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Kehu Butler Wins WSL Australasian Pro Junior Series


Cronulla, Sydney NSW  (Sunday, 5 August 2018) –  Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) and Sophia Fulton (Mollymook, NSW) take out Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong.

Zahli Kelly (Cabarita, NSW) and Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) crowned 2018 Australasian / Oceania WSL JQS champions, sealing themselves a spot into the upcoming World Junior Championship.

Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) and Sophia Fulton (Mollymook, NSW) have taken top honours at the final event on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong.

The Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong also saw Zahli Kelly (Cabarita, NSW) and Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) crowned 2018 Australasian / Oceania WSL JQS champions, sealing themselves a spot into the upcoming World Junior Championship.

Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) hit his stride in the final executing an array of powerful backside manoeuvres to post a 13.00 two-wave heat total. This most recent victory was Tancred’s second win for 2018, having previously taken out the Key Sun Zinke Pro Junior at Manly in February of this year. Tancred moved to the third position on the 2018 JQS rankings following the result.

“I’m over the moon with this result,” said Tancred. “My whole goal was to make the World Junior Championship and this win means that I qualified. The waves were difficult and I knew all these guys were capable of laying down big scores, so I knew I had to stay busy. I had my coach Micro (Glenn Hall) and a few mates down here watching as well which made it so much better to win in front of them.”

Also mirroring her result at the Key Sun Zinke Pro Junior at Manly earlier in the year, Sophia Fulton (Mollymook, NSW) took top honours in the Girls division at Cronulla. Fulton’s lightning fast backhand attack proved to be her advantage in the final, mustering up an impressive 13.25 two-wave heat total. As a result, Fulton went into the third position on the 2018 JQS rankings.

“I was a bit nervous right at the end of that heat,” said Fulton. “I knew I needed to back up my score with something decent, but thankfully I got that first one that put me in the lead. If I didn’t have that, I knew I could have been in trouble. I hadn’t done amazingly this year in the Pro Juniors, so it was really important for me to finish with a good result.”

With his runner-up finish in the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) claimed the top spot on the 2018 JQS rankings, overtaking previous series leader Callum Robson (Evans Head) by less than 100 points in the final point score. Butler put on a valiant effort in the final of the event to post a 12.15 two-wave heat total. The JQS victory means that Butler is the first Kiwi to win the Australasian / Oceania WSL JQS rankings since Maz Quinn nearly 20 years ago.

“This is such a great feeling,” said Butler. “I knew the ratings were tight between Callum and I, so whoever finished higher in this event would have won. Thankfully I was able to get the win. Being the first New Zealander since Maz to win the Junior Series makes the victory so much sweeter. He has always been someone who I’ve looked up to, so to follow in his footsteps is an awesome feeling.”

In what was her sixth final in as many JQS events, 14-year-old Zahli Kelly (Cabarita, NSW) managed her cement down her position as rankings leader, with her third-place finish at Cronulla. Kelly surfed brilliantly over the course of the 2018 junior season, claiming one victory, three runner-up finishes, one third and one fourth place finish. Kelly will be Australia’s top female seed in the upcoming World Junior Championship.

“I’m so stoked to win this for the second year in a row,” said Kelly. “This has been such an awesome year on the Junior Series and there are so many good surfers who were looking for the title as well. I can’t wait for the World Junior Championship now.”

Following her second-place finish to sister Bodhi yesterday, Cedar-Leigh Jones (Avalon) managed to get one back over her elder sister in the final today, claiming the runner-up spot in the Girls division. Cedar linked together a chain of impressive backhand snaps and carves to post a respectable 11.10 two-wave heat total and take out the runner-up spot.

“This is my first final of a Pro Junior so I’m stoked,” said Leigh-Jones. “Surfing a final against my sister is always fun and it pushes me so much harder. I want to beat her and she wants to beat me in a heat, even though we get along so well out of the water.”

The Cronulla stop at the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong determined the qualifiers for the upcoming World Junior Championship and crowned the champions of the 2018 series.

The two-day event saw 72 men and 26 compete.

The World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior events, which included 18 and under boys’ and girls’ divisions, formed part of the 2018 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title at the World Surf League Junior Championships in 2019.

Proudly supported by WSL, Billabong and Surfing Australia, the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong provided an important event platform at a crucial point in the development of Australia’s leading junior surfers

Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Event Dates and Locations: 

Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 1 – Bells Beach, VIC – Jan 13 – 14, 2018

Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 2 – Gold Coast, QLD – April 28-29, 2018

Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 3 – Cronulla, NSW – August 4 – 5, 2018

For more event information, please visit – surfingaustralia.com




1 – Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW)

2 – Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL)

3 – Callum Robson (Evans Head, NSW)

4 – Jay Brown (Cronulla, NSW)


1 – Sophia Fulton (Mollymook, NSW)

2 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW)

3 – Zahli Kelly (Cabarita, NSW)

4 – Bohdi Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW)

Proudly supported by WSL, Billabong, AirAsia and Surfing Australia, the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong will provide an important event platform at a crucial point in the development of Australia’s leading junior surfers.
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Event Dates and Locations: 
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 1 – Bells Beach, VIC – Jan 13 – 14, 2018
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 2 – Gold Coast, QLD – April 28-29, 2018
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 3 – Cronulla, NSW – August 4 – 5, 2018

ISA Moves SUP Dispute to CAS Arbitration


La Jolla, California, July 18, 2018 – The International Surfing Association (ISA) has referred the ongoing dispute with the International Canoe Federation (ICF) over the governance of StandUp Paddle (SUP) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) Arbitration process, seeking a resolution in the best interests of the athletes and the sport.

