Three Kiwis Remain Alive Heading into the Final Two Days of World Juniors, New Zealand Eleventh Overall

Three New Zealand surfers will battle out the penultimate day of the 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships being held in El Salvador after a big day of action was completed overnight (Saturday 11 May).

The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team sits in eleventh place overall heading into the final two days and will need big individual results to hold their high ranking among the record 54 nations and 440 surfers that are in attendance.

Six Kiwi surfers were in action overnight while Alexis Owen (Dun) and Tai Murphy (Ohope) were afforded a day off after their efforts on Thursday.

Alani Morse (Rag) was the best performing Kiwi advancing through two rounds to make the top 24 surfers in the Under 16 Girls Division.

“I am pretty stoked to be on the grind still but I want to post some big scores so I will be sending it tomorrow” said the young surfer as she faces up to three heats in the day.

“Both heats were pretty sick today, I had some close calls but I am taking it all into learning and hopefully I can become a better comp surfer by the end of the trip” she added.

Morse placed second in both of her heats today and in one case flipped the script on team mate Lola Groube (Pau) in the dying stages of the heat she shared with her team mate.  Groube finished third in the heat and was eliminated in 33rd overall.

Northland’s Indi-Lee Ruddell contested the same Repechage Round 4 early in the morning and finished fourth in her heat to place 41st overall.

Harrison Biddle (WGM) surfed his way through his first heat of the day thanks to a healthy 11.17 point heat total that included a 7.17 point ride.  Biddle went into the next round full of confidence and held second place for much of the heat before his Australian counterpart posted a 6.90 point ride to run away with the heat progression.  Biddle placed third in the heat to finish 25th overall.

Poppy Arkle (Piha) and Taimana Marupo (Mnt) couldn’t advance their campaigns on day 7 finishing fourth in their Under 18s heats this morning.  Arkle finished in 31st overall and Marupo 41st, both surfers competing in their first World Championship event.

Competition resumes at 1am Sunday morning.  Murphy and Morse continue in Repechage Round 6 in do-or-die encounters with up to three heats of competition should they progress through their early rounds.

Dunedin surfer Alexis Owen continues his campaign in the main round of the Under 16 Boys Division.  Owen can take the easy route with two progressions seeing him through to the final.  Alternatively, a loss would see him relegated to the repechage rounds alongside Murphy and Morse where he would face a bigger workload to advance to the podium.

In 2023 the New Zealand Team placed tenth overall.

Day 8 Heat Times (NZ Time)
2:00am – Tai Murphy – Under 18 Boys Repechage 6 (Podium 1)
3:20am – Alani Morse – Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 6 (Podium 2)
4:00am – Alexis Owen – Under 16 Boys Main Event Round 5 (Podium 1)
*Further heats subject to progressions

You can watch the livestream of the event here

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email

High resolution action images of team members will be available to media free of charge upon request.

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Author: Ben Kennings