An ISA delegation visited Lima ©Getty Images

An International Surfing Association (ISA) delegation visited Lima to check progress ahead of surfing and stand-up paddle boarding’s (SUP) debut at the 2019 Pan American Games in the Peruvian capital.

The delegation comprised ISA executive director Robert Fasulo, ISA technical delegate and SUP race director Anthony Vela, Peruvian ISA vice-president and Pan American Surfing Association President Karin Sierralta, and ISA manager of event operations Harrison Robbs. 

They praised as "excellent" the progress made.

Some 88 athletes are expected to compete across the shortboard, longboard, SUP technical race and SUP surfing disciplines. 

The winning athletes in the men and women's competitions will earn a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

Those competing include Argentina's Santiago Muñiz, the 2018 World Surfing Games gold medallist.

Two-time World Surfing Games champion Tia Blanco of Puerto Rico and four-time ISA SUP racing gold medallist Candice Appleby of the United States are also participating.

The world-renowned reef break Punta Rocas will host the surfing and SUP events during the Games, which are taking place July 26 to August 11. 

The venue will then become the home of the Peruvian Surfing High Performance Centre.

Both surfing and SUP will make their Pan American Games debut in Lima, with the inclusion of SUP part of a campaign by the ISA to earn the sport a place in the Olympic programme. 

The ISA are involved in a long-standing dispute with the International Canoe Federation regarding the ownership of the discipline, however. 

Surfing will make its Olympic debut next summer. 

“Our site visit in Lima has been excellent, as the synergy and experience between the ISA and Local Organising Committee is smoothly advancing the planning process to create a world-class event," said Fasulo.

“The Pan Am Games will provide the biggest stage to date for the world to see surfing and stand-up paddle in a multi-sport event context.

“We are also particularly excited to showcase SUP racing to a global audience. 

"SUP is a youth-oriented sport with thrilling displays of action and athleticism, qualities that make it a perfect fit for the future of the Olympic Games.

“Promoting the global growth and development of SUP has been a key priority of the ISA for nearly a decade and inclusion of this discipline in the Pan American Games is the biggest milestone yet.”