The ISA and its National Federations have invested considerable time and money into the sport since 2008; organising the annual ISA World StandUp Paddle Championships, growing the discipline in new markets, and working for SUP’s inclusion in a range of multi-sport events.

The ISA’s long term governance role has been challenged by the ICF since late 2016. After no resolution was found through direct discussions with ICF and then CAS Mediation, and in line with the desires of the Olympic Movement to find a swift solution on the issue, the ISA has formally opened up a CAS Arbitration process.

On 6th July, elite athletes competing on the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals (APP) World Tour declared unanimous backing for the ISA. ISA President Fernando Aguerre has called for a full and final resolution of the dispute with the ICF through the CAS process.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The ISA has always been committed to working in the best interest of the athletes, the Olympic Movement, and the sport of StandUp Paddle, and as such we want to resolve this ongoing issue so that the important work of growing SUP around the world can continue undisturbed, as it was since day one in 2008.

“Since we were regrettably unsuccessful in our efforts to find a solution through CAS mediation, the ISA has now submitted the necessary documents to CAS to begin the Arbitration procedure. Ultimately, the athletes are the most important aspect of any sport, and we will continue to do all we can to serve their best interests. We believe that ending the current dispute through CAS is a sensible way forward and we hope to proceed swiftly to a resolution, for the good of the StandUp Paddle community.

“The ISA, as the long-standing governing body for StandUp Paddle, has been proud to support the growth of the sport over the last decade. The CAS process can now provide clarity about how best that growth can continue.”


LENNOX HEAD BEACH (Wednesday, 18 July 2018) –  Eight new champions were crowned today at the 2018 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla following a morning of stacked heats in challenging one-foot-surf.

Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) claimed his first WSL Pro Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) victory for 2018, taking out the coveted Men’s Pro Junior division. The powerful Kiwi natural-footer didn’t let the small waves stop him from posting big scores, nailing an excellent 8.27 scoring wave to get the edge over his opposition. To sweeten the win, Butler was greeted by the traditional Maori Haka when he made his way to the beach.

“I’m feeling great after that,” said Butler. “I thought I was done for in that heat, but as I sat in the hole in the break, a wider wave came to me which allowed me to get the win. I’ve been doing this event in Lennox since I was really young and next year I’ll be too old to do it. I’m going to miss hanging up the top in the park before my heats and playing rugby, so it’s a little sad, but it’s definitely a good way to finish up my time competing here.”

Hailing from only half-an-hour south of Lennox Head, Callum Robson (Evans Head, NSW) showed his knowledge of northern NSW beachbreak conditions, claiming the runner-up finish behind Butler. Robson led the charge for a solid portion of the heat but was unable to claw back the lead after Butler posted the aforementioned 8.27. Robson finished the final with a 12.74 two-wave heat total to his name.

“This event really was one of my last chances to get a good result,” said Robson. “I struggled in the last two junior events so I really wanted a good result here. Plus, it’s only half-an-hour from my house so it felt more special to come runner-up so close to home. Hopefully, I can carry a bit of the momentum into the final event in Cronulla.”

Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) claimed her maiden JQS victory, winning the Women’s division on her homebreak. Surfing well-beyond her years, Ryan nailed an array of different turns to post an excellent 8.23 wave score as well as a 7.1 to amass a 15.33 two-wave heat total. After only competing in two other JQS events prior to the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla, Ryan’s win will allow her to make a significant jump in the 2018 rankings.

“This is one of the best results I’ve had,” said Ryan. “My goal was to just make the final, so to go one step further and win feels amazing. Having the support of Le-Ba Boardriders here made the win so much more special. I’ve only done a few Pro Juniors this year and I’m heading down to Cronulla for the final event of the year, so it would be nice to get another decent result down there.”

Surfing in her fifth JQS final for 2018, Zahli Kelly’s (Cabarita, NSW) runner-up finish looks like cementing her position at the top of the rankings. Kelly put on a valiant effort over the course of the final, notching up an impressive 14.9 two-wave heat total, but was unable to find the required 7.34 wave score to take away Ryan’s lead.

“I’m pretty happy with this result,” said Kelly. “I’m not 100%, but I think making the final means that I may have locked in a spot into the 2018 World Junior Championship as well, which was my main goal.”

The six-day event ran from 13 July –18 July and comprised of a World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) event as well as an elite competition for promising grommets in the 12, 14 and 16 year age divisions.

