Sheraton comes to Pedasi

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It has recently been announced the Sheraton Hotel has completed the purchase of a 50 acre ocean front property in the Pedasi area. They have indicated their intention to open a luxury resort hotel to serve this rapidly growing tourist destination.
The new hotel will be located on a beautiful piece of oceanfront property by El Toro beach which is just a few minutes from the 40 hectare Andromeda Ocean Estates development. The resort is expected to open within the next 2 to 3 years and will feature top quality amenities and leisure facilities. With top class hotels across the globe, the Sheraton presence will no doubt help to make Pedasi a world-class vacation and retirement destination as well as adding great value to the
existing properties in the area.


Pedasi Fishing Tournament, Arenal Beach. July 15 – 17 2011

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At the eastern tip of the Azueros peninsula in Panama lays the quaint little town of Pedasi which last month hosted the annual fishing tournament. Pedasi lies along a stretch of coast known as the ‘Tuna Coast’ and is in between two world-renowned fishing spots, Pinas Bay to the east and Hannibal Banks to the west. Pinas Bay is the home of the famous Tropic Star Lodge which is arguably the number 1 spot for Marlin fishing.

The 12th annual Pedasi fishing tournament once again attracted big crowds and an even bigger entry than the previous year with over 55 teams and more than 300 participants from Panama and abroad. There were 45 sponsors and some great prizes which included cash, fishing rods, reels and outboard engines which were supplied by Yamaha and Suzuki. Prizes were given to the first three places in each of the 5 categories, Amberjack, Dorado, Mackerel, Tuna and Wahoo.

Being on the Tuna Coast, it was probably no wonder the heaviest fish caught was a yellow fin Tuna which weighed in at 141lbs. The winning Wahoo was 47 lbs and the heaviest Dorado, 52 lbs. Most of the prizes were taken by local Panamanians but local American Dave Head’s team managed to pick up third prize with their 67lb Tuna.

The winners from each category are as follows:

A 47.2 lb Wahoo caught by Augusto Lopez from El Ciruelo, Pedasi

A 141.3 lb Tuna caught by Adan Carrasco from Las Tablas

A 32.2 lb Bojala caught by Calos Herrera from Pedasi

A 51.9 lb Dorado caught by Team Pesquero Sport from Panama City

A 10.9 lb Sierra caught by Luis Arturo Oro from Las Tablas

The 12th Annual Pedasi Fishing Tournament – July 15-17, 2011

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Pedasi hosts an annual fishing tournament held by Pedasi Fishing, another local sport-fishing outfit, which last year drew dozens of boats and hundreds of spectators over the weekend-long competition. This year the 12th annual tournament will take place July 15th-17th and is expected to attract in the hundreds once again!

Be sure to follow us as we will be covering the event and  reporting back on all the daily highlights, news and action!

It is the abundant fishing, in addition to the area’s dry climate, clear waters and country charms that have drawn increased tourism and development to the area in recent years.

While tourists and developers aren’t the only ones drawn to the bounty of these Pacific waters. Marine scientists from around the world visit the Achotines Laboratory, in face of the Frailes Islands. The laboratory has been operating in the Pedasi district since 1985, studying the life cycle of yellow-fin tuna. Because their numbers are so plentiful in the waters offshore, scientists can easily collect dozens of juvenile tuna to raise and breed in large, specially-made tanks.

Their studies are helping to provide clues as to the feeding, breeding and migration habits of these tuna in the wild — about which little is known to date — in hopes of instituting conservation programs to prevent the population loss seen in the blue fin tuna, whose flesh is so prized for sushi and other Asian dishes.

“The commission (the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which oversees the Achotines Laboratory) also works to reduce tuna by-catch,” says lab technician Daniel Perez, “through experimental nets with escape hatches to see if juvenile fish are able to escape while restraining mature tuna.”

Future studies will also include sailfish, he says, which is good news for sport-fishers; their work will help ensure game fish off Pedasi remain plentiful for generations to come.

Australia Wins the Team Gold Medal in the 2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games

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Australia made it back to the top of the podium after a three year absence. The team celebrates while holding the Fernando Aguerre World Team Trophy as Panama’s President, Ricardo Martinelli (far left) looks on.

