Sorry, your version of Internet Explorer is too old to view properly.

Why not try Chrome instead.



Kiwi team secures first gold medal at ISA World SUPs

Penelope Armstrong © ISA




Team Updates

International Surfing Association
Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji
12 - 20 ​November, 2016 

Penelope Armstrong claims a world title in the SUP Women’s Technical Race

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 November, 2016 - The New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team secured their first ever gold medal today (Wednesday 16th November) with Penelope Armstrong (Auck) claiming a world title in the SUP Women’s Technical Race.

Armstrong was accompanied on the podium by medal winning performances in the Men’s and Women’s Technical Prone Races earlier in the day. The 2016 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship is being held in Fiji from the 12 – 20 November.  Today’s races were held along the reef of Cloudbreak located off Tavarua Island, west of the mainland.

Armstrong surprised her more favoured opponents with some powerful paddling, particularly in the upwind sections of the race.  After gaining a comfortable lead, Armstrong was pegged back by French paddler Olivia Piana but on the last of three 1.0km laps Armstrong put in the extra effort to pull clear of her opponent and take the win.

“There was a whole lot of good luck out there today, I am fit but not race ready so there was some luck involved with my wind” said Armstrong who has battled bad health all year and was a late replacement, coming in to the team only two weeks before the event. 

“At the start line I wanted to try and stick with the leaders on the first lap and see how I went from there.  Then on the up-wind leg I realised I could paddle faster than them” explained Armstrong of how the race unfolded. 

“This is biggest achievement of my life, to beat Candice Apperley (USA) is huge, it is any paddlers dream, she is the hardest paddler to beat in the world, and she is my hero” added Armstrong who likened the choppy surface conditions to paddling at home in Auckland.

Armstrong placed third in the discipline in 2015 when the event was held in Mexico.  She will now shift focus to the 17km distance race which will take place on Friday.  She will now be one of the main paddlers to watch in the race.

Danielle McKenzie (Auckland) secured a silver medal in the Women’s Technical Prone Race.  After bolting out to the lead with winner Harriet Brown (Aus), McKenzie could not hold the pace that was set by the Australian after the first lap.  However, she had clear water between her and third placed paddler Flora Manciet (FRA).

McKenzie’s result is the best achieved by a Kiwi female prone paddler after New Zealand has previously secured two copper medals at the last two events.

Mount Maunganui paddle Scott Cowdrey capped off a brilliant day on the water with a third place finish and bronze medal in the Men’s Prone Technical Race.  Cowdrey battled hard with the Australian one-two combination of Matt Poole and Lachie Lansdown, particularly Lansdown, the two paddling side-by-side for the majority of the race.

Gold Coast based Kiwi paddler Nick Dempsey finished the Men’s Prone Technical Race in sixth position just outside the medals but well within the lead pack of paddlers.

Rounding out the day were Marcus Hansen (Whangarei) and Cormac McCullogh (Auckland) in the star-studded Men’s SUP Technical Races. 

Hansen held on to the leading pack in the final for much of the three laps that weaved in and out of the surf to finish seventh overall, the best result by a Kiwi athlete in this discipline. 

Auckland paddler Cormac McCullogh did not make the top 16 in the final after competing in the semifinals earlier in the day.

Early in the week Team Captain Daniel Kereopa (Rag) progressed through two rounds of the SUP Surfing Division before the event was put on hold until Saturday. Officials expect a large swell to march up the Tasman and hit Cloudbreak with 2.0m – 3.0m waves forecast and importantly a massive swell period. Kereopa will feel at home on the big lefthanders at Cloudbreak and will look to advance in to the final six surfers of the main event.

Kereopa’s team mate Shane Murrell (Auck) was eliminated from the event in the repechage rounds of the Men’s SUP Surfing finishing 31st overall.

Renee Davenport (Rag) finished 16th overall in the Women’s SUP Surfing Division after also being eliminated in the repechage rounds on day two of the event.

Tomorrow (Thursday) will see the 18km distance races take place for the Men’s SUP and Prone Disciplines.  The race will start at Cloudbreak before weaving between the islands of Tavarua and Namotu and finishing at Musket Cove on the island of Mololo Lailai.

New Zealand will be represented by Marcus Hansen (Whangarei) who will back up his performance from today as well as Michael Hastie (Dunedin) in the SUP Discipline.  Two time medallist Sam Shergold and Declan Dempster both of Mount Maunganui will line up in the Prone Discipline.

The 2016 event plays host to 26 countries and 244 athletes.  The event includes SUP surfing which is being held at the world renowned left hand reef break of Cloudbreak.  The technical and distance races for both SUP and Prone Paddleboard are also taking place close to Cloudbreak and the surrounding islands.

The remaining schedule for the event is as follows.  Start times are generally 8:00am for the surfing.  Fiji is in the same time zone as New Zealand.  You can follow the event live via the event website.

November 17-18: Distance SUP and Paddleboard Races, Cloudbreak to Musket Cove
November 19: SUP Surfing Finals
November 20: Relay Races and Closing Ceremony, Port Denarau

Please see below for results from the first three days of the 2016 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held in Fiji from the 12th – 20th November 2016.

Men’s SUP Surfing Main Event Round 1
Heat 3
Natua Teriitahi TAH, 4.67,1, Omelv Garcia, PUR, 4.2, 2, Shane Murrell, NZL, 3.13, 3, Fredrik Roxvall, SWE, 0.67, 4 
Heat 6
Daniel Kereopa, NZL, 10.5, 1, Tamil Martino, PER, 8.84, 2, Patrick Boyum, SWE, 3.57, 3

Men’s SUP Surfing Main Event Round 2
Heat 4
Tomas King, RSA, 16.5, 1, Daniel Kereopa, NZL, 15.57, 2, Jose Gomez, PER, 10.44, 3, Toshihiro Harada, JPN, 8.1, 4

Men’s SUP Surfing Main Event Round 3 (Yet to be surfed)
Heat 1
Felipe Rodriguez, MEX, Giorgio Gomez, USA, Mo Freitas, HAW, Daniel Kereopa, NZL  

Men’s SUP Surfing Repechage Round 2
Heat 2
Jeffrey Spencer, CAN, 9, 1, Mariano de Cabo, ARG, 7.6, 2, Omelv Garcia, PUR, 6.9, 3, Shane Murrell, NZL, 5.5, 4

Women’s SUP Surfing Main Event Round 1
Heat 2
Brissa Malaga, PER, 5.47, 1, Sofie Simonsson, SWE, 3.14, 2, Renee Davenport, NZL, 1.3, 3

Women’s SUP Surfing Repechage Round 2
Heat 2
Shakira Westdorp, AUS, 10.83, 1, Catherine Bruhwiler, CAN, 8.5, 2, Roxy Davis, RSA, 6.34, 3, Renee Davenport, NZL, 1.4, 4

Ben Kennings

Latest photos


Follow us and sign up to our daily newsletter