WSL Pro Junior Men’s Final
1 – Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL)
2 – Callum Robson (Evans Head, NSW)
3 – Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, Vic)
4 – Dextar Muskens (Tweed Heads, NSW)

WSL Pro Junior Women’s Final
1 – Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW)
2 – Zahli Kelly (Cabarita, NSW)
3 – Alyssa Lock (Tweed Heads, NSW)
4 – Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW)
In a similar vein to preceding years – where the event has attracted surfers from ten different countries – a full international field is again expected in 2018 with surfers coming from as far away as Europe, USA and Japan to make up a field of more than 220 surfers across all divisions.
All event divisions results are available via – skullcandyozgromopen.com.au

The 2018 Skullcandy Oz Grom Open presented by Vissla is proudly supported by Skullcandy, Vissla, Ballina Shire Council, Le-Ba Boardriders, WSL and Surfing NSW. 

Stephanie Gilmore Wins Corona Open J-Bay


JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Friday, July 13, 2018) – Today, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) won the Corona Open J-Bay, Stop No. 6 on World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), in pumping four-to-seven foot (1.3 – 2.3 metre) conditions at the world-renowned Supertubes.

In a marathon day of competition, Gilmore took down Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Final, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) in the Semifinals, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) in the Quarterfinals, and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in Round 3 to claim the win at the women’s first CT event hosted at Jeffreys Bay in almost 20 years.

The Corona Open J-Bay win for Gilmore marks her record 29th CT victory and her third in the 2018 season (Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Oi Rio Pro). In her first-time visiting and competing in South Africa, the six-time WSL Champion made herself at home at Jeffreys Bay with stunning performances.

“I just do not know why I never came here until now,” said Gilmore. “I always felt I’d have some special connection with J-Bay. It is just so much fun and it is just a magical place. The waves are just so powerful and perfect. The sunrises, sunsets, dolphins – it is just never-ending. Thanks to everyone.

“To wait a week and to make sure we were in great conditions is so important for all of us girls. The waves came and all the girls showed up with incredible performances. To come out with the win is crucial knowing that both Lakey (Peterson) and I are so close to each other. This win was crucial to the World Title, so I will take it and I will wrap it.”

Ahead of today, Finalists Gilmore and Peterson both had two CT wins to their respective 2018 Title campaigns. The J-Bay win would determine who would take the lead in the World Title race and the coveted Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the back half of the season. Gilmore’s  2.74-point lead over the American now puts her ahead on the Jeep Leaderboard by 2,145 points.

“This is what sport is all about,” said Gilmore. “This is what I love about competing – you find yourself in these moments where you are challenged and under pressure. You think, ‘Okay, can I compose myself? Can I rise to the occasion and make it happen?’ That is what the magic of sport and rivalry is.  It is nice to be up front again. I’ve been doing the Tour for quite a while and I’ve had a lot of wins, but I just love it. I love performing and seeing if I can do my best. Lakey (Peterson) is getting better and better every single event, so this is definitely not the end by any means,”

Although she fell short in the Final, Peterson dropped some massive scores and was consistent throughout the event. During the second heat of the morning, Peterson earned a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) to kick-start her campaign. She then went on to eliminate wildcard and local favorite Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) in the Semifinals. Peterson now sits at World No. 2 heading to into the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch.

“Today was a great day,” said Peterson. “I am so stoked the WSL waited so we could get these waves, and thank you to the local community for letting us have these waves at your beautiful break. I know it is not easy sitting on the beach all day watching us. This year has just felt super fun for me and I am just enjoying myself. To make the podium here is a dream. Steph (Gilmore) and I are so back and forth this year and it is just making the back half of the year that much more exciting.”

Event wildcard Buitendag went toe-to-toe with Peterson in Semifinal 1. Peterson started early with a solid 7.67 on her opening ride and continued to improve with a 7.83. The South African had the crowd to their feet throughout the heat as she attempted big maneuvers but was unable to meet the required scores, The wildcard, although recovering from a back injury, shined throughout this event and eliminated Coco Ho (HAW) in the Quarterfinals for a 3rd place finish.

“I am going to go straight to do some work on my back,” said Buitendag. “It locked up a lot and I am going to focus on it for the next three-to-four weeks. It has been a struggle for me for a really long time and it seems to be getting worse and worse, so I want to go figure it out.”

The second Semifinal featured WSL Title contenders Gilmore and Weston-Webb fighting for a spot in the Final. Gilmore locked in series of big turns to open with an 8.17 and a 7.50. Weston-Webb lost her rhythm in her third heat of the day and was unable to complete her rides. Having already scored a near-perfect 9.77 (out of a possible 10) in her previous heat, the Brasilian was not to be counted out with ten mins remaining. But with time running out, Weston-Webb did not meet the 8.84 requirement and finished with her 5th Top 3 result this year to maintain her World No. 3 position.

2018 CT Rookie Caroline Marks (USA) was eliminated in Heat 4 of Round 3 by fellow goofy-footers Weston-Webb and Macaulay. The American will now focus her attention on the Vans US Open of Surfing, Stop No. 7 on the women’s CT.

