Industry News 6/8/2007

PT Steps Down as USA Surf Team Head Couch

PT Steps Down as USA Surf Team Head Couch

San Juan Capistrano, Calif. – June 7, 2007 – Surfing America, the National Governing Body (NGB) for Surfing in the United States, announced today the resignation of Peter “PT” Townend as Head Coach of the USA Surf Team.  This announcement comes just weeks after the USA Surf Team’s fifth place finish in the 2007 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.  After dedicating a lot of time and passion to Surfing America, Townend now feels it best to step down and focus on other endeavors now that Surfing America is up and running successfully.

“It’s been a great three years working with a new generation of US kids that helped bring back international credibility to the USA Surf Team program” said Townend.

Townend’s recent role as the coach of the new and improved USA Surf Team spawned from the naming of Surfing America as the new NGB for the United States in 2004.  Under his tutelage, his squads earned three Olympic-recognized medals in five competitions: silver at the 2004 ISA World Juniors, bronze at the 2005 ISA World Juniors, and bronze at the 2006 ISA World Surfing Games.  Townend also coached the 1982 and 1984 USA National Teams, the ’84 team winning a gold medal.

"Words cannot describe the incredible contribution PT has made to Surfing America, the USA Surf Team, and to the sport of surfing as a whole," said Mike Gerard, Surfing America's Executive Director.  "PT founded Surfing America in the late nineties, built it up to achieve ISA's NGB recognition in 2004, and immediately thereafter lead the USA Surf Team program to success.  Surfing America would never be where it is today without his leadership and we are extremely grateful for all he has done.  We look forward to PT's continued involvement as Past President and a member of Surfing America's Advisory Board."

Townend, the 1976 IPS World Champion, has been a primary catalyst for organizing competitive surfing in the United States as well as founding Surfing America in 1997 as the then acting President of SIMA..  He also was monumental in the rise of the NSSA during the 1980s and was the on-air color analyst for the Bud Pro Surf Tour.  He spent ten years in publishing at Surfing Magazine rising to the position of Publisher and also spent most of the Nineties as the Marketing Director of Rusty. Today he operates The ActivEmpire, a company which specializes in action sports brand and media consultancy, coaching, athlete management and promotions.  He will remain active in Surfing America endeavors as an advisor.

“PT has done an incredible job single handedly bringing the coaching program to this point,” added Gerard.  “Surfing America plans to pick up where he left off with an expanded coaching and training staff  dedicated towards the future success of the USA Surfing Team.” Announcements on the new staff will be communicated shortly.