In Latest


Ella Williams.  Image courtesy of ISA / Jimenez

The New Zealand Surfing Team have climbed up to eighth at the INS ISA World Surfing Games with three days remaining at the event being held at Jaco Beach Costa Rica.

Day five performances (Friday 12th August) were highlighted by Ella Williams (WGM) continuing her run in the main event of the Women’s Division while Matt Hewitt (Mnt) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) hammered home two progressions in the Men’s Repechage.

The forecasted new swell has not arrived in Costa Rica with surfers having to contend with small 1.0m waves and light onshore breezes on day five of the event.

Ella Williams enjoyed the good early morning conditions in her third round match up where she took a comfortable win over her opponents from Portugal, Costa Rica and Argentina.  Williams posted a 12.66 point heat total, her top two rides being the first she surfed in the heat. 

Williams progressed alongside Carol Henrique (POR) who has helped her Portugal Team to the number one position at the event.

Williams is now potentially two heats away from the final of the event and will contest her next match up against Dominic Barona (ECU) and Teresa Bonvalot (POR) early on Sunday morning for a chance to reach the semifinals.

“I am so happy to progress through today.  Our team has been surfing so well and I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much talent and an all-round great team” commented Williams.

NZL Billy Stairmand Evans3
Billy Stairmand.  Image courtesy of ISA / Evans

Billy Stairmand (Rag) held on to the tightest of progressions in his final heat of the day.  Stairmand held the lead for much of the 20 minutes after getting a pair of five point rides.  He then patiently held priority and waited for better waves but slipped back to third place.  In the last minute of the heat he surfed to a 5.23, enough to oust American Kevin Schulz by 0.22.

“I felt really good this morning. I have jumped back on an old epoxy Hughsey that went really well at the US Open last year so when I got on it, it went really well” said Stairmand.  

“This afternoon was a different story, the conditions went really bad and it was shutting down, but I managed to find a couple 5’s and just squeak through” he added.

Stairmand still faces a long road over the next three days with another five rounds before the finals, although it is a situation that he is not concerned about.

“I’m feeling more and more comfortable each day and just enjoying my time in Costa Rica. I’m not looking at all the rounds ahead or finals or anything, I’m just taking it heat by heat and trying to learn from each heat.  It’s a long week no matter what way you look at it, so I’m just having a ball over here and enjoying the team vibe and trying to do my team and country proud.”

Matt Hewitt (Mnt) also progressed through two heats today and like Stairmand had left his run until the last wave of the heat to advance alongside Masatoshi Ono (JPN).  Hewitt posted a 10.13 point heat total in that heat after posting an 11.94 point heat total to advance out of his morning heat.  Hewitt will face off against Shane Sykes (RSA), Dimitre Ouvre (FRA) and Dylan Southworth (MEX) in the next round.

Earlier in the day the New Zealand Team lost Zen Wallis (Piha) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt) from the event.

Wallis who had a stellar run through the previous two rounds surfed well in his heat but fell short against Hiroto Arai (JPN) and Kevin Schulz (USA).  Wallis finished 37th overall.

The team’s youngest member, Raiha Ensor (Mnt) also suffered a third round exit from the event today ousted by Brittani Nicholl (AUS) and Tanika Hoffman (RSA).  Ensor placed 22nd overall.

The World Surfing Games are being held from the 6th – 14th August.  Individual, Team and Tag Team medals will be awarded on the final day of the event (Monday 15th August NZT).

Please see below for results from day five of the INS ISA World Surfing Games being held at Jaco Beach, Costa Rica from the 6th – 14th August 2016.

Women’s Main Event Round 3
Heat 2
1, Ella Williams12.66, 2, Carol Henrique (POR), 9.13, 3, Emily Gussoni (CRI), 8.20, 4, Lucia Indurain (ARG), 7.07

Women’s Repechage Round 3
Heat 3
1, Brittani Nicholl (AUS), 13.56, 2, Tanika Hoffman (RSA), 9.00, 3, Nao Omura (JPN), 8.64, 4, Raiha Ensor (NZL), 7.43

Men’s Repechage Round 3
Heat 1
1, Juan Caraballo (VEN), 13.60, 2, Matt Hewitt (NZL), 11.94, 3, Anderson Tascon (COL), 8.03, 4, Michael Zaugg (SWI), 7.67
Heat 5
1, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 15.10, 2, Harrison Martin (AUS), 11.70, 3, Jose Joaquin Lopez (VEN), 9.57, Jackson Obando (NIC), 5.23
Heat 6
1, Hiroto Arai (JPN), 14.43, 2, Kevin Schulz (USA), 9.67, 3, Sean Foerster (CAN), 9.0, 4, Zen Wallis (NZL), 8.57

Men’s Repechage Round 4
Heat 2
1, Masatoshi Ono (JPN), 12.47, 2, Matt Hewitt (NZL), 10.13, 3, Joaquin del Caastillo (PER), 9.30, 4, Marc Lacomare (FRA), 7.40
Heat 5
1, Tomas King (CRI), 5.87, 2, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 10.76, 3, Kevin Schulz (USA), 10.54, 4, Charles Martin (FRA), 5.87

Times for New Zealand heats on day six of the event (NZT).
2:30am – Men’s Repechage Round 5 – Matt Hewitt
3:10am – Men’s Repechage Round 5 – Billy Stairmand
4:30am – Men’s Repechage Round 6 – if qualified
6:30am – Aloha Cup Semifinal 1 – Costa Rica, Peru, Australia and New Zealand

Over 140 athletes from 26 countries are attending the event, the first held by the ISA since surfing was added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last week.

The New Zealand Team is ranked eighth in the world which qualifies them to compete in the Aloha Cup Tag Team event comprising the top eight nations.  This team-format event will take place in the last few days leading up to the individual finals.

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 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.

Surfing New Zealand Newsletter
If you want to keep updated with surfing information delivered right to your inbox then sign up to the SNZ Newsletter.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via the SNZ Facebook, SNZ Twitter and @surfingnz on Instagram.

Surfing New Zealand are proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ


Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.

Start typing and press Enter to search