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Young Kiwi Surfers Step Up in Seniors’ Absence 

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For immediate release

26 August 2022

From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: International Surfing
Event: 2022 ISA World Surfing Games
Divisions: Open Men’s and Women’s
Date: 16 September – 24 September
Location: Huntington Beach USA
Websites and Social: ISA and Surfing New Zealand #ISAWorlds

Young Kiwi Surfers Step Up in Seniors’ Absence

It’s up to the next generation of top Kiwi talent to take the reins at the 2022 ISA World Surfing Games being held at Huntington Beach, California next month.

New Zealand will send one of its youngest teams ever with the oldest competitor being just 22 and the youngest 17. With youthfulness on their side, the 2022 New Zealand Surfing Team is fiercely competitive and experienced on the international stage with two surfers Natasha Gouldsbury and Ava Henderson having recently attended the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in El Salvador in May.

Five of the six surfers have represented New Zealand at the ISA World Junior Championships and selected World Surf League WQS events but none have been to a World Surfing Games before.

The six-person team consists of National Champion Daniel Farr (Tara), NZ Surf Series winner Caleb Cutmore (Rag) and young Mount Maunganui surfer Jack Hinton. Representing the women are Ava Henderson (Chch), Natasha Gouldsbury(Tara) and Brie Bennett (Rag), the event being a huge opportunity for the talented young females who last teamed up together at the World Junior Championships in 2019 at the same venue.

The young team named comes off the back of Billy Stairmand, Kehu Butler and Paige Hareb all being unavailable due to WSL Challenger Series commitments, with event five, the EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira set to kick off in Portugal on the 1st October.

Returning to Huntington Beach for the first time since 2006, the ISA’s premier event is the first opportunity for athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

In a significant change to the Olympic surfing qualification system, the 2022 World Surfing Games is the only event this year with Paris 2024 qualification implications. Olympic qualification and a third national slot goes to the top ranked male and female teams thus potentially increasing national teams from two to three athletes per gender. 

Huntington Beach (Surf City USA) has played an important and historic role in surfing hosting global surf events since 1984 when the first ISA World surfing games was held there. Since then, as many as 7 major ISA events have been held in the Surf City including the 1996 and 2006 World Surfing Games and the 2005, 2018 and 2019 World Junior Surfing Championships.

The 2022 ISA World Surfing Games is being streamed live via the ISA website. Huntington Beach, USA is 19 hours behind New Zealand. Action will take place from approximately 2:00am (NZT) each morning of the event. Competition starts on the 17th of September with the Open Men, following this the Open Women will surf on the 19th to allow time for women participating in the Super Girl Pro. Finals day will conclude the event on the 24th of September.

Team management includes the Manager Khan Butler who has toured with the New Zealand Team on several occasions. Coach of the New Zealand Olympic Team, Matt Scorringe will lead the athletes through the event. 

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 surf riding. 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.

Follow Surfing New Zealand via all social media platforms – @surfingnz.

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