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Kiwi’s Stamp their mark at World Junior Champs Opening Ceremony 

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For immediate release 

Image: Sean Evans

Date: 28th May 2022 

From: Surfing New Zealand

Sport: International Surfing 

Event: 2022 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship 

Divisions: Under 18 Men, Under 18 Women and Under 16 Men and Women 

Date: May 27 – June 5, 2022 

Location: La Bocana & El Sunzal, El Salvador

Kiwi’s Stamp their mark at World Junior Champs Opening Ceremony 

The 18th edition of the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship has started today(Saturday 28th May) with the Opening Ceremony taking place in La Bocana, El Salvador.  

The New Zealand Junior Surfing team made up of 12 surfers from around New Zealand joined 44 other teams from around the globe for the iconic Sands of the World Ceremony. Ava Henderson (Chch) proudly flew the New Zealand flag whilst Finn Vette (Gis) poured the sand collected from Piha Beach into the transparent box,  a ceremony that symbolizes the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through surfing. 

Image: Pablo Franco

After pouring the sand and as 419 of the world’s top junior surfers looked on, Finn ripped off his shirt as his kiwi teammates stormed the stage. What followed was a rousing haka as the Kiwis led by Kahn Butler, performed the traditional Ka Mate to the whistles and cheers of the crowd. 

As the ceremony drew to an end, International Surfing Association president Fernando Aguerre known for his warmth and positive energy stated “This is the United Nations of surfing, here, today, for the rest of the world! Today we are showing the world, and especially the leaders of the world, the power of love, the power of peace, the power of empathy. Surfing can change the world.” 

Concluding with an emotional rendition of the official song of the ISA, A Better World Through Surfing and with all 45 teams on stage waving their flags, Fernando declared the 2022 ISA World Junior Championship open. 

Action kicks off in El Salvador with the Under 18 boys on Sunday morning 1:30am NZ time at La Bocana and Under 16 Girls at podium 2 in El Sunzal, all heats will be 20 minutes long. A medium-sized SSW swell is expected with 3-4ft waves and light winds turning to sea breezes in the afternoon, making for ideal conditions during the first day of competition.  

The first kiwi in the water will be Kalani Louis (Tara) in heat 10 surfing against Kaiser Auberlen from Germany, Juan Manuel Aroztegui (URU) and Lukas Mcmahon from Finland. Following on a few hours later in heat 22 Kora Cooper (Rag) will be up in the Under 18 Boys, surfing against Pelle Burmeister from Germany, German Gonzales (ESA) and Alfonso Roel from Uruaguy. 

Finally, we will see Finn Vette surfing in heat 23. He will be up against South African Connor Slijpen, Leandro Passano (URU) and Brandon Mendoza ESA. 

Kora Cooper & Kahn Butler, Image: Pablo Franco

Meanwhile over at El Sunzal there will be 24 heats of Under 16 Girls and 4 heats of Under 16 Boys. Pia Rogers starts the girls off in the Under 16 Girls in heat number 8 against Enara Palacios from Spain, Cheyenne Patino-ubeda (TTO) and Ana Velasco from Mexico. 

Leia Millar follows not far after in heat 12 where she will surf against Mexican Coral Bishop, Sophia Ramos (ESA) and Annette Gonzalez (ESP) To round off the day Skylar McFetridge will be up in heat 20 against Japan’s Rita Suzuki, Esther Hares TTO and Joelle Ramirez from Mexico. 

Action from Podium 1 at La Bocana will be streamed live via the official ISA website. Action from the girls at podium 2 will only have live scores available. 

The event is being broadcast live Here 

The schedule can be found Here

Media releases relating specifically to the New Zealand team’s performance will be distributed throughout the event.

For further information regarding the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Ben Kennings at Surfing New Zealand 07 8250018, 0212278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. 

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by 

Image: Mike Rodriguez


Sport New Zealand 



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