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Fighting Spirit Keeps Kiwis Dreams Alive

Kalani Louis
Image thanks to  ISA/Sean Evans

For immediate release
Date: 2nd June 2022
From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: International Surfing
Event: 2022 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships
Divisions: Under 18 Men, Under 18 Women and Under 16 Men and Women
Date: 1st /06/2022
Location La Bocana & El Sunzal, El Salvador
Websites: www.isasurf.org  and www.surfingnz.co.nz

Fighting Spirit Keeps Kiwis Dreams Alive

Another big day for the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team today in El Salvador as 9 of the remaining surfers did battle in the repechage rounds to keep their hopes of getting back into the main event afloat. With nothing to lose and everything to gain the juniors put it all on the line with some top results coming out of today’s competition.  ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: “Giving every surfer a second chance is one of the hallmarks of ISA competition and today’s amazing performances showed how valuable the system is. These surfers would otherwise have been knocked out and yet they have given us some of the highlights of the competition so far.” And highlights there were, with five out of eight Kiwis advancing through the repechage rounds.

The day started with Under 18 Girls Repechage 1 where Piha surfer Liv Haysom managed to secure a second-place finish with a total of 7.76, enough to get her in to the second repechage round later in the day.

Kalani Louis was next in the water for the Under 18 Boys Repechage 2 in La Bocana and although he managed to get one score of 3.33 under his belt it was not enough. His backup wave only being a 2.9, he ended the heat in 4th place with a total of 6.23 resulting in his World Junior Championship campaign coming to an end.

Meanwhile in the Under 16 Girls repechage at El Sunzal victory was the order of the day as Pia Rogers from Whangamata surfed her way to a first placing with an 8.9 heat total. “I played to my heat strategy and am stoked to pull through”, she said of her win today. Pia now moves on to Repechage 3 keeping her dreams of getting back into the main event alive.

Leia Millar wowed the judges and the crowd straight after with an unbeatable performance at El Sunzal. Dominating the heat, she unleashed some powerful turns to earn herself a single wave score of 7.25. Backing it up with a 3.8 she was comfortable in victory and now heads into Repechage 3 with a newfound confidence.

Skylar McFetridge (Tara) also had success today winning her heat in the Under 16 Girls Repechage 2. With her highest score being a 6.75 and a backup of just 2.50 managed she managed to hold off Tahitian Kahili Simon just long enough for the clock to wind down, ending with a 9.25 heat total.

Back in La Bocana the Under 18 Boys Repechage continued with Finn Vette from Gisborne up in heat 12. Determined to advance through his repechage heat he put it all on the line scoring a 6.83 and a 5.93 giving him a total of 12.76 which neither Japanese surfer Riki Sato nor Kuhane Pakomio from Chile could match. An excellent result for Finn which sees him advance through to the next repechage heat and one step closer to returning into the main event.

With five out of six surfers going through so far it was over to the Under 18 Girls for their second chance heats. Unfortunately, Ava Henderson, feeling a little under the weather narrowly ended up in third place in the challenging conditions unable to find the 3.22 she needed to advance. Natasha Gouldsbury from Taranaki followed suite and after a strong performance previously, she only managed to find one wave in the heat meaning her World Junior Campaign also comes to an end.

Following the spectacular Under 16 girls’ results Spencer Rowson (Tara) put on an excellent performance as the lone Kiwi Surfer in the Under 16 Boys today, surfing one of his best heats in the competition. He again dominated the repechage heat with a 6.17 and a 6.30 to take the win easily from German surfer Kekoa Hummel, the only surfer to come anywhere near Spencer’s scores with a 3.50 and a 3.30. Spencer now moves on to repechage 3 where he will come up against surfers from Switzerland, Brazil and France.

Liv Haysom from Piha brought day 5 to a close surfing in her second repechage heat after early success. Hoping to repeat the winning trend of her teammates Liv went out to put it all on the line however unfortunately the ocean was not on her side. In trying conditions, she finished in 3rd place, with her two best waves being a 1.2 and a 2.2.

