’s Prone Paddle
Gillian Gibree – Gillian began her athletic career in softball and swimming in Massachusetts, and competed internationally in the softball world series. It was lifeguarding on Cape Cod that began Gillian’s passion for watersports- surfing, prone paddling, ocean swimming and SUP. She has consistently been a top 5 finisher in Lifeguard Nationals, the Battle of the Paddle, and numerous other swimming, running, prone and SUP races. Gillian also owns her own business, Paddle Into Fitness, which was recently a nominee for “Best Yoga” in San Diego, offering beginner SUP lessons and SUP Yoga classes, as well as retreats and clinics worldwide in locations such as Bora Bora, Tahiti.

“We are honored an excited to participate in this historic inaugural ISA World Stand Up Paddle Championships. This will be the largest international field assembled for any SUP competition, ever, and we are excited to see how the PacSun USA Team fares on the world stage,” said Surfing America executive director, Greg Cruse.

For more info, visit: SurfingAmerica.org

Watch the live webcast, here. The Opening Ceremony is Sunday from 12:30pm – 2:00pm Peruvian time (9:30 am PST) and continues daily starting at 8 am (5 am PST).

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