Australia won the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games Team Gold Medal, and was awarded te Fernando Aguerre World Team Trophy today in glassy and consistent two-to-four feet waves in Panama’s Playa Venao. Three years after their last victory in Portugal in 2008, the Aussies put their country back on top as the premiere surfing National Team in the world.

The Australian Team included Mick Campbell, Drew Courtney, Thomas Woods and Nathan Hedge in the Men division; Harley Ingleby and Dane Pioli in Longboard and Dimity Stoyle and Jessi Miley-Dyer in the Women. Five out of the twelve winners were from Australia.

Awards ceremony

Once again, the Aussies proved that the last day of the event is the moment when teams must step up and take risks. Their strategy was right on target, as it was in 2008, 2006, 2004 and 1998—the four years in which they won the Gold since the ISA World Surfing Games started in 1996.

The awarded Gold Medals of the Competition.

Final Team Standings were:

Gold: Australia – 15,000 points

Silver: Brazil – 12,132 points

Bronze: France – 11,816 points

Copper: Argentina – 11,312 points

“This year we brought a mixture of experienced surfers and young guys from the Pro Junior Series,” said Team Australia Coach, Martin Dunn. “This proves that Australia has great talent in every level; athletes who can perform under pressure.”

Tony Silvagni Wins Longboard Gold for Team USA

Fifteen years after the last Team USA Longboard Gold Medal (Geoff Moysa in 1996), Tony Silvagni made history for his country today after a convincing victory in a highly competitive Final.

Silvagni started off with solid 8.17 and 8.73 scores, leading the heat from the beginning until the end. With five minutes remaining, last year’s finalist, Harley Ingleby (AUS) got busy, posting an 8.37, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead.

The american gold medalist Tony Silvagni.

In 2009, Silvagni won the Copper Medal in Costa Rica. Today, he showed great improvement by taking home the Gold. “I stayed focused the whole contest, listening to everything my coach had to say—that was key. This is the best win of my entire life. I’ve being training hard, surfing every single day, and I’m very, very happy. I want to say thanks to everyone from the United States, as well as my mom, my whole family and friends for their support. This is great!”

Longboard medalists

Gold: Tony Silvagni (USA)

Silver: Harley Ingleby (AUS)

Bronze: Piccolo Clemente (PER)

Copper: Antoine Delpero (FRA)

Women’s World Title won by 2011 ISA World Junior Champion Cannelle Bulard

The Women’s Final had 2004 ISA and ASP World Champion Sofía Mulanovich (PER) leading almost entirely until the recently crowned Women’s ISA World Junior Surfing Champion Cannelle Bulard (FRA) decided to put her backhand surfing to work. Bulard became the first surfer ever to win the World Junior Surfing Championship and the World Surfing Games on the same year.

Cannelle Bulard from France

With two waves, she combined a series of strong backside moves that gave her a 7.93 and an 8.50, reaching a total of 16.43. Her combined score was enough to beat the 13.63 of Mulanovich and grab the heat lead in the last five minutes.

“I can’t believe it; it’s like a dream,” said Bulard. “Doing this for the French National Team is amazing. We are not going to be together at the top (Gold Medal) of the podium as a team, but it is great. I would like to thank all my family and friends—I can’t wait to go home and celebrate with all of them.”

Women Medalists

Gold: Cannelle Bulard (FRA)

Silver: Sofía Mulanovich (PER)

Bronze: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)

Copper: Dimity Stoyle (AUS

Argentina’s First Gold Medal Ever in the ISA World Surfing Games

In what many consider the most incredible and unexpected victory in the history of the ISA, Santiago Muñiz from Argentina won the Men’s Gold Medal. Surfing against ASP World Tour surfers from countries with great surfing traditions, the Argentinean clearly stood out, drawing clean lines and completing strong progressive, functional maneuvers.

Right from the start, Muñiz lead the Men’s Final. It was the tightest heat of the day, with 17.00 (8.73+8.27) for Muñiz, 16.77 (8.77+8.00) for Michael Campbell (AUS), 16.23 (8.00+8.23) for Thomas Woods (AUS) and 15.67 (8.90+6.77) for Ian Gouveia (BRA).

