ISA and Paris 2024 complete site visit to Tahiti Olympic surfing location

August 19th, 2022

Visit focuses on observation of WSL Tahiti Pro with top surfers competing on legendary wave at Teahupo’o

Leaders from the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Organising Committee have completed a site visit to review the Olympic surfing venue on the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia.

The Paris 2024 leadership team included President Tony Estanguet, Sports Director Jean-Philippe Gatien, Senior Event Manager for Surfing Barbara Martins-Nio and Surfing Sport Manager Pascal Luciani.

Robert Fasulo (ISA), Erik Logan (WSL) and Tony Estanguet (Paris 2024).

The visit was the first to Tahiti for Estanguet and Gatien.  Martins-Nio and Luciani are based full-time in Tahiti as part of their roles.  A 3-time gold medalist in canoe slalom, Estanguet also showed his surfing skills in a surfing session on a local break near Teahupo’o.

The ISA delegation included Executive Director Robert Fasulo, ISA Technical Director and Technical Delegate for Olympic Surfing Erik Krammer and Director of Sport and Athlete Relations Megan Burns. They were supported in key meetings by Justine Dupont, Chair of the ISA Athletes Commission.

The ISA and Paris teams held productive discussions on key elements of the surfing competition in Tahiti and toured core elements of the planned Olympic surfing location. Agenda items for the meetings covered major topics such as the 2024 event format, competition schedule, infrastructure, sustainability, athlete accommodation and broadcast services.

The delegation witnessed first-hand the world-renowned wave at Teahupo’o, where Olympic surfers will test their skill, agility and strength in 2024. Teahupo’o is recognised for its powerful, world-class waves and guarantees both spectators and athletes an spectacular experience

Owen Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Tony Estanguet, Italo Ferreira ande Jean-Philippe Gatien.

The visit coincided with the World Surf League (WSL) Tahiti Pro, which started August 11th. As an important stop on the professional surfing tour, the Paris 2024 leadership team were able to observe key operational elements of the world-class event as well as some of the world’s best surfers in action. Estanguet and Gatien also took the opportunity to meet with several Olympian surfers including the first men’s Olympic gold medalist, Italo Ferreira (BRA), bronze medalist Owen Wright (AUS) as well as Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Johanne Defay (FRA).

During the visit, the ISA and Paris 2024 also held fruitful meetings with the WSL leadership team, including CEO Erik Logan and General Manager for Asia Pacific, Andrew Stark.  The ISA and Paris teams expressed their gratitude to the WSL for their engagement and collaboration throughout their event.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre, said:

“What a great week for the ISA and Paris 2024 in Tahiti.  The Paris leaders were able to feel the local passion and authentic surf vibes of Tahiti, but also get a first-hand view of a major surfing event there.  There’s no doubt for me that Tahiti will have a major, spectacular impact on the Olympics in 2024.

“I’m especially happy that my good friend Tony Estanguet was able to travel to Tahiti and experience this stunning place for himself.  Tony’s vision and determination has been essential in making Olympic surfing in Tahiti a reality, so I’m super pleased that he was there in person, but also that he caught some waves!

“This was an important visit for all the stakeholders as we made significant technical and logistical progress with the venue.  We’re very happy with the work being done and the team on the ground.  The visit also underlined the importance of sustainability, as we are fully committed to ocean conservation around the venue and preserving the beautiful surroundings of the island, whilst respecting the needs of the local population.”

Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, said:

“I was touched by the emotion and enthusiasm of the Tahitian people during my visit. Everywhere I went I saw their excitement and pride in being part of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but above all their heritage and deep connection to surfing.

This experience has only further strengthened our commitment to the success of Olympic surfing in Tahiti. This is a magical place, and the waves in Teahupo’o are breathtaking.

Our vision has always been to provide the most spectacular conditions for the surfers and the sport. I have no doubt that Tahiti will deliver on that vision.


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