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Comment Share Posted on Friday April 13th 2012 at 1:08 p.m.

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team have touched down in Panama and are busy practising for their opening match ups at the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong which takes place at Playa Venao, Panama from the 14th - 22nd April.

  • Ben Poulter. Image by  ISA / Rommel Ben Poulter. Image by ISA / Rommel

The twelve New Zealand representatives are located beach front at Playa Venao and have been making the most of the clean surf conditions in the build up to the event.

"The waves are a fun 2 - 3ft most days" said team captain Ben Poulter. "The waves are very tidal and change a lot with the different tides so our team have working hard on understanding the break as best possible and the different conditions we are likely to face" he added.

<&rt;1/14 Photos

  • Ben Poulter. Image by  ISA / Rommel Ben Poulter. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Alethea Lock.Image by  ISA / Rommel Alethea Lock.Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Ben Poulter. Image by  ISA / Rommel Ben Poulter. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Ella Williams. Image by  ISA / Rommel Ella Williams. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Elliot Paerata-Reid. Image by  ISA / Rommel Elliot Paerata-Reid. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Elliot Paerata-Reid. Image by  ISA / Rommel Elliot Paerata-Reid. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Jayda Martin-Fitzharris. Image by  ISA / Rommel Jayda Martin-Fitzharris. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Jordon Griffin. Image by  ISA / Rommel Jordon Griffin. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Jordon Griffin. Image by  ISA / Rommel Jordon Griffin. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Korbin Hutchings. Image by  ISA / Rommel Korbin Hutchings. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Paul Moretti. Image by  ISA / Rommel Paul Moretti. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Tane Wallis. Image by  ISA / Rommel Tane Wallis. Image by ISA / Rommel
  • Tane Wallis. Image by  ISA / Rommel Tane Wallis. Image by ISA / Rommel

When the event starts, over 300 surfers from 30 nations will compete for medals in the Under 18 Boys and Girls and Under 16 Girls. Each team will also vie for overall team placings with the top eight nations contesting the Aloha Cup tag team style event.

New Zealand Team Manager Tony Baker commented that the team is settling well after the arduous 65 hours of travel to get to their destination at Playa Venao, a journey that Poulter also described as "crazy."

"The team have been dominating the free surfing sessions at the event site and there are good waves immediately out the front of our accommodation which the team have been taking advantage of as well" said Baker.

Today marks the first day of scheduled activities with team registrations and that will be followed by the annual challenge against South Africa for the SANZ Trophy. The challenge takes place on Saturday (NZT). South Africa currently holds the trophy after winning the challenge at Peru in 2011.

The Olympic-style Opening Ceremony will take place on Sunday with competition to follow on Monday (NZT). The draw for the event will be released once all team registrations have been completed. You can check out the live event website for up to date information, images, video and live action once the event commences.

You can also follow the progress of the team through the eyes of team coach Jason Ruddell and his blog.

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Boys
Ben Poulter (Rag)
Mackenzie Christie (Mnt)
Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata)
Tane Wallis (Piha)

Under 18 Girls
Alethea Lock (Chch)
Ella Williams (WGM)
Jasmine Smith (Gis)
Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis)

Under 16 Boys
Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha)
Harrison Whiteside (Chch)
Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
Korbin Hutchings (Gis)

Team Manager: Tony Baker (Mangawhai)
Team Coach: Jason Ruddell (Whangarei)
Team Assistant Manager/Coach: Warren Asplin (Hamilton)

The World Junior Surfing Championship 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 2011 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Peru.

dakineisawjsc.com

www.surfingnz.co.nz

 

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