New Zealand’s top junior surfers will now commence preparation from the 2014 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship after the twelve person team was named today (Tuesday 11th February).
The team will compete at the event to be held at La Fae Beach, Salinas, Ecuador from the 5th – 13th April. The event attracts 30 nations and over 250 entrants from around the world.
The team, comprising of surfers under the age of eighteen, has a record breaking five athletes named from the Bay of Plenty region, the most surfers ever named from a single region.
The Mount Maunganui contingent is led by the oldest of the surfers, Jordan Griffin who has previously competed at the event in the Under 16 Boys Division (2012). Showing his versatility in the ocean, Griffin also represented New Zealand at the 2013 ISA World Longboard Championships held in Peru.
Griffin is joined by Kehu Butler a second time representative at the event and one of several young surfers in the team including Elin Tawharu (Mnt) and Kea Smith (Mnt).
Tawharu, the youngest surfer in the team, at the age of twelve, is joined by her older brother Jonas, a first time representative that will compete in the Under 16 Boys Division.
Piha’s Elliot Paerata – Reid is the most experienced of the team having competed at the event for the past four years. Paerata – Reid has spent the first six weeks of this year competing internationally and surfed to an amazing runner up placing at the first ASP Pro Junior event in Australia at the start of January.
Paerata – Reid will be joined by Australian based Gisborne surfer Korbin Hutchings who has also split his time between Australia and New Zealand and Dune Kennings (Whangamata) who took out the Open Men’s Division of the Billabong Pro held at Whangamata last weekend.
Leading the way for the girls will be Gisborne’s Jasmine Smith who was the teams highest placed surfer finishing eighth in the Under 16 Girls Division when she competed at the 2013 event held in Nicaragua. Smith will be joined by Muriwai’s Britt Kindred in the Under 18 Girls Division.
The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:
Under 18 Boys
Dune Kennings (WGM)
Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
Korbin Hutchings (Gis)
Non travelling reserve – Kayden Mayes (Mnt)
Under 18 Girls
Britt Kindred (Muriwai)
Jasmine Smith (Gis)
Non travelling reserve – Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis)
Under 16 Boys
Daniel Farr (Tara)
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)
Kehu Butler (Mnt)
Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
Non travelling reserve – Isaac Kettle (Tara)
Under 16 Girls
Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
Kea Smith (Mnt)
Non travelling reserve – Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
Team Manager: Kahn Butler (Mnt)
Team Coach: Matt Scorringe (Whangamata)
Team Assistant Manager/Coach: Warren Asplin (Hamilton)
The World Junior Surfing Championships is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. In 2013 the New Zealand team placed ninth at the event when it was held in Nicaragua.
Prior to the main event the team will meet South Africa to contest the annually run ‘SANZ’ Trophy held between the two teams. New Zealand regained the trophy in 2013 after South Africa dominated the head-to-head match-up for the several years prior to that. The two teams will fine tune their competitive strategies only days out from the main event. The unique trophy that is up for grabs is made out of a solid pounamu base with paua inlay and a surfboard made out of South African hardwood.
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email [email protected].
High resolution action images of the team will be available to media free of charge upon request.
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