“It is going to be so nice to go home for a little while and be with my family,” Marks said. “I actually really like Huntington. It is such a fun wave. I love beach breaks, and it will be really nice to go left. The Vans US Open is going to be a really fun event and hopefully, I can take that one out. I feed off of the crowd and just want to impress everyone. It is going to be an exciting event and I am really looking forward to it.”

The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch from July 30 through August 5, 2018.

For highlights from the Corona Open J-Bay, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Final Results:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.24
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.50

Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.66 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.33
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.67 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.33

Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.33 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.90
QF 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.83 def.  Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.30
QF 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.00 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 15.00
QF 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 18.54 def. Sage Erickson (AUS) 10.60

Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.40, Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.30, Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.36
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.83, Coco Ho (HAW) 15.10, Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.07
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.50, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.57, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.04
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.40, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 13.34, Caroline Marks (USA) 12.76

2018 Women’s WSL CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Corona Open J-Bay):
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 45,575 pts
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 43,430 pts
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 35,245 pts
4 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 27,050 pts
5 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 26,190 pts

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Filipe Toledo Claims Back-to-Back Wins at Corona Open J-Bay


JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Thursday, July 5, 2018) – Today, Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Men’s Corona Open J-Bay for the second year in a row. The Brasilian lit up four-to-six foot (1.3 – 2 metre) Supertubes at Jeffreys Bay to win the sixth stop the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and vault to World No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“Back-to-back wins is always something that I’ve dreamed of,” said Toledo. “It could not be more special here in J-Bay after last year and this year we’ve had such good waves again. Thanks, God. Thanks, Jesus. Thank you to my family and everyone supporting me. I feel so blessed right now.”

Toledo’s back-to-back win came with spectacular performances throughout the entire event. Out of the top ten highest single-wave scores of the Corona Open J-Bay, five belonged to Toledo (all 9-point rides). The same was true for the event’s highest heat total, where Toledo was responsible for five of the top ten.

The 23-year-old is now 7-0 for Finals wins, defeating every opponent he’s ever faced in a Final. Toledo will now move up to first on the Jeep Rankings and wear the Jeep Leader Jersey at Stop No. 7 on the WSL CT, the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o.  Leading the next generation of progressive surfing, today’s CT victory over 2018 CT Rookie Wade Carmichael (AUS) marks the Brasilian’s second in 2018.

“When it is Finals Day, it is just something that clicks,” continued Toledo. “It is now or never, and I put it all on the line. That is always my strategy, ‘Go big or go home.’ It is easy like that and I went big. Finals is one of those heats where it is first or second, there are no losers, so I just go really big and put all my work on the wave. That is why I train. That is why I’ve been really focused.

“Repeating the Final with Wade Carmichael, who has been really solid the whole event and surfing really well, it was a pleasure to surf against him. He took down some really big names. I am stoked to get the win and thank you to everyone.”

The rematch of the Oi Rio Pro Final earlier in May saw Toledo and Carmichael throw big scores in the J-Bay lineup. Carmichael opened the exchange with a commanding 7.33 (out of a possible 10), but Toledo was on the next wave to challenge the Australian with an 8.50. The back-and-forth battle continued with only one-tenth of a point separating the two surfers at the halfway mark. The Brasilian opened the gap with a critical 8.33, giving the Australian one last opportunity to challenge. In the dying seconds of the heat, Carmichael attempted a big air but missed the landing and the scoring opportunity.

In his first time competing at the Corona Open J-Bay, Carmichael claimed a stunning second-place result with big wins over event favorites Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Semifinals and Conner Coffin (USA) in the Quarterfinals. The 25-year-old from the Central Coast of Australia showed today that he is a mainstay amongst the world elite with a boost to World No. 6.

“I had no expectations coming into this year,” said Carmichael. “I am really happy. I just want to keep improving my surfing. I’m having that much fun, and I want to keep going. I am enjoying every minute of this. I want to thank everyone. The support was ridiculous. This place is unreal and I love it. I feel right at home on the wave. It is amazing.”

Carmichael stopped local hero Smith from earning his third event win at this year’s Corona Open J-Bay. The extremely close Semifinal saw Carmichael garner a 13.77 two-wave total to Smith’s 13.30. The 0.47-point difference eliminated Smith in Equal 3rd place.

“Maybe some of my scores I felt like were maybe flipped, but Wade (Carmichael) is surfing really well and I wish him the best of luck,” Smith said. “It has been really nice for me to be home. I just want to thank everyone for so much of the support – it has been awesome. It is a third. It is not the worst thing in the world, it could have been way worse. I am just going to keep having fun and enjoying my time here in J-Bay.”

Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) fell to Toledo in the second Semifinal. The 20-year-old was responsible for the highest single-wave score of the event, a near-perfect 9.67 in Round 4, but was not able to bring the results against the eventual winner.

Julian Wilson (AUS) fell to Smith in the second Quarterfinal. The Australian came into this event as World No. 1, but his 5th place finish now moves him down to second on the Jeep Leaderboard. Wilson is the defending event winner of the next men’s CT stop, the Tahiti Pro, and now prepares to defend his win at the infamous Teahupo’o.