Thomas Woods, Santiago Muniz and Mick Campbell.

An abundant Argentinean crowd and teammates went crazy when the result was announced on the loudspeakers. “This is so amazing, I don’t have words to express my feelings right now,” said an excited Muñiz. “I’m so happy, this is a big achievement for Argentina. I’ve trained so hard for this, and now I will celebrate. My team kept me motivated and with good energy. I love all my family and my dad who really supports me. He is responsible for 90 percent of my performance, because without him and my team, I never would have won.”

Men Medalists

Gold: Santiago Muñiz (ARG)

Silver: Mick Campbell (AUS)

Bronze: Thomas Woods (AUS)

Copper: Ian Gouveia (BRA)

Closing Ceremony

Once the surfing was over, the Closing Cermony got underway.ISA President Fernando Aguerre did not attend, as he is in California recovering from a surfing injury. From home in a recorded message, he stated, “The ISA is very proud of this event, and we hold our belief that Panama will invite us here again in the near future, because Panama has a very important role to play in the future of surfing . With thousands and thousands of miles of coastline, a beautiful landscape and an amazing amount of waves, most of which are still unexplored, Panama offers paradise in a world in which paradise seems to be lost at times.”

The Fernando Aguerre World Team Trophy.

Aguerre finished his speech by saying, “I want to express my gratitude to the people of Playa Venao and to all the staff and all the volunteers in Panama who made this event possible. Panama is an example of a green country and beautiful jungles with a small population, but with a big heart. You will stay in the ISA heart forever.”

The Ceremony was honored by the presence of Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama, who welcomed everybody and invited the world to come to Panama, to surf and enjoy its excellent waves.

Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama

Panama’s Tourism Minister, Salomón Shamah was also present at the Closing Ceremony, delivering medals to the winners, along with the President.

With another edition of the annual Billabong ISA World Surfing Games successfully compete, the ISA looks forward to announcing the location of the premiere world team surfing event for 2012.

Final Team Standings

1. Australia – 15000

2. Brazil – 12132

3. France – 11816

4. Argentina -11312

5. Peru – 10930

6. Venezuela-10342

7. South Africa – 10008

8. USA – 96796

9. New Zealand -7816

10-Ecuador – 7740

11. Costa Rica -7696

12. Tahiti- 7575

13. Mexico- 6618

14. Puerto Rico – 6606

15. Uruguay – 6466

16. Panama – 6126

17. El salvador – 5568

18. Switzerland – 5328

19. Guatemala – 459520. Japan-4080

21. Nicaragua – 3516

22. Chile – 2832

23. Israel – 2436

24. Colombia – 1920

25. Jamaica – 1440

26. Canada- 1296

27. Ireland-540

Billabong ISA World Surfing Games 2011, Playa Venao,Panama. Offical update!

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The world-best surfers will meet in Panama’s Playa Venao for the 2011 edition of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games presented by Panama


June 25 – July 2
Playa Venao, Panama

Watch the live webcast on


In two weeks, 200 of the world’s best surfers from over 28 countries will descend upon Panama’s beautiful Playa Venao to compete in the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games presented by Panama.
From June 25 until July 2, four Open Men, two Open Women and two longboarders from each country will vie for one of Surfing’s biggest honors, to earn a medal for their country.


In each of the three divisions, competitors will surf to win individual gold, silver, bronze and copper medals. The Fernando Aguerre ISA World Team Trophy will go to the nation that achieves the highest points total, taking all team members performances into consideration.

The event will gather the best of the best of the sport of surfing, and for seven days, Panama will be the surfing capital of the world.


The Waves

The waves at Playa Venao, five hours southwest of Panama City, depending on the tide can be hollow beach-break barrels or perfect rippable left and right handers.


Teams to Keep an Eye On

Peru is the defending champion of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games. Surfing as locals for the first time in 45 years, they proved they are a tough team to beat when they have the home field advantage. In 2011, they’ll have to uphold the title while competing in foreign waters.

Australia has the record of victories in the event, but will Team USA come back to winning form after their Gold Medal finish in the 2009 edition of the event? Brazil, the winner of the 2000 ISA World Surfing Games , is another contender.

