The ISA World Surfing Games is due to kick off in Huntingdon Beach, California today.

The event, which runs from 14-22nd October is an International Surfing Association sanctioned event. Hosted by Surfing America, this will be the 21st edition of the biennial contest that determines the world's top surfing nations and awards individual surfing titles and medals in the categories of shortboard surfing (men and women), bodyboard (men and women) and longboard.

Top surfers from more than 35 nations, including Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Tahiti, United Kingdom, Sweden, Panama, Hawaii, Cote d’Ivoire, Venezuela, Colombia, and the United States will be represented at the opening ceremony scheduled for October 14th from 2-4pm; competitions will run October 15-21; an awards ceremony will be held in the afternoon of October 22nd.

The Games were last held in the United States — and Huntington Beach — in 1996, when a U.S. team led by Taylor Knox, who won the individual gold, and Shane Beschen triumphed. Ten years later, the US team, whose best finish since was sixth place in 1998 in Portugal, appears poised for another strong finish with twins C.J. and Damien Hobgood, Pat O'Connell and Chris Ward all confirmed on the team.

Australia and Brazil seem the most likely threats to the US, with WCT standouts Tom Whitaker, Luke Stedman and Jessie Miley-Dyer on the Australian side and Brazil's roster looking especially strong in the open women's division, with Jacqueline Silva and Diana de Souza adept in beach break conditions such as those at Huntington Beach.

315 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Tel:858-551-5292

www.isasurf.org

Event Schedule

Opening Ceremonies – Parade of Nations and Sands of the World ceremony

Saturday, October 14th, 2-4pm, Huntington Beach Pier.

Competition - Sunday, October 15th – Sunday, October 22nd, 2006.

*Schedule subject to change

Sunday, October 15th

8am: Body Board Men, Body Board Women

10am: Long board

Monday, October 16th

8am - 4pm - OPEN Division

Tuesday, October 17th

8am - 4pm - OPEN Division

8am - 4pm - Womens

Wednesday, October 18th

8am - 4pm – All Divisions

Thursday, October 19th

8am - 4pm – All Divisions

Friday, October 20th

8am - 4pm – All Divisions

Saturday, October 21st

8am - 4pm - Semi Finals

Sunday, October 22nd

9am - 2pm - Finals followed by Awards Ceremony.

Live coverage: All of the action will be streaming live at http://surfingamerica.org/isa and www.isasurf.org.