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Mount Maunganui’s Raiha Ensor and William Van Der Beek have advanced the cause of the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team today advancing through crucial second round heats in Japan.

The Moko New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is competing at the 2017 Vissla ISA World Junior Championship being held at Hyuga, Japan from 23rd September – 1st October.

Raiha Ensor advanced out of Qualifying Round 2 with another strong performance late in her heat to post 10.93 out of 20.

Ensor took ten minutes to catch her first wave but racked up 5.33 and 5.60 point rides in quick succession to go from fourth to first in the small 1.0m waves.

“It was really really slow.  In the heat before, there were more waves but when ours started there were none.  The other girls got waves and I was starting to get nervous but then I got a couple of fives and made it through with a win” said Ensor.

Ensor’s team mate Elin Tawharu (Mnt) was not so lucky in her match up finishing third and dropping down to the repechage rounds.  Tawharu didn’t manage to find any decent waves in her heat and finished with a 7.67 point heat total.

William Van Der Beek (Mnt) contested his Under 16 Boys Division Round 2 heat which rolled over from day two.  He made the most of the morning conditions to advance through his heat in second place.

Despite this being Van Der Beek’s first time at the event, he said he steered clear of nerves and wanted to get out there and simply surf.

“My strategy going into the heat was actually to get fairly busy by getting a wave early on and then build from that” stated Van Der Beek adding “but the heat ended up being pretty slow and I knew I needed to be on the best waves to get good scores, so yeah that’s why I only got two waves”.

Ohope surfer Jared Gebert advanced through his first repechage heat in the Under 16 Boys Division in yet another close low scoring battle.  It was Gebert’s last scoring ride of 4.67 that pushed him into second place and progression to the next round.

Late this afternoon both of the Kiwis in the Under 16 Girls Division were relegated to the repechage rounds after defeats.

Tegen Bishop (Chch) came up short to her opponents from USA and Argentina while Saffi Vette (Gis) suffered a last minute defeat dropping to third in her heat courtesy of surfers from Japan and France.

The swell is forecast to build on day four with all twelve team members in action.

Day 4 schedule

Podium 1
11:40am – Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 3, Heat 3 – Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)
12:20pm – Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 3, Heat 5 – Kehu Butler (Mnt)
2:40pm – Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 3, Heat 4 – Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
5:20pm – Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 3, Heat 8 – William Van Der Beek (Mnt)
7:45pm – Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 2, Heat 4 – Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
Podium 2
11:00am – Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 2, Heat 1 – Elliot Brown (Dun)
1:30pm – Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 2, Heat 15 – Jared Gebert (Ohope)
3:30pm – Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 2, Heat 3 – Tegen Bishop (Chch)
4:15pm – Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 2, Heat 6 – Saffi Vette (Gis)
5:15pm – Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 2, Heat 2 – Dylan Preston (Mnt)
6:45pm – Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 2, Heat 8 – Caleb Cutmore (Ham)
7:15pm – Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 2, Heat 10 – Kaya Horne (Gold Coast)
The 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is being streamed live via ISAWorlds.com.  Japan is four hours behind New Zealand and action is expected to get underway between 7:30am and 8:00am daily.

Please see below for results from day three (Tuesday 26th September 2017) of the 2017 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being held at Hyuga, Japan from the 23rd September – 1st October.

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 2
Heat 4
Rachel Presti (USA), 10.94, 1, Mathea Olin (CAN), 10.43, 2, Elin Tawharu (NZL), 7.67, 3, Candela Baleani (ARG), 5.23, 4
Heat 6
Raiha Ensor (NZL), 10.93, 1, Catalina Mercere (ARG), 8.10, 2, Camila Costa (POR), 8.04, 3, Havanna Cabrero (PUR), 7.43, 4

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 15
Afonso Antunes, POR (11.67), 1, William Van Der Beek (NZL), 10.53, 2, Aboufiras Neil (MAR), 10.17, 3, Juan Cruz Ruggiero (ARG), 9.54, 4

Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 1
Heat 16
Bautista de Abajo (ARG), 12.40, 1, Jared Gebert (NZL), 8.10, 2, Antonio Hirsch (GER), 7.44, 3

Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 2
Heat 4
Samantha Sibley (USA), 11.60, 1, Hina Conradi (FRA), 10.10, 2, Coco Cianciarulo (ARG), 8.97, 3, Tegen Bishop (NZL), 4.77, 4
Heat 6
Kana Nakashio (JPN), 12.30, 1, Juliette Lacome (FRA), 10.63, 2, Saffi Vette (NZL), 10.34, 3, Francisca Veselko (POR), 8.17, 4

The New Zealand Team finished 10th at the 2016 VISSLA ISA World Championship which was won by France with Australia in second, Hawaii in third and this years’ hosts Japan in fourth.  The Kiwi team will aim to break into the top eight to qualify for the Aloha Cup at future events.

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.

The team has been kindly fitted out with their uniform and supported by Moko Clothing.

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.

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