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The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team has commenced their week-long campaign at the Vissla ISA World Surfing Games in California with two days of competition in challenging Huntington Beach surf that has rewarded some but put others on the back foot.

Raglan’s Caleb Cutmore has advanced the furthest in the event to date pushing through another close heat today to remain alive in the main round of the Under 18 Boys Division amongst the top 32 surfers at the event.

Despite a low 7.04 heat total, Cutmore did enough to advance through his heat alongside his counterpart from Spain.

“The second round was tough. I was pretty excited to get some good waves and drop some good scores but the wind swung onshore and the tide dropped out which didn’t allow for much scoring opportunity” commented Cutmore. “It was hard finding waves that didn’t shut down straight away. I was still stoked to grind through it and stay in the main round” he added.

“We’ve had a few people get knocked into the repechage. This just means it will be a long road to the final for those surfers” added Cutmore about his teammates who dropped back into the repechage rounds.

Cutmore has afforded himself a day off on day three and will be at the beach to support the rest of the team as well as “sneak in a few free surfs”.

Cutmore’s teammate Luke Griffin (Mnt) was one of four Kiwis to drop into the repechage rounds after advancing out of his first heat on day one.  Fellow Under 18 Boys surfer Jack Lee (Ohope) is yet to contest his second-round matchup which will be held on day three.

Brie Bennett was one of three Kiwi girls that advanced out of their Under 16 Girls Division heats today.  Bennett posted a 9.17 point heat total to finish second behind her French opponent.

It is Bennett’s second championship event at Huntington Beach giving her the feeling of a little added confidence but the first round always has its challenges and she noted the level of surfing in her division has increased yet again in the past twelve months.

“The nerves were really high, the first heat is always really important and I really just wanted to get my first heat done and hoped to get through” said Bennett.

“I ended up coming second with a 6.0 and a backup of a 3.0, I really wanted to win the heat so I could be in a safer second round but was unable to find another small score”

“I felt I surfed alright but hope to continue to build on my scores and performance and keep making heats this week” she added.

Bennett was joined by Ava Henderson (Chch) and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) advancing through to the second round of the main event.

Tom Butland (Tara), Tom Robinson (Whangarei) and Jayden Willoughby (Rag) all advanced through their first-round matchups and will be up again on day three of the event.

Unfortunately, our surfers in the Under 18 Girls Division suffered early defeats, battling the average conditions on the second podium and falling short of advancing.  Estella Hungerford (Chch), Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and Saffi Vette (Gis) will all get a second chance on day three of the event contesting the repechage rounds.

Please see below for results from day one and two of the 2019 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being held at Huntington Beach:

Under 18 Boys Main Round 1
Heat 2
Luke Griffin, NZL, 8.16, 1, José Champalimaud, POR, 7.1, 2, Fantin Habashi, SUI, 3.66, 3, Savva Mamontov, RUS, 3.24, 4
Heat 15
Raúl Ríos, PER, 10.77, 1, Caleb Cutmore, NZL, 8.54, 2, Nikita Petrov, RUS, 4.47, 3, Siddharta Barbosa, SUI, 3.66, 4
Heat 30
Jack Lee, NZL, 8.43, 1, Keoni Lasa, VEN, 8.43, 2, João Vidal, POR, 7.86, 3, Pan Wen Chieh, TPE, 4.4, 4

Under 18 Boys Main Round 2
Heat 2
Tiago Carrique, FRA, 15.17, 1, Heitor Mueller, BRA, 10.84, 2, Roi Kanazawa, JPN, 9.3, 3, Luke Griffin, NZL, 9.1, 4
Heat 8
Sean Gunning, ESP, 8.1, 1, Caleb Cutmore, NZL, 7.04, 2, Isauro Elizondo, PAN, 5.47, 3, Aiden Chamberlain, CAN, 5.33, 4


Under 16 Boys Main Round 1
Heat 2
Joaquim Chaves, POR, 12.33, 1, Tom Robinson, NZL, 8.74, 2, Greyson Grant, SWE, 7.1, 3, Savva Mamontov, RUS, 2.26, 4
Heat 15
Tom Butland, NZL, 9.54, 1, Keoni Lasa, VEN, 8.8, 2, Amaru Rodríguez, PER, 8.7, 3, Puleiata Martin, SAM, 8.37, 4
Heat 30
Tom Butland, NZL, 9.54, 1, Keoni Lasa, VEN, 8.8, 2, Amaru Rodríguez, PER, 8.7, 3, Puleiata Martin, SAM, 8.37, 4

Under 18 Girls Main Round 1
Heat 6
Ainhoa Leiceaga, FRA, 13.16, 1, Máxima Resano, NCA, 1.67, 2, Estella Hungerford, NZL, 1.53, 3
Heat 10
Valentina Resano, NCA, 9.67, 1, Elisa Cazenave, FRA, 8.73, 2, Georgia Wederell, NZL, 4.42, 3
Heat 18
Julia González, ESP, 9.56, 1, Candelaria Resano, NCA, 7.93, 2, Saffi Vette, NZL, 5.57, 3

Under 16 Girls Main Round 1
Heat 6
Nahia Milhau, FRA, 10.06, 1, Ava Henderson, NZL, 6.47, 2, Summer Sivori, MEX, 5.84, 3
Heat 10
Hina Conradi, FRA, 10.67, 1, Brie Bennett, NZL, 9.17, 2, Mariana Valencia, MEX, 2.4, 3
Heat 14
Juliette Lacome, FRA, 9.5, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury, NZL, 5.73, 2, Kenza Guemmi, MAR, 2.13, 3

Please see below for the day 3 schedule (New Zealand times):

Podium 1 (Live webcast)
3:15am – Tom Robinson – Under 16 Boys Round 2
5:15am – Tom Butland – Under 16 Boys Round 2
7:55am – Jayden Willoughby – Under 16 Boys Round 2
9:15am – Ava Henderson – Under 16 Girls Round 2
9:55am – Brie Bennett – Under 16 Girls Round 2
10:35 – Natasha Gouldsbury – Under 16 Girls Round 2

Podium 2 (Live scores only)
4:15am – Jack Lee – Under 18 Boys Round 2
7:35am – Estella Hungerford – Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 1
7:50am – Georgia Wederell – Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 1
8:20am – Saffi Vette – Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 1
11:05am – Luke Griffin – Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 2

The team is competing at the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Championship being held at Huntington Beach, California, USA from the 26th October – 3rd November.  In 2018 the New Zealand Team placed twelfth overall.  Japan stunned the event winning the team title over USA and Australia.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 340 surfers from 44 nations in 2019.

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 benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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

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Follow Surfing New Zealand via all social media platforms – @surfingnz.

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