Jamaica will be represented by a partial team at the 2011 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Masters Surfing Championships (WMSC) being held in El Salvador from the 16-24 October. A full team consists of 8 surfers, one female Master (35+), two male Masters (35+), two male Grand Masters (40+), two male Kahunas (45+) and one male Grand Kahuna (50+).
“So far Jamaica has confirmed 2 members. I and David Lee have secured funding to attend and we still are awaiting confirmation from Terrence Muschett, Nigel Benjamin and Drum Drummond” said JSA president Anthony “Billy” Wilmot. “I will compete in the Kahunas division and David will surf in the over the Masters division. Jamaica has been represented at every WMSC event since it was introduced by the ISA in 2007 when Jamaica fielded a complete team and made the top 10 with a respectable 9th place finish in Rincon Puerto Rico.”
The WMSC then moved to Peru in 2008 where another complete team was fielded but slipped 2 places to 11th in the world. The championships were not held in 2009 and the following year only 3 members were able to attend and Jamaica slipped a further 3 places to 15th. “With only a partial team this year it is going to be a formidable challenge to better our last result considering the caliber of surfers now being fielded by participating nations” said Wilmot.
The WMSC has become much more competitive since its inception back in 2007 when it was not taken very seriously and the teams representing the various countries consisted of mostly leisure surfers with only the occasional retired pro. Currently the championships having grown in status and recognition and the world surfing community places a lot more emphasis on its results. Teams now are filled with top class names from surfing’s past making the event much more competitive.
Jamaica holds a 15th place ISA world ranking with Wilmot being the highest ranked master surfer with 11th place in the “Kahunas” (45+) division. This year will be David’s first time representing Jamaica. He will compete in the Masters (35+) division and should add vital points to the team as he is a capable and experienced surfer. Terrence, who was the most senior competitor at the inaugural staging of the championships, holds a 15th place world rank in the Grand Kahunas (50+) division.
Surfing in Jamaica has been receiving a lot of publicity in recent years due to the efforts of the JSA and the sport is now growing in popularity with many new enthusiasts taking lessons and getting involved.
The JSA is a Sports Development Foundation funded body.