There is one title that won't be going back to Brazil this year, and that's the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games gold medal. Australia won its fifth gold at this event out of ten years in the competition, with five Aussies slaying the two to four-foot waves in the finals at Playa Venao, Panama.
Here are the quick stats for those keeping score: Santiago Muniz, a relative unknown outside of South American surf circles, won the individual gold. Team Brazil, after winning the "Aloha Cup" specialty tag team event on Friday, had to settle for the silver medal overall. The President of Panama came down to put his feet in the sand today, to mark the occasion. And Team USA finished in eight place, behind such surf powerhouses as Peru and Venezuela.
The top Aussie finishers was former tour surfer, Mick Campbell, 37, who took second, and Thomas Woods, 18, who took third in the Mens. Two years ago when Team Australia won, it was Campbell leading the charge as well.
This was not a stellar year for Team USA. Most of the mens contingent lost the first round and were eliminated by Repercharge round 4, several days ago. Easily the brightest spot for the Americans was Tony Silvagni, of Kure Beach, North Carolina, who won the individual longboard title. Silvagni was brilliant throughout the event, taking first through all six open heats to the final. He put up an 8.17 and an 8.73 early and the field never caught up. It was the first gold won by a Yank in fifteen years. Fellow logger, Taylor Jensen cross-stepped his way to Repercharge heat 8.
The womens event was won by French underdog, Cannelle Bulard. ASP Womens 2004 World Champ, Sofia Mulanovich, took second and the Aussie duo of Jessi Miley-Dyer and Dimity Stoyle took third and fourth place respectively to help Australia's final push.
The remainder of Team Australia included Drew Courtney, Nathan Hedge, Harley Ingleby and Dane Pioli. They were the best of 28 teams. Hey, the Australians play to win and their team selection reflected that.2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games final team results
1) Australia 15000
2) Brazil 12132
3) France 11816
4) Argentina 11312
5) Peru 10930
6) Venezuela 10342
7) South Africa 10008
8) USA 9676
9) New Zealand 7816