The Oceania Surfing Cup returns to the Pacific with the eight-day event taking place at Aganoa Beach, Savaii, Samoa starting this Saturday.
Six teams from across the Pacific will be participating at the event which is being held for the first time in twelve years.
Samoa will play host for the event which will include Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tahiti and American Samoa.
The hosts will field two teams in the event in true Pacific fashion of celebrating the spirit of surfing.
Samoa will be represented by their first team and a development team. Athletes include the Martin brothers Puleiata and Christopher as well as Andrew Fofoga and Letapu Fuiavailili.
Oceania Surfing Federation President, Carl Probert (Fiji) is encouraged with the headway made in getting the first Oceania Cup up and running since 2007.
“This year’s event is one of the first steps in the development of surfing in the region and has been a focus for the Oceania Surfing Federation. We thank the Samoan Surfing Association for their efforts in making sure the event takes place in 2019” said Probert.
“We wish all the athletes competing at the event every success over the coming eight days.”
“It is important that we bring the Oceania nations together to participate and show that there is a pathway for our young surfers. Running the Oceania Cup and growing the event over the next few years will put surfing in a good position to be included in the sports programme for the Pacific Games being held in the Solomon Islands in 2023.”
The event includes several young up and coming surfers that have competed in recent International Surfing Association World Junior Championships.
New Zealand representatives Tom Butland and Georgia Wederell were two surfers that attended the most recent World Junior Championship held last month in California.
The Australian Indigenous Team comprises among others, three members of the Slabb family – Joel, Josh and Jalaan. Josh competed in the 1998 edition of the Oceania Cup held in Fiji.
The early years of the event also played host to two current World Tour surfers – Michel Bourez and Ricardo Christie. Both competed as juniors. To date, Tahiti has won the event five times compared with New Zealand’s four wins as the top two nations.
Surfing action will take place across the eight days with organisers looking to make the most of tides and forecasted swells. The swell is expected to be good for the first two days of the event before a decrease in size at the start of next week.
In less than a year, surfing will make its Olympic debut. The appeal of Tokyo 2020 coupled with the high likelihood of further Olympic inclusion in 2024 and 2028 has given cause for the Oceania Surfing Federation to be formally established.
Two Oceania surfers secured places for Tokyo 2020 after competing at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans held during September in Japan. Provisionally qualified athletes are New Zealand’s Billy Stairmand and Ella Williams. Oceania surfers will have a final qualification opportunity at the 2020 World Surfing Games scheduled for May next year.
The Oceania Surfing Federation comprises ten original nations including Australia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
The purpose of the organisation is to empower and unite the communities of Oceania surfing with the overarching vision of celebrating the spirit of surfing in the region.
The Oceania Cup was first held in 1997 and hosted in Fiji. Eleven editions of the event took place between 1997 and 2007 across five countries. See below for team champions.
1997 – Tahiti
1998 – New Zealand
1999 – Tonga
2000 – New Zealand
2001 – New Zealand
2002 – New Zealand
2003 – Tahiti
2004 – Tahiti
2005 – Tonga
2006 – Tahiti
2007 – Tahiti
For further information please contact:
Event Media (Samoa based): Angela Coombes – firstname.lastname@example.org