Surfing Australia can reveal the six surfers who will represent the nation at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games at El Salvador from May 30 – June 7, 2023.
The Irukandjis team is made up of Jack Robinson, Ethan Ewing, Liam O’Brien, Sally Fitzgibbons, Sophie McCulloch, and Ellie Harrison.
Sally Fitzgibbons, a three-time ISA World Games Gold Medallist, said representing her country and sharing the Aussie team spirit was ‘so special’.
“It’s an energy that lights the internal fire like no other. I go away with the goal of being the best teammate I can be and will rally to dig deep in my performances for the mighty Irrukandjis.
“All of our team have an amazing chance of going deep in the competition and the diverse range of world class waves we have in Australia set us up to have all the tools we need for the waves in El Salvador.
“The ISA World Surfing Games are positioned well in the Challenger Series calendar after back to back events and it will provide an amazing opportunity to sharpen up my game against the best of the best from other countries in a four woman format, just like our CS. I’m super excited to not only put on the jersey and try to draw my best surfing out under pressure but also to work with our talented coaching staff. Aussie Aussie Aussie… C’mon! Lets go mighty Irrukandjis.”
Liam O’Brien, who joins the team for a second year running, said: “I’m looking forward to getting the chance to represent my country again. Surfing is obviously a very individual sport. So any chance you get to surf as a team and especially for your country as well is very special.”
The ISA Worlds also play a vital role in the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Surfing Australia National High Performance Director, Kate Wilcomes said: “This will be Jack and Ethan’s first Irukandjis experience and we’re excited to share with them the team culture and story of the gifting of the name from the Irukandjis people. This is also an important event for us to have a chance at securing a third additional Olympic spot for Paris 2024.”
May 30: Opening Ceremony, Day 1 of Competition
May 31: June 6: Competition Days
June 7: Finals Day, Closing Ceremony
NB: schedule is tentative and subject to change at any time at the ISA’s discretion
About the Irukandjis:
The Irukandjis name was generously gifted to Surfing Australia by the local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland, driven by the efforts of Indigenous athlete and former World Tour surfer, Soli Bailey.
‘The Irukandjis: Deadly in the Water’, the namesake and tagline of the team is after the Irukandji jellyfish – an extremely venomous species of jellyfish that inhabit Australian marine waters.
Australian representatives across all surfing genres, including Junior, Open, Masters, Olympic, Longboard, Big Wave, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and Adaptive disciplines, compete under The Irukandjis national identity and united colours at international events such as the Olympics, International Surfing Association (ISA), World Surfing Games, WSL World Juniors and Longboard Championships.