International Surfing Association
6-8 JUne 2015
New Zealand's Ella Williams brings home bronze at Popoyo
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 June, 2015 - New Zealand surfer Ella Williams has placed third to secure a bronze medal at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games completed in Nicaragua this morning.
Williams posted a 10.33 point total in the final to finish behind winner Tia Blanco (USA) on 14.03 and runner up Leilani McGonagle (CRI) on 12.37 points.
The result secured New Zealand eighth place overall, three placings up from 2014 but one short of qualifying for the ISA China Cup which plays host to the to seven nations. It is the team’s best finish since 2010. Costa Rica won the overall teams title ahead of Portugal, USA and Peru who finished second through fourth.
Earlier in the day fellow Kiwi and final prospect Paige Hareb (Tara) bowed out of the event placing fourth in her reperchage heat to finish eighth overall.
As expected the surf built for the final day of the event thanks to Hurricane Blanco with solid 2.0m swells hammering Popoyo Beach. The larger surf made for challenging shifty conditions despite the clean offshore winds and big waves on offer.
Williams got off to a great start posting a 6.33 point ride early on during the 25 minute final then the Whangamata surfer got another 4.0 point ride as a back-up score and she briefly held the lead. However, it was soon after that Blanco and McGonagle rode the two best waves of the final posting 7.0 point rides, leaving Williams requiring a 7.7 point score for the win.
“I'm super happy with my result” exclaimed Williams. “A third is great and I'll just keep working towards that first placing. I'm super proud to be representing New Zealand and I know first is possible I just have to keep going” added Williams.
“Today the conditions were totally different from the rest of the event, it was very shifty so you had to keep busy and take any chance you got when the waves came through.”
Earlier in the day Williams hit a hurdle in the qualifying semifinal needing a five for progression but coming up short. In the reperchage final, Williams bounced back with a 14.17 point heat total to advance to the final in first place.
“The route to the final was big! There were a lot of heats to get through so today was a big day as I had three heats in a row with no breaks in between. But I'm really stoked to make the final and to get a medal” said Williams.
It is Williams’ best result at the ISA World Games, her previous best being a fourth for the copper medal in 2013.
Paige Hareb (Tara) bowed out of the event in the first heat of the day, unable to progress further after her stunning performance on the penultimate day that saw her score the event’s only ten point ride, a fitting present for the birthday girl.
A mere 1.5 points separated first from fourth in Hareb’s heat today, the Taranaki surfer being left requiring a five point ride to advance further in the event when the final hooter sounded.
“Yeah I am pretty disappointed but I was going to be disappointed no matter where I got unless I got first” said Hareb. “I've learnt a lot and to get the only 10 of the whole event is bitter sweet because it's pretty cool but it's a sign of what could have been” added Hareb.
“It's quite tidal here and I just didn't pick the right waves which is frustrating because I know I can surf as good as all of those girls but it's like in tennis, I had too many unforced errors today.”
Please see below for final team standings and results from the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games being held at Popoyo Beach, Nicaragua from the 31st May – 7th June.
1 Costa Rica
8 New Zealand
Open Women’s Qualifying Round 5
Chelsea Tuach (BAR) 13.83, 1, Tia Blanco (USA) 12.67, 2, Ella Williams (NZL) 8.57, 3, Jessica Anderson (CHI) 7.0, 4
Open Women’s Reperchage Round 7
Philippa Anderson (AUS) 11.97, 1, Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 11.33, 2, Miluska Tello (PER) 10.97, Paige Hareb (NZL), 10.60, 4
Ella Williams (NZL) 14.17, 1, Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 13.17, 2, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 10.80, 3, Jessica Anderson (CHI), 8.23, 4
Women’s Final Placings
Tia Blanco (USA) 14.03, 1
Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 12.37, 2
Ella Williams (NZL) 10.33, 3
Chelsea Tuach (BAR) 9.54, 4
Paige Hareb (NZL) 8th
Men’s Final Placings
Noe mar McGonagle (CRI) 18.23, 1
Nicolau Von Rupp (POR) 15.10, 2
Shane Homles (AUS) 13.63, 3
Leandro Usana (ARG) 12.80, 4
JC Susan (NZL) 31st
Matt Hewitt (NZL) 43rd
Zen Wallis (NZL) 49th
Dune Kennings (NZL) 73rd
The World Surfing Games took place over seven days at Popoyo Beach, Nicaragua and the event attracted over 150 world-class athletes from 27 countries.