“Me and Jordy (Smith) have had plenty of good battles and we had another close one there,” said Wilson. “I feel like that was a great result. I didn’t find my best this week in J-Bay but was able to find a good result. It is just past halfway in the year and there are is a lot of good events left.  I am excited for Tahiti. Same as here where you just look at the forecast and either get really really scared or get on your shortboard and throw everything at it like last year.”

The waiting period for the Women’s Corona Open J-Bay opens tomorrow and will run through July 16. The WSL Commissioner’s Office will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:45 a.m. local time (SAST) to assess the conditions and determine if the competition will run.

The Corona Open J-Bay will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

Rippable SSW swell prevails Thursday morning, with a  building trend of medium to strong surf over the later afternoon and evening. Friday early morning should still see good size surf, with a fading trend through the day. Wind looks favorable most of the day Thursday before trending light+ onshore on Friday. A modest size, heavily shadowed WSW/SW swell should build in Sunday afternoon before easing Monday, although wind will likely be side shore or onshore. There is some potential for a new swell around the end of the event window. 

Men’s Final Results:
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.80
2 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 15.33

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13.77 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.30
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.90 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.17

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.87 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.40
QF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.43 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.96
QF 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.03
QF 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.17 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.44

2018 Men’s WSL CT Jeep Leaderboard (After the Corona Open J-Bay):
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 35,900 pts
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 31,960 pts
3 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 25,685 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 25,415 pts
5 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 21,910
6 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 21,80

The Women’s Corona Open J-Bay event window will open Friday, July 6.

Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 6: Carissa Moore (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Surfing New Zealand Farewells CEO Greg Townsend (GT) after 23 Years’ Service to NZ Surfing



Greg Townsend is to step down as CEO of Surfing New Zealand after 23 years of guiding and developing the organisation to the dynamic, innovative, surfer-focused business that it is today.

The longest running CEO of any national sporting organisation in New Zealand, Townsend will finish at SNZ on July 27 so he can focus on bringing similar successes to the international multi-discipline surfing event, The Ultimate Waterman.

“To work for an organisation that is all about creating a better lifestyle for New Zealanders through the sport of surfing has been a real privilege,” Townsend says. “As a passionate surfer, I could not have asked for a better job and feel proud that I have stayed true to surfing throughout.”

GT, as he is better known in the surfing community, is responsible for bringing some premier world surfing competitions and surfers to New Zealand including the World Longboard Championships at Raglan (2003), Vodafone Surf Sessions at Piha and Raglan (2005-6) – featuring the late Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Mark Occhilupo, Sunny Garcia and Bruce Irons – and the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Piha (2010). He also oversaw the World Kneeboard Championships at Opunake (1999 and 2009) and numerous ASP/WSL events, including Pro Junior and WQS events.

Within New Zealand, he brought new competitive opportunities to the surfing community in the form of the NZ Junior Series, Pro Surfing Tour and the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour.

“My role has always been about creating opportunities and stepping stones to the world stage,” Townsend explains. “I have helped lay the foundation and now I just want to see the organisation keep growing, especially as it heads into a new era as an Olympic sport from 2020.”

Building up the organisation to include three full-time employees, Townsend has also overseen the introduction of International Surfing Association (ISA) qualified coaching the judging programmes in New Zealand and the standardisation of open and junior competition circuits. Surfing NZ has been able to nurture home grown surfers to be competitive on the world stage, most notably Maz and Jay Quinn, Paige Hareb, Richard Christie, Daniel Kereopa, Billy Stairmand, Sarah Mason and Ella Williams.

Ever responsive to the changing needs of the surfing community, GT organised the first National Surfing Environmental Hui in Raglan in 2006 to discuss the protection and preservation of our surfbreaks. Out of that initiative the Surfbreak Protection Society was formed, a national body to represent the views of the surfing community on environmental issues.

Under Townsend’s leadership, Surfing NZ has received many accolades and recognition for excellence including: Highly Commended in the Special Event category at the 2006 PRINZ Awards for the Vodafone Surf Sessions, Judges Special Mention at the 2006 NZ Sponsorship Awards for the Vodafone Surf Sessions, winning the 2011 NZ Sport and Recreation Excellence Award for the ISA Junior World Championships, the 2013 Water Safety NZ Awareness Award and the 2016 NZ Sport and Recreation Innovation Excellence Award for The Ultimate Waterman.

One of the initiatives that GT is most proud of is The Ultimate Waterman (TUW) event, a unique competition involving the world’s best watermen, which was based in Auckland in 2015 and 2016 and in Invercargill in 2017. It takes surfing, its places, culture and people to the world via media, social media and television. Probably better known outside New Zealand, Red Bull Media House’s coverage of the first three events reached a potential audience of 1.3 billion.

“It was a difficult decision to depart and while I am sad to leave Surfing New Zealand, I am extremely excited by the opportunity to take TUW to the next level internationally,” Townsend says. “We have created the best multi discipline water sports events in the world, which has been tried and tested in New Zealand. Now it is time to take it to Hawaii, the home of surfing and some of the best watermen and waterwomen on the planet.”

