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Wallis Holds Strong for Kiwi Longboard Team

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Piha surfer Zen Wallis has battled through another day at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Longboard Championship being held in China advancing through to the final 18 surfers as the last Kiwi standing.

The third day of the event, being held at Riyue Bay, Wanning on Hainan Island, China, was held in small 0.5m waves and light winds.

The New Zealand Team will go into the final two days of the event ranked tenth overall.

Wallis is the last of four person Kiwi Team and will contest up to two rounds when the event recommences, potentially on Wednesday when the swell builds.

Today Wallis finished second in his heat behind Portugal surfer Diogo Goncalves finishing with a 10.23 point heat total compared with Goncalves 14.14.

It was the third placed Chinese Taipei surfer Hai-Sin Pan that threatened Wallis for progression pushing into second until the dying stages of the heat when Wallis’ patience paid off and he surfed one of the biggest waves of the heat for a 5.83 point ride.

“Yeah it was close but I wasn’t nervous, I was just focused on my surfing and getting good waves” Wallis said. “It helped getting a score early to allow me to be patient through that massive lull during most of the heat”.

Wallis admits the tiny lefthanders are not his forte but with a new board from Paul Shanks under his feet and the week of competition at the National Championships held in Gisborne earlier this month, he feels that he has progressed his surfing and is continuing to learn throughout the event

Wallis anticipates a building swell for the final two days of the event and this should play into his hands given his home training ground of Piha.

“The swell is forecast to drop away tomorrow so they’re looking at having a lay day and then it’s picking back up, hopefully bigger than it has been so far in the comp, so I’m really looking forward to my next heat” added Wallis who has enjoyed the company of the New Zealand Team at the event so far.

Bowing out of the event early was Christchurch surfer Hugh Ritchie who finished the event 31st overall.  The burly South Island surfer was hoping for some bigger conditions and could not match the light-footed work of his opponents from Australia and Spain in the knee to waist high waves.

In the Women’s Division, Sasha Brownlie (Auck) and Gabi Paul (Piha) placed 17th equal after being eliminated in Repechage Round 2.  Both surfers had limited opportunities to advance through their heats with the lack of waves playing a role in their demise.

The 2018 ISA World Longboard Championship is being streamed live via ISAWorlds.com.  China is five hours behind New Zealand.  Action takes place from approximately 8:00am daily.

Please see below for results to date after day three (Monday 22nd January) of the 2018 ISA World Longboard Championship being held at Riyue Bay, Wanning, China from the 19th – 25th January.

Men’s Longboard Qualifying Round 1
Heat 3
Lucas Garrido Lecca, PER, 13, 1, Aaron Rowe, CIS, 9.6, 2, Hugh Ritchie, NZL, 4.46, 3
Heat 11
Benoit Clemente, PER, 10.84, 1, Zen Wallis, NZL, 7.2, 2, Josh Le Marquand, CIS, 7.03, 3, Alejandro Flores Molina, SUI, 3.57, 4

Men’s Longboard Qualifying Round 2
Heat 6
Tony Silvagni, USA, 12.67, 1, Phil Rajzman, BRA, 12.6, 2, Matteo Fabbri, ITA, 9.63, 3, Zen Wallis, NZL, 7.37, 4

Men’s Longboard Repechage Round 1
Heat 1
João Dantas, POR, 9,46, 1, Hugh Ritchie, NZL, 4,46, 2

Men’s Longboard Repechage Round 2
Heat 2
Declan Wyton, AUS, 12.97, 1, Alberto Fernandez, ESP, 12.23, 2, Mattia Maiorca, ITA, 9.36, 3, Hugh Ritchie, NZL, 7.43, 4
Heat 5
Kenji Gonnokami, JPN, 9.94, 1, Zen Wallis, NZL, 8.24, 2, Josh Le Marquand, CIS, 7.24, 3, Evgeniy Isakov, RUS, 3.73, 4

Men’s Longboard Repechage Round 3
Heat 3
Diogo Gonçalves, POR, 14.14, 1, Zen Wallis, NZL, 10.23, 2, Hai-Hsin Pan, TPE, 10.16, 3, Huang Wei, CHN, 6.2, 4

Women’s Longboard Qualifying Round 1
Heat 4
Tully White, AUS, 11.17, 1, Roxy Davis, RSA, 8.03, 2, Mei-Hsin Pan, TPE, 6.26, 3, Gabi Paul, NZL, 3.97, 4
Heat 5
Emily Lethbridge, AUS, 13.5, 1, Christy Gilmour, RSA, 6.87, 2, Sasha Brownlie, NZL, 5.84, 3

Women’s Longboard Repechage Round 1
Heat 1
Ines Martins, POR, 6.43, 1, Gabi Paul, NZL, 5.3, 2, Carolina Thun, PER, 5, 3, Mascha Trietsch, GER, 3.7, 4
Heat 3
Francesca Rubegni, ITA, 8.43, 1, Sasha Brownlie, NZL, 5.8, 2, Jen Pendlebury, ENG, 4.63, 3, Kazuko Kanoda, JPN, 4.4, 4

Women’s Longboard Repechage Round 2
Heat 2
Rachael Tilly, USA, 15.27, 1, Mei-Hsin Pan, TPE, 7.47, 2, Gabi Paul, NZL, 4.77, 3, Ayllar Cinti, BRA, 4, 4
Heat 4
Kelis Kaleopaa, HAW, 7.96, 1, Teresa Gil, ARG, 7.56, 2, Sasha Brownlie, NZL, 5.67, 3, Elena Vtorova, RUS, 4.57, 4

The ISA World Longboard Championship is usually an annual event but has not been held since 2013.  New Zealand placed 11th at the most recent edition of the event.

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


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