Tight Race for Olympic Slots on Day 7 of the ISA World Surfing Games

September 23rd, 2022

Indonesia’s Agus and Waida bring strongest challenge to Team USA men

Australian women take lead, Bonvalot and Hopkins keep Portugal close behind

Underdog Guilherme Fonseca (POR) delivers big upsets


Huntington Beach, USA – September 23rd 2022

The mental strength of the world’s best surfers continued to be tested on day seven of the ISA World Surfing Games (WSG).

The ocean provided for Jackson Baker (AUS), who won his Repechage Round 10 heat over Miguel Pupo (BRA) and Rio Waida (IND) in the first 4 minutes. The Australian immediately collected a 9.57, before backing it up with a 6.83, for the highest single wave score and highest heat total of the day. Baker’s claims were almost as entertaining as his surfing.

Catching a wave right before the end of his first heat, Waida managed to surprise in the dying seconds for a second time today, receiving a score that eliminated Pupo. With the glow of that moment still in the air, fellow Indonesian Ketut Agus found a 6.00 ride in his heat against Miguel’s brother Samuel Pupo (BRA) to eliminate any chance of an Olympic position for Team Brazil.

Ketut Agus - Indonesia. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The two Indonesians may prove to be a roadblock to the Olympic chances of the American men, who are the only other team with two surfers left in the men’s draw. The single heat of Repechage Round 11 tomorrow will have massive implications for the pair as they surf against Baker and Kolohe Andino (USA).

Agus, an alternate for Tokyo 2020 who was on the beach in Japan, knows how important his performance tomorrow will be.

“It’s big for us,” Agus said. “I need to compete for the Olympics, to represent Indonesia. In Tokyo I didn’t surf, but I felt the energy there. Now I need to fight for the Olympics, for Paris.”

The relentless attack of Portugal’s Teresa Bonvalot and Yolanda Hopkins continued today with the two Olympians once again proving that their names should bring fear to their fellow competitors.

After a shock loss for 2022 WSL Championship Tour Rookie of the Year Gabriela Bryan, the fate of Team USA’s women now sits with Kirra Pinkerton. The 2018 WSL World Junior Champion has been putting up some of the biggest numbers of the event and she’s poised well to deliver a guaranteed Olympic position for an American woman.

“Each heat I feel like I’m growing in confidence,” Pinkerton said. “I’m going to show up tomorrow and bring what I’ve got.”


Teresa Bonvalot - Portugal. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

Underdog Guilherme Fonseca delivers big upsets

The hopes of a confirmed men’s Olympic position for Portugal are resting on the shoulders of little known 25-year-old Guilherme Fonseca, who continues to upset big names. It should be a lot of pressure, but the Supertubos local is feeling relaxed thanks to the support of his team. He has also walked this path before, placing 6th in the 2016 WSG.

“I’m proud to be representing my country because it’s my home. I love Portugal,” Fonseca said. “I feel good here in California, everyone wants to go well.”

After knocking Kolohe Andino (USA) into the repechage, Fonseca will face Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Lucca Mesinas (PER) and Nat Young (USA) in the single Main Round 7 heat early tomorrow, from which two surfers will progress to the Grand Final.

Paris 2024 Olympic Games host nation France takes the Aloha Cup win

More than other element of the WSG, the one-of-a-kind Aloha Cup brings out the spirit of the ISA. The team relay event features two men and two women from the top eight teams of the previous edition of the ISA World Surfing Games, Catching three waves each over the course of a 45-minute heat.

The battle for national pride is always entertaining and this year was no different. The final came down to event host nation USA and Paris 2024 Olympics host nation France, looking to top each other, and it was Thessa Thysen, Tim Bisso, Gatien Delahaye and Vahine Fierro who found the win for France.

As the relay finished, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) brought out flowers to share with the many surfers who arrived to commemorate the life of 2012 ISA World Junior Champion Kalani David, who tragically passed away this week, with a touching paddle out.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“What a classic Southern California Summer day… As competition resumes tomorrow, five men’s teams and five women’s teams remain in the hunt to secure a single place in Paris 2024 Olympics for their nation. Every heat will carry massive weight. We will see the individuals who will collect gold, the nations that will top the overall team’s medals as well as the the men’s team and the women’s team who will collect the ultimate prize of a position for the Olympics.”

Current Rankings by Gender (for Olympic qualification)


  1. Australia
  2. Portugal
  3. USA
  4. France
  5. Germany


  1. USA
  2. Indonesia
  3. Japan
  4. Portugal
  5. Australia

Overall Teams

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. Portugal
  4. France
  5. Japan

SCHEDULE: 7am California time (PST) *Schedule subject to change by the ISA

September 24th

– Finals Day (Open Men & Open Women)

– Closing Ceremony & Medal Ceremonies (30 mins after finals)

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