The Ultimate Waterman will be based in Hawaii from 2019 and has been set up by Townsend to continue to provide an income to Surfing NZ. He will also continue to support the national body in spirit as well, by remaining a SNZ life member, mentor and supporter.

GT acknowledges the help he has received from many people for The Ultimate Waterman. Sport New Zealand and New Zealand Major Events backed the idea and contributed much-needed funding. Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Tim Shadbolt and his team in Southland, supported the event at a regional level. GT’s friends, Hawaiian surfing legends Titus Kinimaka and Laird Hamilton and 2012 WSL World Champion Australian Joel Parkinson, helped ensure the competition was worthy of its title, The Ultimate Waterman.  

“I’ve been very lucky over the years to have had good board members at Surfing New Zealand and TUW. They have been wonderful supporters and personal mentors to help me achieve what I have,” he says. I also want to thank all the SNZ officials who always do an exception job of running the SNZ events at a world-class level.”

“It has been an absolute honour and privilege to lead Surfing New Zealand as CEO over the past 23 years. We have achieved so much as a team and while it’s been a lot of hard work, importantly we have always kept it real.

“I want to acknowledge the fantastic team of Ben Kennings, Lee Ryan and past employees Steve Ria and Chris Malone, who have always been, and still are, so supportive and dedicated to the cause,” GT says.

Surfing NZ President Chris Fougere says Townsend leaves Surfing NZ with justifiable pride in his work and achievements, which will continue to make a lasting impression on the organisation for years to come.

“I hope he might now find time for a few waves for himself, having put in place a framework for so many others to enjoy a competitive surfing framework in NZ,” Fougere says.

Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to Support Kiwis Attending World Surfing Games


A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the New Zealand Surfing Team in the build-up to the 2018 World Surfing Games being held in Japan during September.

The star-studded line up of Kiwi surfers is the strongest that New Zealand has fielded at the event in over a decade as athletes eye up the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The campaign is based on the Givealittle platform and will run through until July 31.  The target is to raise $30,000 for airfares, accommodation, entry fees and expenses for the six athletes during the event.  You can kindly donate here.

Throughout the campaign, all donors will go into the draw for weekly prizes provided by generous supporters including Roxy, Curve, Amazon Surf, Skullcandy, Sticky Johnson, and Billabong.

Good form has seen Ricardo Christie (Gis) shoot up 50 places to currently sit in ninth on the World Qualifying Series after a fifth-place finish at the QS10,000 Billabong Ballito Pro in South Africa.  Christie’s next event is the Vans US Open of Surfing which starts on July 30 at Huntington Beach.

Paige Hareb (Tara) aims to be back competing at the US Open of Surfing as well, a World Tour event for the women.  Hareb injured her ribs while training in Mexico in the middle of June and had to pull out of a qualifying event there as well as withdraw from the Corona J-Bay Open in South Africa, a World Tour event which starts on Friday.  Hareb has been busy rehabilitating and aims to attend the QS6,000 Super Girl Pro in California alongside Ella Williams (WGM) being held on the weekend prior to the US Open.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) will be competing at the Skullcandy Pro Junior in Australia starting July 15 while Raiha Ensor (Mnt) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) remain in New Zealand.

Athletes will continue to use the Mount Maunganui based Adams Centre for High Performance in preparation for the World Surfing Games with the final camp set for late August.

New Zealand placed 14th overall in 2017 with the French taking the title in home waters.  From 2019, the World Surfing Games becomes compulsory for all surfers aspiring to go to Tokyo 2020.  Therefore we can expect the powerhouse nations of Australia, USA and Brazil to climb back up the rankings and vie for podium finishes over the next three years.

The 2018 New Zealand Surfing Team is as follows:

Open Men
Billy Stairmand (Raglan)
Kehu Butler (Mount Maunganui)
Ricardo Christie (Gisborne)

Open Women
Ella Williams (Whangamata)
Paige Hareb (Taranaki)
Raiha Ensor (Mount Maunganui)

The Olympic qualification process starts with the World Surf League (WSL) where ten males and 8 females on the 2019 World Tour will directly qualify for Tokyo 2020.  No more than two athletes per nation can qualify via this process.

2018 marks the lead-in to Olympic qualification via the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games.  A good team result in 2018 will set up nations with a good seed for their first qualification attempt at the 2019 World Surfing Games.  The top-ranked male and female from the Oceania Region at the 2019 event will qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Athletes have a further chance to qualify for the Olympics at the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games where the final four males and six females in each division will be determined by the top placing athletes at that event.  The selections will then need to be ratified by the New Zealand Olympic Committee before being confirmed.

View the full Olympic qualification system.

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via all social media platforms – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ


Surfers to Use New Learnings in Preparation for Upcoming Events


While Ricardo Christie was in South Africa this weekend, surfing his way to a fifth place finish at the Ballito Pro elevating him ninth overall on the World Surf League World Qualifying Series, New Zealand’s next batch of surfing talent were busy participating in the second of three high performance camps being held over winter.

Based at Mount Maunganui’s Adams Centre for High Performance, the strength and conditioning and mental skills pillars took place at the facility while the strategy work and surfing was completed at Raglan.

