Team France Sweeps Finals Day of the 2023 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Longboard Championship
Updated: May 15
Surf City once again lived up to its name for Finals Day of the 2023 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Longboard Championship (WLC), with yet another day of consistent 4-5 foot swell providing an ideal canvas to crown Longboard World Champions.
France continued their dominance of ISA Longboarding as Alice Le Moigne and Antoine Delpero claimed their second and third gold medals respectively, leading their team to a historic third gold medal. Le Moigne is the first woman to win two gold medals, while Delpero furthered his legacy, adding a sixth ISA Longboard medal to his collection.
Team France / Photo: Pablo Jimenez
Early in the day, all of the momentum appeared to be with Antoine’s younger brother Edouard Delpero (FRA), and Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER), who each left their competitors needing a combination of two waves to win in their respective Main Event Finals.
In the Women’s Grand Final Le Moigne started strong and didn’t let up, despite strong competition from Reyes, who won the silver medal, Chloe Calmon (BRA), who won bronze, and Zoe Grospiron (FRA), who won copper. After two days of close, stressful heats, the Reunion Island-born defending gold medalist once again found her world champion form.
“I love this sport so much,” Le Moigne said. “I’m really happy to win my second World Championship. I’m so proud to win this medal for France, for Reunion Island. It’s a dream come true.
“I think Longboarding is one of the most beautiful sports in the world. You’re dancing on your board. The flow, the connection. It would be amazing for all the athletes to go to the Olympics and represent our beautiful sport.”
Carlos Bahia (BRA) held the upper hand for much of the Men’s Grand Final with an 8-point ride. Antoine’s event-winning wave came through as the last scoring ride of the Final, sending him from a bronze medal position straight into gold. At the end of the heat Bahia found himself with silver and Edouard with bronze, while Rogelio Esquievel Jr. (PHI) put on an incredible show of traditional longboard surfing to collect copper.
“It’s just an incredible feeling,” Antoine said. “You’re always thinking about it the whole week, getting through heats and heats, but at the end when you win the gold it’s like all pressure released.”
“The ISA World Championship is always a good experience because you’re sharing it with your teammates. Every other contest is totally different because you’re on your own. With a team it’s a whole other energy that’s just bringing you up.”
Esquievel’s performance capped a historic run for the Philippines. His personal copper medal and the Team copper are the first ever ISA medals for the nation.
“It is really nice for me to win a medal, but especially for the Philippines,” Esquievel said. “We’re looking forward to the next one and are going to train harder and will come back stronger next time.”
With their appearance in the Finals, Brazilian teammates Chloe Calmon and Carlos Bahia were able to clinch the final two qualifying positions for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, joining the 16 surfers confirmed yesterday.
El Salvador Tourism Minister, Morena Valdez said:
“Surfing changes lives. It brings economic, social and human development to countries. Surfing is showing the world that we can be different. I am sure that all of you who came to El Salvador for the first time will return not only once but many more times, and El Salvador and the entire government of President Nayib Bukele will always be waiting to welcome you.”
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“It has been an amazing week, featuring some of the best longboard surfing competition in history. Now you can go home and tell your friends and family about beautiful El Salvador. Thank you President Bukele and Minister Valdez for your continued support and wonderful hospitality. It has been an incredible week, full of great waves and warm weather.”
“This week has proved how many incredibly talented athletes are a part of the international Longboard community and how that community is constantly growing and expanding to new parts of the globe. I am so excited at the prospect of Longboarding being a part of the LA 2028 Olympic Games. We know that this amazing sport belongs there and we can’t wait to see it happen.”
Gold - Alice Le Moigne (FRA)
Silver - Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER)
Bronze - Chloe Calmon (BRA)
Copper - Zoe Grospiron (FRA)
Gold - Antoine Delpero (FRA)
Silver - Carlos Bahia (BRA)
Bronze - Edouard Delpero (FRA)
Copper - Rogelio Esquievel Jr. (PHI)
Gold - France
Silver - Brazil
Bronze - Peru
Copper - Philippines