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New Zealand wraps up ISA World Juniors ranking tenth

Kehu Butler © ISA/Gonzales



VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Champs

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

New Zealand finishes ISA WJSC tenth

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 April, 2014 - The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team exited the 2014 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship today (Sunday 13th April) with Kehu Butler (Mnt) finishing the event in 7th place in the Under 16 Boys Division and Jasmine Smith (Gis) finishing the event in 9th in the Under 18 Girls Division.

The swell started to build for the penultimate day of the event being held at La Fae Beach, Salinas, Ecuador with a 1.0m – 1.5m swell and variable onshore winds.

The team now sits in tenth place and will finish the event with the same ranking, down one place from 2013.  Hawaii leads the title race slightly ahead of Australia with the USA and France close behind.

Kehu Butler finished the highest placed of the Kiwi surfers with his seventh in the Under 16 Boys Division.  The 14 year old surfer, one of the youngest in the New Zealand team still has a further two years in the same division with big plans to make the podium in the coming years.

Today Butler progressed through an early morning heat before a tight match up that included surfers from USA, Hawaii and Australia.  Going wave-for-wave, Butler fell just short with an 11.27 point heat total requiring a low six point ride to surpass the Hawaiian and American surfers that finished first and second respectively.

“I had a whole lot of fun in my last heat, I emptied the tank and had nothing left to offer in the heat” commented Butler after exiting the water and the event.  “I have achieved my goal and some at this event.  I wanted to improve on my result from 2013 (31st) and I did that.”

Butler will now return to New Zealand with an increasing amount of international experience that he can build on for the coming years.  He also acknowledges the need to get stronger which will help him when the pressure comes on from opponents in the latter rounds of the event where hassling for waves is a vital component of the event.

Jasmine Smith had yet another challenging heat in the Under 18 Girls Division.  After finally getting her chance to surf the left hand point break, an option that favoured the goofy foot surfer, Smith and her two opponents paddled out to the point only to have the tide creep in on them and only one decent wave peeling off the point. 

This left both Smith and the Argentinian surfer scratching back to the shore break yet again, this time the scrambling antics of the Argentinian surfer getting the best of a low scoring exchange in the dying stages of the heat.

“To be honest I am pretty gutted about my result” spouted Smith.  “I didn’t get any opportunities to catch a decent wave and I got pretty hassled for no apparent reason” added Smith.

“Overall though I have enjoyed the event, especially these past two days when the team have been so supportive during our heats, it makes you feel proud to be a Kiwi.  Kehu surfed amazingly and the highlight of my day was cheering him on from the rocks and watching the boys do a haka after his heat.  That was cool” said Smith.

The event climaxes tomorrow where four gold medallists will be crowned.  No New Zealand surfers will be in the water on the final day of the event.

Please see below for results from day seven of the 2014 Vissla ISA World Junior Championships held at La Fae Beach, Salinas, Ecuador held today (Sunday 12th April 2014).  Also below is the final placings of all New Zealand surfers.

Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 8
Heat 2

1, Kehu Butler, NZL, 11.87, 2, Zac Wightman, AUS, 8.13, 3, Matias Nobrega, URU, 7.26

Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 9
1, Noa Mizumo HAW, 12.84, 2, Nolan Rapoza USA, 12.83, 3, Kehu Butler NZL, 11.27, 4, Zac Wightman AUS, 9.54

Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 6
Heat 1

1, Bailey Nagy, HAW, 5.80, 2, Lucia Indurain, ARG, 3.47, 3, Jasmine Smith, NZL, 2.66

Under 18 Boys Division
16th Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)

49th Dune Kennings (WGM)
49th Korbin Hutchings (Gis/Aus)
73rd Jordan Griffin (Mnt)

Under 16 Boys Division
7th Kehu Butler (Mnt)

31st Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
37th Daniel Farr (Tara)
43rd Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)

Under 18 Girls Division
9th Jasmine Smith (Gis)

16th Britt Kindred (Mur)

Under 16 Girls Division
13th Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
19th Kea Smith (Mnt)

Ben Kennings

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