Over twenty budding athletes were put through their paces across a range of skills and drills aimed at improving their performances while competing.  Several attendees will be putting their new-found knowledge to the test in the coming weeks with two major events being contested in Australia – the Billabong Occy for the groms and the Skullcandy Pro Junior for the ‘older groms’.

“I am really excited to see what happens for the Skullcandy Pro Junior as I did well there in the grom comp last year but it is a step up in the pro junior” said Gisborne’s Saffi Vette.

“The high performance camps have definitely made me more open minded for taking on everything from these amazing coaches and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for us” she added.

“It is not just about attending these international comps, it’s about putting in the hard yards to get to peak performance by the time I get over there” added Vette who travels to Australia this week.

She is joined by over a dozen surfers competing across the two events in the next fortnight, several of which were attending the weekend camp to build up for the events.

Raglan’s Daniel Kereopa attended the camp as a regional coach as he looks to build the next generation of surfers coming out of the Waikato.

“What I saw at the camp has been delivered in a way that has good structure and clear instructions for the kids to take away everything they learn.  As a coach it has been great because I can connect with the kids more and understand there are pains for gains” commented Kereopa.

Kereopa was joined by three regional coaches sitting in on camp to develop their coaching skills and take learnings back to their surfing communities.  This increases the skills base of our coaches so a larger pool of surfers has access to improved coaching not only at the top level but also regional development athletes.

Strength and conditioning coach Oliver Farley focussed the weekend on basics with the athletes that attended working through basic mobility exercises and muscle imbalances often found in surfers.

“It has been good working with the development athletes this weekend and being able to identify some of the issues common in surfers such as shoulder impingements, tight hips and weak glutes.  If we can identify these issues early and correct poor movement patterns, this will help with their surfing and general life” said Farley.

The surfers were guided under the instruction of three coaches, each specialising in their fields – technique and strategy, strength and conditioning and sports psychology.  Physiotherapist Kelly Powell joined the team for the second camp.

Three high performance surfing camps are being held in 2018 as New Zealand surfers prepare for the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games and World Junior Championship being held later in the year.

The camps are based out of the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance at Mount Maunganui.

The final high performance camp is being held on 25 – 26 August.

The World Surfing Games is the next major event for New Zealand teams and the event is being held in Japan from the 15 – 22 September and will include our top three males and females.

The qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been determined by the IOC and the International Surfing Association.  New Zealand surfers will be able to qualify via the WSL World Championship Tour or via the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games.  You can read about the full qualification process via the ISA website.

A total of 20 males and 20 females from around the world will compete at the Olympic Games.  Kiwi surfers that qualify via the WSL or ISA will then need to be selected by the NZOC to represent New Zealand.

The initial stages of the high performance programme were put in place after a successful application to the International Olympic Committee for Olympic Solidarity Funding in 2017.  New Zealand’s top surfers and surfing minds came together in December 2017 for the first Olympic Workshop for athletes and coaches.  Since then a working group has been hard at work putting plans in place to lift the level of the high performance structure in New Zealand.

More about our coaching team:

Matt Scorringe – The Art of Surfing Founder/Head Coach
The Art Of Surfing offers surf-specific high performance coaching for all abilities, from the recreational surfer to the pro. Specialising in technique, video analysis, equipment and competition based fundamentals

Dr Oliver Farley, strength and conditioning coach

Since completing his Masters at AUT researching the physiological aspects of surfing, Olly obtained a role at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre as lead exercise physiologist (2013-2016). During this time he completed his PhD researching surfing performance enhancement and worked with professional surfers competing on the World Championship Tour.

Jhan Gavala – Sports Psychologist

Jhan is a performance psychologist at HPSNZ. He currently holds portfolio’s with Yachting New Zealand (Olympic Development Squad and AON Fast Track Squad), Northern Mystics Netball, Canoe Racing New Zealand, New Zealand Women’s and Men’s 7’s Development Squad, and the New Zealand Black Fins. He is the Assistant Mental Skills Coach with The Blues Super Rugby Franchise, and is the Mental Skills Coach at the Auckland Rugby Union High Performance Academy. Jhan will also act as an Assistant Mental Skills Coach at the New Zealand Rugby U20’s Development Camps in 2018. He has been a practicing psychologist for 18 years.

Further Information
For further information on the training camps please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Or you can visit the Surfing New Zealand website for more information.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via all social media platforms – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ


Meet Christian Surfers’ Ross Anderson


I was born in Wales and moved to New Zealand as a teenager when my parents split up. I had given my heart to Jesus when I was around nine and then fell away through the years that followed. Now living in NZ I rediscovered Jesus at around 14yrs old. I would love to say that it was smooth sailing but I struggled with anger, drugs, and drinking in my earlier days.

At about 18 I went for my O.E to Europe to get away from the life I was living in NZ but ended up getting into a world of trouble! I returned to NZ even more broken. I then went through a divorce, unfortunately, but now I have a beautiful daughter called Maia.

After all of that, I truly encountered Jesus & I have been walking strong with Jesus for about 10 years now! I’m doing youth work now and last year I completed my degree at Bible College, which is a massive achievement!

