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Kiwi juniors charge on before shark sighting halts ISA WJSC

Jonas Tawharu © ISA/Tweddle




VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Champs

International Surfing Association
Salinas, Ecuador
5 - 13 April, 2014

Check the Live Action

Shark sighting halts New Zealand juniors' success

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 April, 2014 - Several of the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team progressed through their early morning heats on day three of the Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship before a shark sighting halted play at La Fae Beach, Salinas, Ecuador.

The nine day event saw the smallest conditions to date today, swell under 1.0m with light winds.  The swell is expected to build for the remainder of the event which is promising for the Kiwi team.

The shark sighting happened mid-way through heat with all action being halted immediately.  After originally going on hold, the decision was made to call the day with concerns around athlete safety.

The New Zealand Team was led by Jasmine Smith (Gis) today, Smith winning her second round match up to progress into the last twelve surfers in the qualifying rounds.

With the small conditions and full tide, Smith was forced to surf the inside beach break during her heat but that did not deter the power-packed young surfer as she went on to post a 10.33 point heat total.  Surfing a righthander back into the cove at La Fae Beach, Smith posted a 5.83 point ride as her single highest wave score and advanced alongside Lucia Indurain (ARG).

“Last night I knew were going to be surfing on the main podium and I was looking forward to surfing the point break but it was too small today and the tide was too full in my heat.  The beach break was fun but a little soft” Smith said.

She will now face off against Tessa Thyssen (FRA), Tia Blanco (USA) and Kim Veteau (TAH) for a chance to progress into the top six surfers.

Smith is the oldest and most experienced of the female team members at 17 years of age and still has a further year remaining in the Under 18 Division.  In 2013 Smith competed in both the Under 16 and Under 18 Girls Divisions at this event posting a team high eighth in the Under 16 Girls Division.

Also progressing through to the Qualifying Round 3 was Under 16 Girls surfer Elin Tawharu (Mnt).  Tawharu, the youngest of the team at 13 years of age, placed second in today’s heat scoring a 5.17 point total heat score.  Tawharu progressed alongside a rampaging Leilani McGonagle (CRI) who ran away with the heat.

“The conditions were tricky but I managed to get a couple in my heat” commented Tawharu.  “My heats haven’t been too hard yet but some of the girls here are ripping and I am really glad to have made it into the top 12 of the qualifying rounds so far” she added.  

Tawharu will face off against defending event champion Dax McGill (HAW) in her next heat along with surfers from USA and Argentina.

Elin Tawharu © ISA/Gonzales



Elin was joined by older brother Jonas who got his campaign back on track with a heat win in the repechage round.  Tawharu sat in third for much of the heat but came back with a 4.67 point ride to jump from third to first. 

He was joined by Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) who also won his heat, scoring a 9.13 point heat total.  Scott – Arrieta stuck completed several big turns in his heat clearly having shaken off the nerves of surfing in the prestigious event for the first time.

The team suffered two defeats in the girls division today but both cam in the qualifying rounds which means Britt Kindred (Mur) and Kea Smith (Mnt) get another chance at competing tomorrow.

Kindred came up against surfers from powerhouse nations of Australia, USA and South Africa in her heat and had to settle for fourth place.  Smith on the other hand had to battle an incoming tide that killed the waves.  After leading for 15 minutes of the 20 minute heat, the ocean went flat.  All four surfers scratched for the inside, Smith being on the unlucky end of a last minute exchange that saw her relegated from first to third.

Dune Kennings (WGM) and Jordan Griffin were scheduled to contest their repechage rounds as were Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Kehu Butler in their respective qualifying rounds however these heats have been rescheduled for day four.

Day four of the event will be the biggest yet with all twelve surfers in action through the course of the day.  The schedule for day four is below starting at 1:00am (NZT)

Main podium
1:00am - Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 3 (Heats 2-5) – Kehu Butler
2:40am - Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 3 – Elliot Paerata – Reid
4:40am - Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 3 – Elin Tawharu
5:40am - Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 3 – Jasmine Smith
6:40am - Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 4 – potentially Kehu Butler
7:40am - Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 4 – potentially Elliot Paerata – Reid
8:40am - Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 2 – Korbin Hutchings and potentially Dune Kennings and Jordan Griffin

Second podium
1:00am - Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 1 (Heats 5 and 6)
1:20am - Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 1 – Dune Kennings and Jordan Griffin
4:20am - Under 16 Girls Repechage Round 2 – Kea Smith
5:50am - Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 2 – Britt Kindred
7:20am - Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 2 – Jonas Tawharu, Manu Scott – Arrieta and Daniel Farr

Please see below for results from day three of the 2014 Vissla ISA World Junior Championships held at La Fae Beach, Salinas, Ecuador held today (Wednesday 9th April 2014).

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 3 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 5
RedElliot Paerata-Reid, NZL, WhiteNelson Cloarec, FRA, YellowLuan Wood, BRA, BlackUlu Napeahi, HAW,

Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 1 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 4
Red, Dune Kennings, NZL, White, Odd Persson, SWE, Yellow, Sean Foerster, CAN, Black, Christian Ibarra, CHI,
Heat 7
Red, Juan Diaz, VEN, White, Jordan Griffin, NZL, Yellow, Jorge Soto, CHI, Black, Zander Venezia, BAR,

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 3 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 5
Red, Jhonatan Corzo, MEX, White, Leo-Paul Etienne, FRA, Yellow, Kehu Butler, NZL, Black, Yuki Nakashiro, JPN,

Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 1
Heat 4
1, Red, Jonas Tawharu, NZL, 8.47, 2, Yellow, Lorenzo Picco, ARG, 7.53, 3, Black, Nicolas Canelo, CHI, 4.97
Heat 6
1, Red, Manu Scott-Arrieta, NZL, 9.13, 2, Yellow, Felipe Landa, ARG, 7.57, 3, Black, Sebastian Oliva, CHI, 5.83

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 2
Heat 1
1, Yellow, Jasmine Smith, NZL, 10.33, 2, White, Lucia Indurain, ARG, 7.27, 3, Black, Peony Knight, UK, 6.66, 4, Red, Emily Williams, WAL, 4.76
Heat 3
1, Yellow, Tia Blanco, USA, 11.83, 2, Red, Isabella Nichols, AUS, 9.93, 3, Black, Chanelle Botha, RSA, 5.87, 4, White, Britt Kindred, NZL, 5.23

Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 2
Heat 1
1, White, Leilani McGonagle, CRI, 13.67, 2, Yellow, Elin Tawharu, NZL, 5.17, 3, Red, Cana Foster, RSA, 3.44, 4, Black, Maria Torrealba, VEN,
Heat 5
1, Red, Josefina Ane, ARG, 6.20, 2, Black, Emily Gussoni, CRI, 5.97, 3, White, Kea Smith, NZL, 4.63, 4, Yellow, Hiina Oya, JPN, 2.87

Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 3 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 2
Red, Josefina Ane, ARG, White, Dax McGill, HAW, Yellow, Maddie Peterson, USA, Black, Elin Tawharu, NZL


Ben Kennings

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