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Sleepless Stairmand Heads Into Final Day of World Surfing Games pres by Vans

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New Zealand surfer Billy Stairmand will surf for gold at the ISA World Surfing Games tomorrow (Sunday 15th September) after successfully tackling typhoon waves, and his opponents, on the penultimate day of the event held today.

Stairmand surfed through two high calibre rounds in massive 2.0m plus waves at Miyazaki with strong onshore winds and rain whipping through the event site making for precarious conditions.

Stairmand has helped the New Zealand team jump up to fourth overall at the head of a tight chasing group of six nations.  Brazil currently leads the rankings over USA and Japan.

In Stairmand’s final heat of the day, he placed second to Indonesian surfer Rio Waida, 12.66 v 12.10, the two surfers eliminating Costa Rica’s last hope Carlos Munoz.  However, it was the first heat of the day that may be the most memorable of the day with Stairmand advancing in first place alongside Brazilian Filipe Toledo in second.

“Today was a totally different playing field to yesterday, they were both tough but in their own way, my mind frame was the same though” said Stairmand who changed equipment to the HT model to cater for the extra power in the waves.  “I went for a free-surf on it in the morning and got a good one so was feeling pretty good” he added about the equipment change.

After securing the Oceania qualifying slot yesterday, a sleepless night followed, hampering Stairmand’s preparations for today.  “To be honest I didn’t really sleep last night after everything that went on but knew I had to just relax and reset. My strategy didn’t really change. I just wanna smash every heat and go as hard as I can and give it my all, so I did that and it paid off.”

Tomorrow, Stairmand will face off against Filipe Toledo for a second time along with Morocco’s Ramzi Boukiam, himself a continental Olympic qualifier for Africa.  That will be the first of up to three heats required for Stairmand to advance to the grand-final.

“Nothing changes for me tomorrow. I’ve still got the same goals, same mind frame, my equipment is on point and support crew is in full force. So I’m ready for a huge finals day. Bring it on.”

The final day is being webcast live.  Japan is three hours behind New Zealand.  Action takes place on Sunday from 9:00am (12:00pm NZT).

The International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games presented by Vans is being held at Miyazaki from 7-15 September.  A total of 55 nations and 240 surfers are competing at the event this week.

Please see results for the Kiwi men after day eight of action at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans held at Miyazaki, Japan today (Saturday 14th September).

Team Rankings
1, Brazil
2, USA
3, Japan
4, New Zealand
5, Peru
6, South Africa
7, Portugal
8, Australia
9, Indonesia
10, Costa Rica

Men’s Repechage Round 8
Heat 3
Billy Stairmand (NZL), 12.84, 1, Filipe Toledo (BRA), 11.0, 2, Angelo Bonnomelli (ITA), 10.77, 3, Cody Young (CAN), 6.0, 4

Men’s Repechage Round 9
Heat 1
Rio Waida (INA), 12.66, 1, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 12.1, 2, Carlos Munoz (CRC), 11.16, 3

Day 9 Schedule (Sunday 15th September) – live webcast
12:25pm – Billy Stairmand, Repechage Round 10

Olympic Qualification
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.

The top ranked male and female from the Oceania Region at this year’s event will qualify for Tokyo 2020.  The selections will then need to be ratified by the New Zealand Olympic Committee before being confirmed.

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.

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.

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

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