Surfing has played a huge part in my recovery in life and it’s given me a way to express myself & I find it’s a place I can just be me! Without Jesus and surfing, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now. So I’m so thankful that Jesus created the idea of Christian Surfers! Ross Murray who is a great friend and mentor to me introduced Christian Surfers to me and Christian Surfers Whakatane has been running now for 18 months!

I work full time for Cross Roads which is a youth ministry in Whakatane. We work with 13 to 17-year-old boys. We try to bring a positive change in the youth’s lives through the love of Jesus and a change of behavior. A lot of these boys now come to our CS local mission and get to hear about Jesus on multiple different platforms. It’s super rewarding but always has its challenges!

We have an amazing CS team here in Whakatane and huge support from our local churches & surf shops. John Whelan is one of your leaders and is a great support; also my right-hand man Ross Murray is awesome as he is our old-school CS leader with years of experience in CS. New Hope Church help out with the use of their van also Liberty Life Church are our main sponsor as we get their van and funding for food which has been amazing and if it’s raining we crash the church for movie nights. Salt spray surf school gave us their old surfboards and Spot X surf shop & the Whakatane local crew help out with passing down wetsuits and boards to our local CS Mission!

We started with two youth on our first surf night and now we have had over 35 come to our local CS Mission! We average around 15 youth at each CS night. Over the last 18 months, we have had ten salvations and five of those got baptised!

Majority of our youth come from the hood and would never get the opportunity to surf which has been awesome to use this outlet to bring hope to the youth! Now we have a mix of kids and adults who come along! In summer we take all the boards down the beach and let the local community use them. It’s a great opportunity to bless the community!

We have affected the surf community massively! They see us giving the youth something positive and want to help in some way, even if it’s calling someone into a wave when they would usually take it for themselves. We are a being visible representations of Jesus out in the water and it’s changing the surfing community for good!

The work of Christian Surfers is 100% donor supported by generous individuals, churches, and businesses. You can help partner with us by donating here.  Christian Surfers is a non-profit organisation. All gifts are tax-deductible.

ISA Partners with IOC to Support the United Nations-Led CleanSeas Campaign


Demonstrating its continued commitment to environmental sustainability, the International Surfing Association (ISA) has today announced a partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in support of the United Nations-led CleanSeas Campaign.

ISA Athletes’ Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA) will serve as ambassador to the IOC in support of the CleanSeas Campaign.

Launched in 2017, the CleanSeas Campaign is an environmental initiative aimed at engaging governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter.

The IOC and ISA’s pledges to the CleanSeas Campaign start on June 5, World Environmental Day, and come as part of a wider plan to call on sport, and the Olympic movement, to join the effort and implement sustainability strategy wherever possible.

As part of the partnership, the ISA has appointed the Chair of the ISA Athletes’ Commission, Justine Dupont (FRA) as an IOC CleanSeas Ambassador.

Furthermore, the ISA committed to the following sustainability goals in support of the CleanSeas Campaign:

  • Include Sustainability as a core value of the ISA.
  • Elect a Sustainability Partner by the end of 2018 to help identify best practices, develop recommendations, establish targets and define collaboration using the ISA World Championships and media as a platform to reach a wider audience.
  • Develop a Sustainability Strategic plan by 2019.
  • Abolish the use of single-use plastics at all ISA World Championships by 2019.
  • Expand module on Sustainability in all ISA Educational Materials, including Coaching and Judging Courses to educate and empower Coaches, Instructors and Judges as Environmental Ambassadors by 2019.

ISA Athletes’ Commission member Ella Williams (NZL) leads a beach cleanup in New Zealand to play her role in promoting sustainability on World Environmental Day.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“As a leader in our sport, and an organization with such strong ties to the ocean, the ISA is looking forward to taking a stand in tackling marine plastic pollution. By including Sustainability as a value, we look to make it a guiding principle in how we impact the home of our sport.

“By leading by example, we hope to spread the impact of sustainability practices around the world through our 103 Member Nations on all five continents, while also enlisting the influential voices of our Athletes’ Commission members to amplify this message.

“We are proud to work together with other key stakeholders of the Olympic family and join forces to make the world a better place through sport.”

IOC CleanSeas Ambassador and Chair of the ISA Athletes’ CommissionJustine Dupont (FRA), said:

“It’s an honor to take part in the United Nations-led CleanSeas campaign and work together with the IOC and ISA to spread and promote sustainability initiatives. I look forward to collaborating with the IOC as CleanSeas Ambassador to build a platform that allows us to educate and inspire others to join us in creating a global impact and reducing the tide of plastic waste flowing into our oceans.

“I believe that big changes start from the bottom up, so we can all take little, yet important, steps to protect our oceans for future generations to enjoy.”

Olympic Movement Sustainability Manager, Julie Duffus, said:

“I am delighted that ISA have joined us in the CleanSeas programme. Sport and sustainability is all about collaboration. This partnership between the IOC, the ISA and UN Environment is a good example of how sport can play a role as a catalyst for change. By working together, we are in a unique position to make an active contribution to society and the environment.”

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