Home Nation Heroes Victorious in Finals on Day 3 of ISA World Surfing Games, Pauline Ado and Johanne Defay Win Women’s Gold and Silver!

Team France put on a dominating performance at the Grande Plage on day 3 of the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz. Through a superstar final featuring world-class female surfers, Team France’s Pauline Ado and Johanne Defay came out on top and respectively took the Gold and Silver Medals for the host country.

Rounding out the women’s podium were Costa Rica’s Leilani McGonagle, who earned her second ISA World Surfing Games Bronze Medal in three years, and South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, who earned Copper Medal.

I am so happy to win here in France. I’ve competed in this event four times and this was my first final. It’s the perfect timing for this Gold Medal to come in France in front of my family, friends, and all those who came here to support me. – Pauline Ado.

The first of the Women’s Semifinals to take to the water on Monday morning featured a powerful lineup of Teresa Bonvalot (POR), Nao Omura (JPN), Leilani McGonagle (CRC) and Bianca Buitendag (RSA). Strategically navigating the last remnant of a dying swell, both Buitendag and McGonagle relied on their final wave scores of the heat to push them to the top two positions and onto the Final, ending the campaigns of Omura and Bonvalot.

The proceeding Semifinal saw the French teammates, Pauline Ado and Johanne Defay, matched up against New Zealand’s Ella Williams and Germany’s Frankie Harrer. In a wave-deprived heat where waves with high scoring potential were hard to come by, Williams and Harrer were not able to get in a groove, while Ado and Defay made the most of the challenging conditions and scored waves in the three to four point range that proved to be plenty to advance to the Finals.

In the final it was all Team France, as neither Bianca Buitendag nor Leilani McGonagle came close to threatening the scores of the French surfers. Ado needed only three waves to mark her heat total of 12.17, finishing just ahead of her compatriot Johanne Defay’s score of 10.43. McGonagle trailed with a total of 8.40 and Buitendag with 7.47.

Following the Finals the women’s award ceremony was held at Grande Plage, where ISA President Fernando Aguerre, addressed the crowd that gathered.

Thank you everyone for coming and witnessing the crowning the first ISA world champions in Biarritz in 37 years. For many years the ISA has been running team world championships, often referred to as the ‘Olympics of Surfing’, and this year is very special because for the first time we are crowning gold medalists in the Olympic cycle. I would like to congratulate all the women competitors who have done a great job surfing for their countries over the last three days, and especially Team France for their impressive performance. Thank you to the Mayor of Biarritz, Michel Veunac, the President of French Surfing Federation, Jean-Luc Arassus, and all the supporters, you have put on a superb edition of the event that will go down as the best World Surfing Games in history.


Open Women Medalists:

Gold – Pauline Ado (FRA)
Silver – Johanne Defay (FRA)
Bronze – Leilani McGonagle (CRC)
Copper – Bianca Buitendag (RSA)