New World Champions Join Past Victors Atop Podium at the 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship

November 11th, 2023

France wins first Para Surfing Team World Championship, England win first ever ISA team medal, the copper

Para Surfing’s winningest woman Victoria Feige (CAN) earns fifth gold medal, extends own record

Norway’s first ever ISA medal won by Ismaël Guilliorit


Huntington Beach, California – November 11, 2023

Performance levels were pushed, new records were set and history was made on a phenomenal day of surfing that saw fourteen World Champions crowned in Surf City USA to close competition at the 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship (WSPC).

France claimed their first WPSC team gold medal, to join with their team wins across all other current ISA competitions. USA took the silver medal, Brazil, bronze. England won copper, their first ever ISA team medal, largely thanks to Charlotte Banfield’s victory in Women’s Stand 3.

“It’s really, really exciting,” Banfield said. “I think the team we’ve got this year is the strongest we’ve ever had, and not only is it a strong team, it’s a supportive team.”

Team France. Photo: Pablo Franco

New World Champions were crowned in six divisions. Aaron Paulk (HAW), Kirk Watson (AUS) and Sarah Almagro (ESP) each won their first gold medals after multiple previous finals, Laurie Phipps (FRA) claimed gold in her second, and Nagisa Ikegami (JPN) and Joel Taylor (AUS) topped the podium in their very first event.

“[This has been] the best experience of my life,” Taylor said. “I’ve waited for 30 years. I’ve dreamed of being a World Champion from when Eppo (Michael Eppelstun) won the first world title for Australia in bodyboarding. I worked a long time as a bodyboarder and then I had my injury and then over 20 years out of the water and 12 months later, as a para surfer, it’s mind-blowing.”

Sarah Almagro, Team Spain. Photo: Pablo Franco

Alelí Medina (PUR), Rafael Lueders (BRA) and Llywelyn ‘Sponge Williams (WAL) each backed up their inaugural victories in 2022. After winning her first gold medal in the assisted Prone 2 classification in 2022, Emma Dieters (AUS) collected her second in her new classification, the unassisted Prone 1. 2020 Stand 2 gold medalist Roberto Pino (BRA) earned his first gold medal in the Stand 1 classification.

Norway’s Ismael Guilliorit returned to competition after six years away to make his first Final and win his nation their first ever ISA medal.

“For the Norwegian people, I opened the door,” Guilliorit said. “So now they can believe that we are able to take some good waves at the competition.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“Many years ago, when we started with the first Para Surfing World Championship, it was an act of faith, an act of hope, thinking that this could become the beginning of a new era for surfing, an era in which we open our arms and our competitions to all surfers, regardless of their physical abilities, and it has been wonderful.

“What a week Huntington Beach has served for us, incredible, unforgettable. Of course in the back of all our minds is the hope, it might happen, that the LA 2028 Paralympic Games will finally include Para Surfing.”


Gold – France
Silver – USA
Bronze – Brazil
Copper – England

Men’s Vision Impairment 2
Gold – Aaron Paulk (HAW)
Silver – Roy Calderon (CRC)
Bronze – Pierrot Gagliano (FRA)
Copper – Jack Jackson (AUS)

Women’s Vision Impairment 2
Gold – Aleli Medina (PUR)
Silver – Melissa Reid (ENG)
Bronze – Lou Mechiche (FRA)
Copper – Ling Pai (CAN)

Men’s Vision Impairment 1
Gold – Kirk Watson (AUS)
Silver – Thomas Da Silva (FRA)
Bronze – Elias Ricardo Diel (BRA)
Copper – Ben Neumann (GER)

Women’s Vision Impairment 1
Gold – Marta Paço (POR)
Silver – Valentine Moskoteoc (FRA)
Bronze – Carmen Lopez (ESP)
Copper – Juliette Mas (FRA)

Men’s Prone 2
Gold – Davi Teixeira (BRA)
Silver – Jose Martinez (USA)
Bronze – Tomoki Fujiwara (JPN)
Copper – Ander Goenaga (ESP)

Women’s Prone 2
Gold – Sarah Almagro (ESP)
Silver – Jocelyn Neumueller (AUS)
Bronze – Celine Roulliard (FRA)
Copper – Ann Yoshida (HAW)

Men’s Prone 1
Gold – Joel Taylor (AUS)
Silver – Christian ‘Otter’ Bailey (USA)
Bronze – Casey Proud (HAW)
Copper – Kai Colless (AUS)

Women’s Prone 1
Gold – Emma Dieters (AUS)
Silver – Kayla Woputz (HAW)
Bronze – Tracy McKay (RSA)
Copper – Paloma Onate (ESP)

Men’s Kneel
Gold – Llywelyn ‘Sponge Williams (WAL)
Silver – Ibon Oregi (ESP)
Bronze – Reddog Wheatley (AUS)
Copper – Henrique Saraiva (BRA)

Women’s Kneel
Gold – Victoria Feige (CAN)
Silver – Vera Quaresma (BRA)
Bronze – Audrey Pascual (ESP)
Copper – Emmanuelle Blanchet (FRA)

Men’s Stand 2
Gold – Rafael Lueders (BRA)
Silver – Ismaël Guilliorit (NOR)
Bronze – Jean Paul Veaudry (RSA)
Copper – Kenjiro Ito (JPN)

Women’s Stand 2
Gold – Laurie Phipps (FRA)
Silver – Zoe Smith (ENG)
Bronze – Malu Mendes (FRA)
Copper – Kirsty Taylor (WAL)

Men’s Stand 1
Gold – Roberto Pino (BRA)
Silver – Shingo Kato (JPN)
Bronze – Camilo Abdula (POR)
Copper – Maxime Clarkin (FRA)

Women’s Stand 1
Gold – Nagisa Ikegami (JPN)
Silver – Liv Stone (USA)
Bronze – Catalina Castro (CHI)
Copper – Chikako Takao (JPN)

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