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New Zealand Places 17th in 2023 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship

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For immediate release

2 October 2023

From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: International Paddleboard Racing and SUP Surfing
Event: 2023 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship
Disciplines: SUP Surfing, SUP Technical Race, SUP Long Distance. Paddleboard Technical Race, Paddleboard Long Distance Race
Date: September 24-1st October
Location: Les Sables d’Olonne on the western coast of France
Websites: ISA and Surfing New Zealand #ISAWSUPPC #ISAWorld

New Zealand Places 17th in 2023 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship

A small but strong team has placed 17th in the 2023 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships held in Les Sables d’Olonne on the western coast of France, bringing home two medals this week.

Four athletes including Karlos Aarsen of Whangamata, Billlie Scott of Mount Maunganui Amelie Wink of Christchurch and Ollie Houghton of Auckland were named in the team competing in surf, sprint, distance and technical Stand-Up paddleboard disciplines over the week.

Karlos Aarsen of Whangamata competing in the SUP Surfing division, had a challenging week narrowly missing out on advancing through round 1. Aarsen was down but not out however and with an outstanding performance in his first repechage heat he moved to repechage 2. With momentum building he again dominated the heat advancing comfortably to repechage 3 where after a massive day his success ended unfortunately placing 3rd which concluded his ISA World SUP Champs campaign.

Meanwhile, in the women’s SUP Surfing division it was Billie Scott who led the team surfing to a second-place finish thanks to a buzzer beater in the first round. Surfing again in round 2 she narrowly placed second to Camille Dubrana of France which saw her advance to round 3 where she showed confidence and patience getting the nod over Spanish surfer Lucia Cosoleto in what was again, a tight scoring affair.

With one more heat until the final a cool and calm Scott showed her experience hunting out 7 scoring waves in the heat. However, the heat was far from over. With two scores under her belt a 3.67 was required for her to move in to first but just an achievable 3.7 to knock her from second. With seconds on the clock Dubrana of France was unable to find any waves with scoring potential and Billie got the nod in this exchange advancing to the final where she would surf against super star Justine Dupont.

After a massive few days of SUP Surfing Billie Scott earned her first ISA medal, the bronze, equalling Stella Smith’s 2018 bronze medal as the best result for New Zealand in SUP Surfing.  Scott held her own placing third against some of the best female SUP surfers on the planet and walked away with New Zealand’s only medal for the SUP Surfing. She betters her 11th place finish from 2022.

Amelie Wink of Christchurch attended her second ISA event of the year after being selected for the New Zealand Longboard team in early May. Placing second on opening day, an inform Wink continued to advance through to round 3 where she unfortunately became unstuck and relegated to the repechage round. In one of the highest scoring heats of the week Wink was unable to find the waves required to advanced and bowed out of the event.

With the SUP Surfing concluded Ollie Houghton of Auckland took to the water in the technical, distance and paddle races. Ollie Houghton at just 23 years old brought immense competitive experience to the team having competed and won his fourth National men’s SUP Racing title, days before flying out to compete on the sport’s European tour last month.

On day 6 of the event, it was Houghton who took to the start line in the 18km distance race. However, 1 minute into the race disaster struck as Ollie’s paddle snapped. Having to return to shore to pick up a paddle from team Great Britain and then head offshore he showed his grit and determination making his way through the field to finish 12th in a time of 1:46:16.76.

In the technical racing division Ollie showed his exceptional wave riding skills on a 14” race board finishing a comfortable 3rd. Advancing to the 21-man final Ollie completed the race in 29.25.20 and placed 10th overall.

It was the men’s sprint however where Ollie Shone. A favourite of his he put up an outstanding performance and was rewarded with a silver medal and a time of just 1:17.06

The- New Zealand team placed 17th whilst the home nation of France won their third consecutive Team Gold Medal at the 2023 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC)

Please see below for the full team that competed at the 2023 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship held at Le Sables, France  from the 24th-1st October

Karlos Aarsen (Whangamata) Men’s SUP Surfing

Ollie Houghton (Auckland) SUP Distance Race, SUP Sprint, SUP Technical Race

Amelie Wink (Christchurch) Women’s SUP Surfing

Billie Scott (Mount Maunganui) Women’s SUP Surfing

Amanda Russell Team Manager

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

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

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