New Zealand Junior Surfing Team members Saffi Vette (Gis) and Kehu Butler (Mnt) survived the biggest day of surfing yet at the World Junior Championships advancing through to day six of the event.
Their performances along with Raiha Ensor (Mnt) in the Under 18 Girls Division who had the day off, have helped the team jump up one place to tenth overall with two days of surfing remaining.
It was a tough day for the Kiwi team which saw six team members eliminated from the event in challenging 0.5m waves and up against some amazing surfing talent from around the world.
Contesting the Under 16 Girls Division, Vette surfed her second heat of the day as the sun faded on the event site. She took a late win with an 8.90 point heat total, 0.40 points separating the top three surfers in the low-scoring affair.
The win advances Vette into the top 16 at the event and she will continue her campaign today (Friday 29th September).
“The event been pretty draining energy wise but I feel more confident progressing through each one of my heats” said Vette who was pushed into the repechage rounds early meaning she has had to contest additional heats.
“I knew that the conditions were pretty tricky for my heat and that two hits or one big turn would get me a good score but the start of the heat for me was very slow and I made some mistakes but I kept positive knowing I just needed two good scores to make it through”.
“In the back of my mind I know I have a lot of supporters back home that I don’t want to disappoint so that gave me some motivation today” said Vette who is a first-time competitor at the event. From this point on she says she will continue to focus on her own performances and routine like this is any other event and try not to worry about who she is up against.
Kehu Butler was another standout surfer of the day advancing through two rounds and into the last 24 surfers in the Under 18 Boys Division.
Butler posted heat scores of 13.37 and 13.54 in his two heats and looked strong in his performances despite the small waves on offer.
In Butler’s final heat of the day, he got off to a good start and took an early lead that he didn’t relinquish until toward the end of the heat when the local Japanese surfer climbed into first place.
Butler will open the Kiwi account on day six of the event and will have to surf three heats if he is to advance through to the penultimate day of the event.
Vette and Butler are joined by Raiha Ensor (Mnt) who will also be in action today having surfed her way through the event in the qualifying rounds and holding on to one extra life in the event should she falter in a heat.
Of the six Kiwi surfers that were eliminated from the event, it was Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) that advanced through two rounds before being ousted in the last round of the day in the Under 18 Boys Division. Tawharu hunted down any wave he could possibly find but finished requiring a 6.60 point ride to advance. Tawharu finished the event in 29th overall.
Earlier in the same division, Dunedin’s Elliott Brown advanced through his first heat of the day but was eliminated in Round 4 finishing 41st.
Elin Tawharu’s run came to a halt in Round 3 of the Under 18 Girls Division finishing 25th overall after placing a close third in a tight low-scoring heat.
Our three remaining surfers in the Under 16 Boys Division fell in consecutive rounds. First off it was Kaya Horne (Gold Coast) bowing out in the second round finishing 65th overall followed by Caleb Cutmore (Ham) in the third round finishing 49th overall and William Van Der Beek (Mnt) in Round 4 finishing as the highest placed Kiwi in the Division at 41st.
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.
Day 6 schedule
11:30am Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 6, Heat 3 – Kehu Butler (Mnt)
1:40pm Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 4, Heat 1 – Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
*further heats depending on progression of surfers in early rounds
12:15pm Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 5, Heat 2 – Saffi Vette (Gis)
* further heats depending on progression of surfers in early rounds
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 five (Thursday 28th September 2017) of the 2017 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being held at Hyuga, Japan from the 23rd September – 1st October.
Overall Team Points
1 USA, 9810
2 France, 9470
3 Australia, 9290
4 Japan, 9020
5 Hawaii, 8740
6 Costa Rica, 7620
7 Brazil, 7193
8 Argentina, 5828
9 Portugal, 5608
10 New Zealand, 5300
Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 3
Elliott Brown (NZL), 9.60, 1, Dante Silva (HAW), 9.00, 2, Juan Pablo Yanez (ECU), 8.17, 3, Nikita Avdeev, RUS (6.67), 4
Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 4
Edoardo Papa, ITA (10.36), 1, Kian Martin, SWE (9.43), 2, Harakat Assad (MAR), 8.66, 3, Elliott Brown (NZL), 8.13, 4
Rinta Ooto (JPN), 12.30, 1, Jonas Tawharu (NZL), 10.14, 2, Agustin Cedeño (PAN), 9.80, 3, Iñaki Vorlentini (ARG), 7.06, 4
Gonçalo Vieira (POR), 13.50, 1, Kehu Butler (NZL), 13.37, 2, Kalum Bruhwiler Temple (CAN), 11.14, 3, Rey Hernandez (MEX), 10.16, 4
Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 5
Kian Martin (SWE), 12.16, 1, Dean Vandewalle (BEL), 10.93, 2, Zur Arkin (ISR), 8.87, 3, Jonas Tawharu (NZL), 8.66, 4
Yuri Ogasawara (JPN), 14.16, 1, Kehu Butler (NZL), 13.54, 2, Erwan Blouin (FRA), 10.73, 3, João Moreira (POR), 9.07, 4
Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 2
Dillen Hendricks (RSA), 12.34, 1, Luis Carlos Lopez (PAN), 9.53, 2, Kaya Horne (NZL), 8.10, 3, Oscar Cauchi (BEL), 7.83, 4
Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 3
Sebastián Mora (CRC), 13.83, 1, Jin Suzuki (JPN), 9.03, 2, Caleb Cutmore (NZL), 8.37, 3, Jose Antonio Espejo (PER), 7.16, 4
Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 4
Issam Auptel (FRA), 14.16, 1, Juan Cruz Ruggiero (ARG), 8.86, 2, Luke Slijpen (RSA), 8.17, 3, William Van Der Beek (NZL), 733, 4
Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 3
Leticia Cavalcante (BRA), 6.13, 1, Giada Legati (ITA), 5.77, 2, Elin Tawharu (NZL), 4.93, 3, Sara Sanchez (PAN), 4.76, 4
Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 3
Saffi Vette (NZL), 8.60, 1, Eva Woodland (CRC), 8.50, 2, Amy Dyer (ENG), 4.33, 3, Francisca Veselko (POR), 3.97, 4
Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 4
Saffi Vette (NZL), 8.90, 1, Valentina Resano (NCA), 8.80, 2, Candelaria Resano (NCA), 8.50, 3, S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (RSA), 6.73, 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.
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.