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Vette Powers Through to Penultimate Day of World Junior Champs

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Gisborne surfer Saffi Vette is the sole Kiwi surfer remaining in the event at the 2019 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship after charging her way through three rounds of competition today (Saturday 2nd November).

While Vette advanced to the penultimate day of the event, seven teammates fell out of contention at the hands of some tough international competition, leaving Vette to find a way to elevate the team beyond their current ranking of 14th.

Day six of the event being held at Huntington Beach, California, saw more clean morning waves of up to 1.0m that deteriorated with the afternoon sea breeze winds and outgoing tide.  Conditions did not bother Vette as she appears to be building confidence going into the business end of the event.

“Yeah, I think my performances have improved as the event has progressed.  This morning’s conditions were perfect for me as the lefts seemed to be more dominant.  I was stoked to get some bigger scores on the board” Vette said.

“I think now it is all about the mental game.  You can be the best surfer but if your mind isn’t strong then it is not going to help you during heats.  Wave selection will be major tomorrow as well” added Vette as she eyes up advancing deeper into the top 16 surfers at the event.

Vette potentially surfs up to three times on Sunday and is aiming for a good rest tonight to reset an already tired body from her three heats today.

Caleb Cutmore (Rag) and Jack Lee (Whaka) ended their run at the event finishing in 17th and 23rd respectively.

Cutmore held onto an advancing position for much of his heat albeit, with a small heat total and a slender lead over surfers in third and fourth before dropping back to third place as the final hooter sounded.

“It was about one foot and pretty hard to link turns together.  I got a couple of one-turn waves but couldn’t get a combo going.  This meant that the other competitors didn’t need much to overtake me.  When a set came at the end of the heat, yellow took off, got a couple of turns in and got the score” was Cutmore’s simple evaluation of the situation.

“Overall I am reasonably happy with my result, I didn’t go as far as I wanted to, but I made it through a couple of tough heats and I gained some confidence.  I would have liked to go further in my final year but I hope to do more international events in the future so I’ll take this as a learning experience and use it in the future.”

Jack Lee was also in a close battle but was on the flip side of progressing until the final hooter.

“I was trying to search the line up the whole heat for a good one.  I had an opportunity at the end on a right-hander and I did a cutty then went for a finner and fell off.  I don’t know if it would have been the score but I was bummed I fell” Lee said after falling short of the 4.73 point ride required to advance to the next round.

“This whole trip has been so fun and I have learned a lot and I am stoked with my result for the first time at the event.  Being here with heaps of my mates and Larry being the coach and my teacher back at home has made the trip way more relaxing for me.”

Also bowing out of the event today were Estella Hungerford (Chch), Brie Bennett (Rag) and Ava Henderson (Chch) in the girl’s divisions.  Hungerford placed 37th overall in the Under 18 Girls Division while Bennett placed 25th and Henderson 31st in the Under 16 Girls Division.

Tom Butland (Tara) and Jayden Willoughby (Rag) also bowed out of the Under 16 Boys Division both placing 41st equal.

Please see below for results from day six of the 2019 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being held at Huntington Beach today (Saturday 2nd November):

Under 18 Boys Division Repechage Round 4
Heat 3
Caleb Cutmore, NZL, 10.9, 1, Teva Bouchgua, FRA, 10.66, 2, Sean Gunning, ESP, 10.27, 3, Aiden Chamberlain, CAN, 7.62, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Repechage Round 5
Heat 1
Tide-Lee Ireland, RSA, 15.7, 1, Caleb Cutmore, NZL, 11.7, 2, Cristobal Montecino, CHI, 10.14, 3, Heitor Mueller, BRA, 7.5, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Repechage Round 6
Heat 2
Joh Azuchi, JPN, 12.87, 1, Maksymilian Michalewski, POL, 8.26, 2, Caleb Cutmore, NZL, 7.6, 3, Luke Slijpen, RSA, 7.46, 4
Heat 3
Dimitri Poulos, USA, 13.17, 1, Justin Becret, FRA, 8.33, 2, Lenni Jensen, GER, 6.84, 3, Jack Lee, NZL, 6.83, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Repechage Round 3
Heat 1
Ainhoa Leiceaga, FRA, 10.7, 1, Maya Larripa, ARG, 8.5, 2, Estella Hungerford, NZL, 5.43, 3, Lara Barrios, PER, 4.4, 4
Heat 6
Saffi Vette, NZL, 11.4, 1, Abril Solis, ARG, 9.8, 2, Ynes Balcon, TAH, 8.17, 3, Matilde Passarinho, POR, 7.33, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Repechage Round 4
Heat 6
Kirra Pinkerton, USA, 15.5, 1, Saffi Vette, NZL, 12.83, 2, Kitty Brewer, CIS, 9.9, 3, Candelaria Resano, NCA, 9.63, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Repechage Round 5
Heat 2
Saffi Vette, NZL, 10.5, 1, Daniela Boldini, ESP, 10.3, 2, Julia Duarte, BRA, 10, 3, Tru Starling, AUS, 8.26, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Repechage Round 4
Heat 3
Tao Rodriguez, PAN, 11.57, 1, Stan Norman, ENG, 8.33, 2, Finn Spencer, CAN, 7.4, 3, Tom Butland, NZL, 2.9, 4
Heat 8
Kainan Meira, BRA, 15.64, 1, Kai Paula, HAW, 15.23, 2, Martim Paulino, POR, 12.63, 3, Jayden Willoughby, NZL, 7.27, 4

Under 16 Girls Division Repechage Round 4
Heat 1
Sol Aguirre, PER, 11.73, 1, Nanaho Tsuzuki, JPN, 11.4, 2, Gabriela Dinis, POR, 8.57, 3, Ava Henderson, NZL, 6.1, 4
Heat 4
Hina Conradi, FRA, 11.04, 1, Noah Lia Klapp, GER, 9.54, 2, Brie Bennett, NZL, 6.14, 3, Tehani Tefaatau, TAH, 5.14, 4

Please see below for the day 5 schedule (New Zealand times):

Podium 1 (Live webcast)
*TBC more heats to be confirmed depending on progressions

Podium 2 (Live scores only)
4:00am – Saffi Vette – Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 6
*TBC more heats to be confirmed depending on progressions

The team is competing at the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Championship being held at Huntington Beach, California, USA from the 26th October – 3rd November.  In 2018 the New Zealand Team placed twelfth overall.  Japan stunned the event winning the team title over USA and Australia.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 340 surfers from 44 nations in 2019.

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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