Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua
6 June 2013
First time in five years that the Trophy will return to New Zealand
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 June, 2013 : - - The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team has claimed the annual SANZ Trophy event held between the New Zealand and South African junior surfing teams. It is the first time in five years that the Trophy will return to New Zealand, the Kiwis not getting the wood over their counterparts since 2008.
The SANZ Trophy, which is into its eleventh year, was contested at Playa Popoyo on the Nicaraguan Pacific Coast. The event is being used as a final hit out before the teams contest the 2013 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong which starts this Sunday.
The World Championship includes 30 countries and 300 entrants and will commence with the Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony this Sunday before the surfing action kicking off on Monday morning (New Zealand time). The event takes place from the 8th - 16th June.
Today, fun 1.0m - 1.5m waves broke all day for the SANZ Trophy and the level of competition between the two rivalling teams was excellent. Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) topped off the New Zealand team tally with two wins each. Butler dominated his Under 16 Boys Division heats from start to finish and looks in excellent form heading into the main event.
"It was really fun surfing today in the SANZ. I really enjoyed the contest and meeting the South African team. It was really good to see the level of the South Africans like Dylan Lightfoot" said the 13 year old and youngest surfer in the New Zealand Team. After the completion of the event and prize giving, Butler was awarded a South African team shirt as a memento of his first ISA event.
Jasmine Smith put in an outstanding performance competing in both the Under 16 Girls Division and the Under 18 Girls Division winning two heats during the day. She dominated her heats, and showed power with progressive surfing to win comfortably.
Smith has grown in confidence since 2012 when she first attended the event and is looking sharp and fit. "I feel very privileged to be part of the team who won back the SANZ Trophy" said Smith. "Today was a really good warm up for the contest and I am really excited about the ISA event. I reckon this year we have such a strong team and if everyone surfs like they did today we will do really well this year" Smith added.
Other stand out surfers were Dune Kennings (WGM), who landed a huge 360 air in his first heat winning comfortably, and Sean Kettle (Tara) who also punted a massive air reverse in one of his heats. Both surfers were competing in the Under 18 Boys Division.
Dayna Story (Gis) won one of her match ups in the Under 16 Girls Division and Ella Williams (WGM) also claimed a win in the Under 18 Girls Division. The format for the contest was four person heats, two from each country. Surfers were awarded ten points for a win, eight points for second, six points for third and four points for fourth. Each surfer competed twice.
"It was awesome to get such a good result in some pretty testing conditions at times" commented Team Coach Jason Ruddell on the team's performance. "In terms of a build up for the main event I am pretty happy with how everyone went today, and it just shows the level of performance within our team is right up there with the best. I am really excited about moving into the main event" he added.
Team Manager Tony Baker also echoed the strength of the team and the eagerness to get the main event underway. "Today our team put on a solid performance. We are stoked to win the SANZ and today was great start in our build up to the ISA event. Collectively the team worked well and we have one of the strongest teams in recent years" said Baker.
Under 16 Girls
Jasmine Smith (Gis) -3rd, 1st
Dayna Storey (Gis) - 1st, 2nd
Under 18 Girls
Ella Williams (WGM) - 1st, 3rd
Jasmine Smith (GIis) - 3rd, 1st
Under 16 Boys
Korbin Hutchings (Gis) - 2nd, 2nd
Kehu Butler (Mnt) -1st, 1st
Harrison Whiteside (Chch) - 4th,4th
Daniel Farr (Tara) - 4th,4th
Under 18 Boys
Elliot Paerata - Ried (Piha) - 4th,4th
Sean Kettle (Tara) - 2nd,2nd
Dune Kennings (WGM) - 1st,2nd
MacKenzie Christie (Mnt) - 3rd,3rd
South Africa 166
New Zealand 172
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. New Zealand has been one of the top nations at each event with Jay Quinn (Gis) securing New Zealand's first World Championship in the Under 18 Men's division in 2001. In 2012 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Panama.
Source: Surfing New Zealand
Author: Ben Kennings
Tags: New Zealand, South Africa, ISA World Junior Champs