Tomorrow (Day 6) sees Tao Mouldey the last Kiwi in the main event up in the Under 16 Boys quarterfinals. Surfing against Teo Gale Grani (PAN) Inigo Madina (FRA) and Rylan Beavers (HWI) he will be hoping to channel all his team’s success in the repechage rounds and his own dominant performances in his early round matchups to advance through to the semi-finals and further his quest for a podium finish.

Results from day 5 of the ISA World Junior Championships in El Salvador

Under 18 Boys Repechage 2 (La Bocana)
1 Greyson Grant 14.17 (SWE), 2 Marvin Rodriguez 12.13(ESA), 3 Lukas Mcmahon 6.70 (FIN), 4 Kalani Louis 6.23(NZL)
Heat 12
1 Finn Vette 12.76(NZL), 2 Riki Sato 10.20 (JPN), 3 Kuhane Pakomio 6.56(CHI), 4 Alfonso Roel 5.30 (URU)

Under 18 Girls Repechage 2 (La Bocana)
Heat 3
1 Lucia Machado10.86 (ESP), 2 Valeria Benitez 6.04 (VEN), 3 Ava Henderson 5.46 (NZL), 4 Jinyi Wen 0.87 (CHN)

Heat 10
Kokona Kawase 10.56 (JPN), 2 Liliana Franceschini 9.93 (PUR), 3 Maxima Resano 3.40(NCA), 4 Natasha Gouldsbury 2.67 (NZL)

Heat 11
1 Estela López 7.90 (CHI), 2 Annabella Lopez 5.40 (PUR), 3 Liv Haysom 3.43 (NZL), 4 Evelyn Chavez 0.00 (PAN)

Girls Under 16 Repechage 2 (El Sunzal)
Heat 4
1 Pia Rogers 8.90 (NZL),
2 Luna Marcano6.60(VEN), 3 Yam Harel 6.30 (ISR), 4 Cheyenne Patino-ubeda 4.55(TTO)

Heat 5
1 Leia Millar 11.05 (NZL), 2 Belle Betteridge 7.45 (ENG) 3 Rachel Aguero 6.00 (CRC), 4 Sophia Ramos 3.70 (ESA),

Heat 9
1 Skylar McFetridge 9.25 (NZL), 2 Kahili Simon 7.00 (TAH), 3 Joelle Ramirez 5.10 (MEX), 4 Tiara van der Huls 4.60 (NED)

Boys Under 16 Repechage 2 (El Sunzal)
Heat 5
1 Spencer Rowson12.47 (NZL), 2 Kekoa Hummel 6.90(GER), 3 Shulou Jiang 6.37(CHN), 4 Kai Wolsbeck2.27 (NED)

Six surfers out of 12 will be in action again tomorrow with the main rounds and Under 18 Boys and Girls repechage at La Bocana and the Under 16 Boys and Girls repechage at El Sunzal.

Schedule for tomorrow day 6 2nd June (Times are estimate)

Ava Henderson
Image thanks to Sean Evans/ISA

La Bocana
Under 16 Boys Quarter final
Tao Mouldey 4:50am

Under 18 Boys Repechage 3
Heat 3 Finn Vette 6:50am

EL Sunzal

Under 16 Boys Repechage
Heat 3 spencer Rowson 4:00:am

Under 16 Girl’s Repechage
Heat 2 Pia Rogers 6:30am
Heat 3 Leia Millar 6:50am
Heat 5 Skylar McFetridge 7:30am

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. New Zealand has been one of the top nations at each event with Jay Quinn (Gis) securing New Zealand’s first World Championship in the Under 18 Men’s division in 2001.

The event is being broadcast live over the net via www.isasurf.org. Media releases relating specifically to the New Zealand team’s performance will be distributed throughout the event.

For further information regarding the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Ben Kennings at Surfing New Zealand 07 8250018, 0212278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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Author: Dan Westerkamp