Usual suspects like France (runner-Up in 2009), South Africa (winner in 2002), Tahiti and New Zealand will always be ready to surprise the rest of the field.


A little bit of history

The Billabong ISA World Surfing Games began in 1964 under the name ISF World Championships, and were run by the International Surfing Federation, the first surfing international organization in history. In 1976, the ISF gave way to the ISA. From their beginning and until today, the contestants in these championships traveled to compete as a team, to defend the colors of their countries.
In 1996, a year after the ISA was recognized by the International Olympic Committee, ISA President Fernando Aguerre proposed a name change to the World Surfing Games. He also created the Sands of the World Ceremony and Parade of the Nations to highlight the importance of the union of nations through surfing.


Since 1996, the nations that won the gold medal for their team include the following:

1996 – Huntington Beach, USA: United States
1998 – Carcavelos, Portugal: Australia
2000 – Maracaípe, Brazil: Brazil
2002 – Durban, South Africa: South Africa
2004 – Salinas, Ecuador: Australia
2006 – Huntington Beach, USA: Australia
2008 – Costa de Caparica, Portugal: Australia
2009 – Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica: United States
2010 – Punta Hermosa, Peru: Peru

2011 – Playa Venao, Panama: ?

Last Year’s Edition

Was held at Punta Hermosa, Peru’s waves of Caballeros and Señoritas and the local team of Peru as the big winner. The teams that made podium were the following:

Gold: Peru – 14370 points
Silver: Australia – 14160 points
Bronze: South Africa – 11820 points
Copper: Brazil – 11340 points

The individual results:

Open Men Gold: Hira Terinatoofa (TAH)
Open Women Gold: Chelsea Hedges (AUS)
Longboard Gold: Rodrigo Sphyer (BRA)

About the International Surfing Association

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running Open Division World Championships since 1964, Junior World Championships since 1980, and Masters World Championships since 2007. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the Tandem Surfing World Title, and will hold the first World Bodyboard Championship in 2011, and the first Stand Up Paddle (SUP) World Championship in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 67 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Mike Gerard (USA) Karín Sierralta (PER) and Debbie Beacham (USA).


Justin Cote

Transworld SURF Online Editor


Panama construction – 4 lane development from Divisa to Las Tablas

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Just some of the construction teams working around the clock to get the road finished!The $109.9 million project to widen the road from the Interamerican Highway in Divisa to Chitre has been underway for some time now. The project has also been extended to widen the highway from Chitre to Las Tablas to 4 lanes. When completed, there will be four lanes all the way from the Interamerican Highway in Divisa down to Las Tablas in the Azuero Peninsula. From Las Tablas, the road south is a very nicely paved and new 2 lane road all the way to Playa Venao. These road improvements are expected to decrease the driving time significantly and reduce congestion. This will make traveling to Panama City from the Azuero faster and easier, hopefully around 4hours total driving time or less from Pedasi, at the southern point of the Peninsula. To date, the project has appeared very organized and moving along at a steady pace. Some delays can be expected as construction is completed, but the delays have been tolerable due to well managed work areas and detours.

Billabong World Surfing Games 2011. Playa Venao,Panama

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The 2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games will be held in the beautiful waves at Playa Venao located just 30 kilometres down the road from Pedasi. It has been selected as the location for National Surfing Teams to compete in one of the world’s greatest surfing events! Beginning June 29 through July 7, 2011. We will be expecting national surfing teams from 35 countries and more than 200 surfers competing for National Pride and the Gold Medal.

Both the ISA and Billabong are thrilled to announce the destination of this year’s event after receiving several attractive bid options for 2011. ISA President Fernando Aguerre stated, “The surf in Panama is exceptional, and after having great success with the Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship in 2010, we are eager to bring one of our feature World Championship events to the powerful waves and tropical weather at Playa Venao. The ISA is looking forward to a great Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in 2011 at this surfer’s paradise.”

This will be the first time in history that Panama will host the event, in previous years the Billabong World surfing games have been held in countries such as Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica and last years being Peru. The format of the event will consist of three divisions: four Open Men, two Open women and two Longboarders. The team’s entourage will be arriving in force by coach consisting of the team’s managers, there technical and support staff.

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