New Zealand has slipped to second in the team points standings at the 2017 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held at Vorupor, Denmark, after the first day of the SUP Surfing discipline took place (Wednesday 6th September local time).
The Kiwi’s were overtaken by France at the conclusion of the day after athletes endured a long wait before having to contest 0.5m waves and marginal conditions during the afternoon.
Trevor Tunnington (Gold Coast based) advanced in the Men’s Division as did Stella Smith (Gis) and Lucy Te Moananui (Kaik) in the Women’s Division. However, it was Gisborne’s Sean Hovell that was the unlucky team member to be ousted in the first heat of the day.
Hovell did all he could to manufacture scores in small beach break waves but came up just short of progression finishing the event in 33rd overall.
Both Smith and Te Moananui won their respective heats to advance to the last 24 surfers in the Women’s Division.
15-year-old Smith looked particularly strong in her heat booking a second round match up with a 9.24 point heat total and first place.
“I feel like I didn’t surf my best because I haven’t surfed a heat in a long time and I was a little bit nervous but hopefully tomorrow if the surf is better I will be able to surf better” said Smith.
“The wait was hard because it was really cold and the surf wasn’t the best but we were hopeful that the surf would get better because that’s what people told us, even though it got worse.”
Smith is competing alongside her older sister Jasmine who advanced to the final of the Women’s Prone Technical Race yesterday. The two sisters are also supported by their Dad who is helping them throughout the week.
“Having most of my family here is pretty cool and really funny. It’s cool to have them there to watch everyone and experience the event with me” said Smith.
Te Moananui had to wait the entire day before contesting her heat at 7:00pm at night.
“I am stoked to win my heat. The day-long wait was painful, it was very windy and cold. Sean (Hovell) was my wingman, my strategy was to get one good one out back and do the run around back to the break and I really only won on one wave” said Te Moananui.”
In the Men’s Division Tunnington advanced through his heat in second place behind Brazil’s Luiz Diniz with an 8.93 point heat total. He will now face athletes from Mexico, Germany and Spain in his second round match-up.
“Yeah definitely a challenge out there today” said Tunnington.
“Everybody was pretty disappointed with the waves when we got to the beach first thing this morning. The event eventually started at 1pm when the wind and chop started forming rideable waves. It was pretty fun watching some of the guys like Caio Vas and Sean Poynter still rip in tiny waves.”
“My strategy going into it today was to just see if I could find some kind of section to get a proper turn off. I felt like I surfed alright, although I’m sure it never looks as good from the beach. Either way, considering how tiny the waves were I was just happy to get a couple proper turns in today” he added.
The swell is expected to build further for the second and final day of the surfing disciplines with heats starting from 6:30am local time.
The small waves on offer and less than desirable forecast for waves over the remainder of the event has forced officials to complete the SUP Surfing disciplines on Thursday (local time) with one big day of action to come. The surfing will be followed by the finals of the technical races for SUP and Prone as well as the team relay. These disciplines will take place through until Sunday (local time).
The first Kiwi scheduled to compete on day five is Trevor Tunnington at 7:15pm (New Zealand time) followed by Stella Smith at 7:45pm and Lucy Te Moananui at 8:15pm. Further heats will continue subject to the surfers advancing through their second round match ups.
Please see below for results from Day 4 (Wednesday 6th September local time) of the 2017 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships being held in Denmark from the 1st – 10th September.
1 France, 15843
2 New Zealand, 15343
3 Australia, 15031
4 Hawaii, 14898
5 USA, 14020
6 Denmark, 13180
7 Brazil, 12804
8 Italy, 12793
9 Japan, 12323
10 South Africa 10800
Men’s SUP Surfing Round 1
Caio Vaz (BRA), 14.50, 1, Renzo Lombardi (CHI), 6.17, 2, Sean Hovell (NZL), 5.57, 3, Marcin Popów (POL), 0.00, 4
Luiz Diniz (BRA), 10.60, 1, Trevor Tunnington (NZL), 8.93, 2, Hector Gonzalez (MEX), 5.34, 3, Pawel Bielinski (POL)
Women’s SUP Surfing Round 1
Stella Smith (NZL), 9.24, 1, Lise Richard (CAN), 2.13, 2, Vahineura Itchner (TAH), 0, 3
Lucy Te Moananui, NZL, 3.86, 1, Sarah Gannon, IRE, 3, 2, Genna Flinkman, CAN, 1.83, 3, Joanna Ibrahim, WAL, 0, 4
For further information on the New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.