San Clemente Times

Team USA rose to the top of World Longboarding and was crowned Team Gold Medalist at the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship at Riyue Bay in Wanning, China.

San Clemente native Tory Gilkerson won the gold medal in the Women’s Division, and Tony Silvagni’s and Kevin Skvarna’s respective bronze and copper medals in the Men’s Division earned Team USA the top spot at the podium as the ISA Longboard Team Champion for the first time ever in China.

“I’m so stoked to win, not only for myself but for my team,” Gilkerson said in an ISA press release. “It’s amazing to get the team gold. We have great camaraderie and are all super supportive of each other. It’s like a team of brothers and sisters. We’ve had a great all-around performance. The Team Gold is the icing on the cake.

Tory Gilkerson, a native of San Clemente, celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women's Division of the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship at Riyue Bay in Wanning, China on Thursday, Jan. 25. Photo: Courtesy of ISA/Sean Evans
Tory Gilkerson, a native of San Clemente, celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women’s Division of the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship at Riyue Bay in Wanning, China on Thursday, Jan. 25. Photo: Courtesy of ISA/Sean Evans

“There have been some ups and downs this week,” Gilkerson continued. “There were a few days of small waves, and I had a stomach bug, but it’s all about having fun and enjoying our time. ISA events are so cool because the teams get together and support each other.”

The final day of competition kicked off with an increase in swell and clean conditions at China’s famed left-hand point of Riyue Bay. A morning of Repechage and Main Event Rounds brought the event to the highly anticipated Grand Finals, featuring the top talent in the sport.

In the Women’s Grand Final, Gilkerson faced off against Brazil’s Chloe Calmon, Japan’s Natsumi Taoka, and the reigning WSL champion, Honolua Blomfield, for a chance to earn her first-ever ISA medal. Gilkerson used her patience to her advantage and rode only four waves to obtain the 16.30 heat score to win the gold. Calmon used a last-minute 7.77 to move into the silver medal position, while Blomfield and Taoka earned the bronze and copper, respectively.

Gilkerson surfs in the finals of the Women's Division of the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship at Riyue Bay in Wanning, China on Thursday, Jan. 25. Photo: Courtesy of ISA/Tim Hain
Tory Gilkerson surfs in the finals of the Women’s Division of the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship at Riyue Bay in Wanning, China on Thursday, Jan. 25. Photo: Courtesy of ISA/Tim Hain

Final results:

Open Men

Gold – Kai Sallas (HAW)
Silver – Benoit Clemente (PER)
Bronze – Tony Silvagni (USA)
Copper – Kevin Skvarna (USA)

Open Women

Gold – Tory Gilkerson (USA)
Silver – Chloe Calmon (BRA)
Bronze – Honolua Blomfield (HAW)
Copper – Natsumi Taoka (JPN)

Team Ranking

1 (Gold) – USA
2 (Silver) – Peru
3 (Bronze) – Hawaii
4 (Copper) – Brazil
5 – England
6 – Australia
7 – Japan
8 – Argentina
9 – Portugal
10 – South Africa
11 – New Zealand
12 – Italy
13 – China
14 – Germany
15 – Chinese Taipei
16 – Channel Islands
17 – Russia
18 – Uruguay
19 – Spain
20 – Canada
21 – Israel
22 – Switzerland

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