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Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to Support Kiwis Attending World Surfing Games

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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.

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