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Kiwi girls team strongest so far at ISA World Junior Champs

Jasmine Smith © Chris Grant



Team Updates

Kiwis Battle High Level of Surfing at World Junior Champs

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 October, 2015 - Success for the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team over days one and two of the 2015 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship has been limited to the girls and three of the youngest team members as the Kiwis have battled against an extremely talented pool of international surfers.

The team are competing at Oceanside Beach from 11th – 18th October 2015 and the first two days of the event were contested in clean 1.0m – 1.5m waves throughout the morning which deteriorated to predominantly low tide close outs in the afternoon.

A record 36 countries are in attendance at the event with over 320 entrants across Under 18 and Under 16 Divisions for both boys and girls.

The New Zealand Team have only three surfers remaining in the qualifying rounds after the first two days of competitions – Jasmine Smith (Gis) in the Under 18 Girls Division and Mount Maunganui pairing of Raiha Ensor and Elin Tawharu in the Under 16 Girls Division.

Gisborne’s Jasmine Smith was the team’s top performer on day two, surfing to an 11.26 point heat total to win her heat over surfers from Japan, El Salvador and Panama.

“The surf is way more fun on high tide so I was pretty stoked to get to surf it this morning” commented Smith.  “I was pretty nervous for my heat but I just wanted to get a quick start and stay busy which I did and I caught two lefts which were ok, I got two 5’s for them” she happily added after getting through the first round.

Smith will surf against surfers from Tahiti, Peru and the United Kingdom on day three of the event.

Our surfers in the Under 16 Girls Division, Elin Tawharu and Raiha Ensor followed suit, Tawharu winning her heat and Ensor coming second.

“The conditions looked so fun in the morning but unfortunately it was low tide for my heat but it was actually okay because the waves were so similar to the Mount” said Tawharu referencing her local break.  “I managed to catch some runners on the edge so I'm so happy to have won my heat, our girls have done really well so far and yup another big day tomorrow” she added.

Following Tawharu into the second round was first time competitor Raiha Ensor.

“The Worlds has been great to be a part of so far.  The team vibe is really good and everyone is supportive of each other” said Ensor of her experience to date.  “I was slightly nervous before my first heat, but I knew if I focused and surfed well I would be able to advance. My plan was to stick a little wider and get the right hand shoulders instead of the close outs which there were heaps of on the lower tide and that plan worked”

All three surfers will be back in the water in the early hours of Thursday morning (New Zealand time) contesting their second round match ups.

Daniel Farr (Tara), Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) and Kaya Horne (Mnt/Aus) were all relegated to the reperchage rounds today after their second day of competition.  The three surfers again had to battle the low tide on the second podium.  Fortunately for them, they will have a rest on day three of the event.

Tomorrow will see the first of the elimination rounds contested and they will include our Under 18 Boys, Kehu Butler in the Under 16 Boys and Britt Kindred in the Under 18 Girls.

All six surfers challenged for advancing positions in their first round heats over the last two days but came up short in low scoring affairs.  They will now have to surf additional heats if they want to progress to the later stages of the event and possible podium finishes.  That challenge starts tomorrow with the first of the 15 minute reperchage rounds taking place.

Please see below for results from days one and two of the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship held at Oceanside Beach, California, USA today (Wednesday 14th October) and yesterday.

Surfing New Zealand, ISA World Junior Champs, Team Updates, Kiwis
Ben Kennings

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