Photos: ISA/Rommel Gonzales/Michael Tweddle

ISA Worlds: Highlights and Analysis

Team Australia claimed their third consecutive gold medal at the 2014 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in Nicaragua yesterday after the completion of the technical races. The ISA Worlds are a multi-discipline event featuring both standup paddle racing and surfing as well as prone paddling.

"The 2014 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship has been a total success, with the largest number of competitors in history. The event has grown from about 150 last year to nearly 250 in just one year," ISA President Fernando Aguerre said at the Closing Ceremony.

Needless to say, this was the most competitive lineup the event has had since its inception three years ago. This was the event’s first year in Nicaragua after two years in Peru.

The move didn’t phase team Australia, who seemed comfortable in any body of water, whether it was in the SUP surfing in the ocean or racing on Lake Nicaragua. Bolstered by strong finishes by their diverse and talented athletes like Shakira Westdorp (gold technical race, silver in distance, bronze in surf), Jordan Mercer (gold in distance and technical prone races), Lincoln Dews (silver in technical and distance), Jackson Close (silver in surfing) and Rhys Burrows (gold in distance and technical prone) Australia has proven once again that they are the nation to beat in paddle sports.

Team USA came in second with strong finishes by Emmy Merrill (gold in surf), Sean Poynter(fourth in surf), Slater Trout (third in technical, fifth in distance), Chuck Glynn (eighth in distance and technical) and Shae Foudy (fourth in technical and distance).

Brazil finished third.

Another standout competitor was Denmark’s Casper Steinfath, who defended his technical race win from 2013 with another gold in Nicaragua in 2014.

"I have so many emotions goings through my body right now," Steinfath told the ISA. "I came into the race and paddled my hardest against the best in the world and I'm honored to get my second gold medal in two years. It's just unreal, I never dreamt of this. I was so nervous before this race so it's nice to get the pressure off my shoulders. Once you are in the water it's just pure commitment and fun. I especially want to thank the ISA, it's fantastic to be here."

Canadian Lina Augaitis also had a strong series, taking the gold in the distance and the silver in the technical. She continues to prove that she’ll be a threat the world over.

More coverage here.

Overall team results:
1. Australia – 16,750
2. USA – 13,100
3. Brazil – 10,667
4. Spain – 10,501
5. France – 9,532
6. Mexico – 9,398
7. South Africa – 9,032
8. Peru – 8,671
9. Venezuela – 8,266
10. New Zealand – 8,261
11. Nicaragua – 7,527
12. Great Britain – 7,360
13. Guatemala – 6,234
14. Canada – 6,180
15. Denmark – 5,053
16. Costa Rica – 3,870
17. Ireland – 2,670
18. Italy – 2,300
19. El Salvador – 2,080
19. Tahiti – 2,080
21. Chile – 1,870
22. Latvia – 1,865
23. Germany – 1,560
24. Colombia – 1,360
25. Japan – 1,276
26. Panama – 1,200
27. Barbados – 720