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Groms Dominate Day 2 of the ISA Junior World Surfing Championship

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From:  Surfing New Zealand
Sport:  International Surfing
Event:  2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship
Divisions: Under 18 and 16 Boys and Girls
Date: 3-12 May
Location: El Salvador
Websites: ISA World Juniors and Surfing New Zealand

Groms Dominate Day 2 of the ISA Junior World Surfing Championship

The New Zealand junior Surfing Team had an excellent second day at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in El Salvador with Lola Groube (Pauanui) winning her first-round matchups and 3 other surfers advancing through to round 2.

Day 2 saw the remaining heats of the 18 Boys, and 16 Girls, completed as well as the start of the U18 Girls and 16 boys’ divisions.

In the Under 16 girls’ division, it was Lola Groube who opened the day in the calm morning conditions. A 1-2m swell with no wind saw Lola take first-round win in the famed El Sunzal. Although low scoring it was a tight battle between the Kiwi, Canadian and Guatemalan which eventually saw Lola take the win with a pair of mid-range 3s. “I’ve had a dream start to the event and It’s great to be back surfing on the world stage Groube commented, it’s so cool to have the opportunity to surf and be challenged by other girls from all around the globe” she added. Groube will surf again in Round 2 heat 16.

With the completion of the Under 16 girls it was the Under 18s who took to the water with Ariana Walker of Mount Maunganui opening the 18 girls’ campaign. In a showstopper of a heat, she placed third to French WSL super star Anais Blanchard and 2024 Paris Olympian Candelaria Resano with a 1.7 and 2.6 not enough to see her advance. Her next opportunity to surf will be in repechage 3.

Meanwhile the last of the boys 18 heats were underway with veteran ISA competitor Spencer Rowson of Taranaki taking to the water, showing he meant business he went got busy in the line up and looked comfortable throughout the heat. He had the highest wave score of the heat but with just a 2.9 as a backup he advanced in 2nd place.” It was a fun first heat “he commented, good to be here. I had a few nerves to start with but I’m familiarising myself with the waves again and really enjoying our team culture, it’s great to be back”.

Poppy Arkle took to the water soon after, the Piha local contesting the Under 18 division at just 14 surfed well beyond her years showing confidence in the solid conditions.” It was pumping in my heat, so much fun” she said. The Piha youngster found a pair of mid-range 3s which were enough to surpass her opponents from Panama and Columbia leaving her 2nd to Tya Zebrowski. Only surfing 3 waves Zebrowski looked unstoppable with a 9.0 and a back up of 5.5.” I didn’t show my full potential in this heat, so I am excited to go all out in my next one” Arkle commented on her first round performance.  Poppy will surf again in Round 2 heat 10.

In the Under 16 boys, it was Benji Lowen who was the only one to surf today. Making the most of the opportunity and showcasing his refined talents he placed 2nd in a stacked heat and advancing to Round 2. “I posted up deep on the reef for a while which prevented me from getting the decent waves to start with but eventually a bomb came through and that turned out to be the best wave of the heat and the highest score”. With a 7.5 Lowen was in contention for first place however his back up of 3.8 saw Canadian Tanner Sandvig take the top spot by just 0.14. He will surf again in Round 2 heat 1.

Day 3 will see the remainder of the Under 18 girls surf including Sophia Brock in heat 23, and in the Under 16 boys Alexis Owen in heat 26 and Harrison Biddle in heat 30.

Then it is likely that Round 2 of the Under 18 Boys and Girls will commence alongside Round 2 of the Under 16 Boys and Girls. All New Zealand team members will surf on day 3.

La Bocana
Round 1 Main Event GIRLS UNDER 18

El Sunzal

The team will compete at the 2024 ISA World Junior Championship being held in Surf City, El Salvador from the 3-12 May.

In 2023 the New Zealand Team placed tenth overall.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 441 surfers from 54 nations in 2024.

The 2024 New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Boys Division
Taimana Marupo (Mnt)
Spencer Rowson (Tara)
Tai Murphy (Whaka)

Under 18 Girls Division
Sophia Brock (Mnt)
Ariana Walker (Mnt)
Poppy Arkle (Piha)

Under 16 Boys Division
Alexis Owen (Dun)
Benji Lowen (Aus)
Harrison Biddle (Wgm)

Under 16 Girls Division
Alani Morse (Rag)
Indi Lee Ruddell (Whng)
Lola Groube (Pau)

Please see below for schedule of events (El Salvador dates and times):
(NZ is 18 hours ahead of El Salvador)

3rd May 4PM Opening Ceremony
4th May 7am-5pm Competition @ El Sunzal and La Bocana
12th May Closing Ceremony

You can watch the livestream of the event here

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 Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution action images of team members will be available to media free of charge upon request.

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