The New Zealand Surfing Team has claimed the overall team title at the 2019 Oceania Cup surfing to three titles across four divisions with the fourth going to American Samoa.
The reinvented Ocean Cup was held at Aganoa Resort on Savaii, Samoa and completed this week. Clean morning and evening waves in the 1.0m – 1.5m range had participants from six countries stoked throughout the event which climaxed on Tuesday.
New Zealand topped teams from Australia, Samoa, Tahiti, Vanuatu and American Samoa at the event.
Zen Wallis and Ariana Shewry were the Kiwis that claimed the Men’s and Women’s Divisions.
Wallis defeated Tahitian Hira Terinatoofa 12.6 v 12.37 in a final that was contested in slightly onshore afternoon conditions.
“I’m humbled and proud to become the Open Men’s Oceania Champion alongside Ari (Ariana Shewry) in the Women’s Division. I was stoked to have a head-to-head final with Hira who was shredding all event and out of the water is such a chilled out humble guy” said Wallis.
“The Oceania Cup has been an awesome event, pretty special, it’s culturally based and celebrates all our nation’s diversity, similarities and connection through this great Pacific Ocean” he added.
“I’m really proud of our teams performance, a choice group of individuals unified and proud to represent New Zealand in fun way while also being focussed and hungry for victory.”
Shewry took the women’s title in a last gasp effort over her team mate Zhana Hutchieson.
“It was a crazy last minute. I was left needing a five point ride in the last 20 seconds and I managed to find a good wave with a nice wall and got a few good hits on it. I wasn’t sure if it was the score but Zhana (Hutchieson) was congratulating me and when I reached the beach, the team said I got a 7.0, it was pretty clutch, so stoked” an elated Shewry commented.
“Finishing the year with a win is awesome. It is always good to see hard work and dedication pay off. Stoked to take the title and looking forward to the rest of the trip exploring and then a little break when I get back home to focus on getting better over the next month or so.”
American Samoa surfer Liam Wilson won an all Samoan final against local Savaii surfer Puleiata Martin. Wilson finished with a 14.83 point heat total besting Martin’s 12.27.
“Claiming the title for American Samoa for the first time ever in history was amazing. I can’t believe how far I have gotten ever since I started surfing at ten years old. This was probably one of the best moments of my entire life. I am so grateful to represent American Samoa and bring it home” said Wilson.
“This was probably the best waves I have ever gotten in a surf contest. The finals went onshore and that is my favourite kind of waves so I felt just like at home in Laie, Oahu.”
Georgia Wederell won the Under 18 Girls Division over Australia’s Charli Pell after overcoming several setbacks during the event.
“It was my first time really hitting the reef that hard so it was a bit of a learning experience” said Wederell who hit the reef with her forehead. “Then getting food poisoning on top of it was so hectic after just overcoming a skin infection that all the Kiwi groms got on the first day. So it has been an action packed few days to say the least but super stoked to manage to push through and get the win as it is my first international title” Wederell added.
1, New Zealand
5, American Samoa
The Oceania Surfing Federation comprises ten original nations including Australia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
The purpose of the organisation is to empower and unite the communities of Oceania surfing with the overarching vision of celebrating the spirit of surfing in the region.
The Oceania Cup was first held in 1997 and hosted in Fiji. Eleven editions of the event took place between 1997 and 2007 across five countries.
For further information please contact:
Event Media (Samoa based): Angela Coombes – firstname.lastname@example.org