Kiwi medal hopes end after fifth day of competition
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 October, 2015 - The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team exited the 2015 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship today after their final six surfers bowed out of competition.
Day five of the event, being held at Oceanside Beach, California, USA, saw more conditions in the 1.0m range with light onshore winds often making good waves hard to find on the beach break.
Elin Tawharu (Mnt) was New Zealand’s top placed surfer finishing 17th in the Under 16 Girls Division. Tawharu was ousted in the dying stages of her afternoon heat when British surfer Ellie Turner posted a 6.10 ride in the last minute to pip Tawharu by 0.20 points – 12.53 vs 12.33.
Kehu Butler was New Zealand’s top ranked male surfer finishing 29th overall. After progressing through his first two heats of the day, Butler’s luck ran out and the often fickle waves deserted him.
“Yeah the waves were really hard today, I managed to get some nice runners in the earlier heats but in that last heat I couldn't get the best waves and the conditions got really harsh. There wasn't much I could do” said a devastated Butler. Butler has one further year left in the Under 16 Boys Division and hopes to get a better result in 2016 when the event will be held in the Azores Islands located off Portugal.
It was a tough day for the Kiwi Team who now sit in 17th place overall and will at best climb a few spots if results of other teams go their way during the final two days of the event.
Earlier in the day Jasmine Smith had a heat to forget in the Under 18 Girls Division finishing the event in 29th.
“I probably surfed the worst possible heat of my life this morning, the waves were small and soft but super ‘rippable’ and I just couldn't put the heat together” said Smith. “I came here to win so yeah I'm really really disappointed but hey, stuff happens” she added in reflection of her performance.
Also ending their run in the Under 18 Division was Callum Chuter (Mnt) who finished the event in 33rd. Chuter was the top performing boy in the division but the young goofy footer was left requiring a 5.18 point ride to oust his opponents from Peru and Hawaii when the final hooter sounded.
Raiha Ensor (Mnt) did not progress her chances in her third round match up, left requiring a 5.24 point ride for progression alongside Tawharu. Ensor finished the event in 25th overall.
The youngest of the team, 14 year old Kaya Horne exited his first heat of the day as well after the diminutive young natural footer incurred an interference in his heat. Horne was well within range of progressing had it not been for a slight error of judgement when he mistakenly dropped in on his opponent. Horne finished the event in 49th place.
The team is competing at Oceanside Beach from 11th – 18th October. 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.