International Surfing Association
Grande Plage, Biarritz France
20 - 28 March 2017
Kiwis Front Up To French Beach Breaks at World Surfing Games
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 May, 2017 - The New Zealand Surfing Team lines up against a record 45 countries at the International Surfing Association World Surfing Games being held in France from Saturday night (New Zealand time). The record number of teams line up for the event as nations eye up the inclusion of the sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the first time.
The World Surfing Games are being held at Biarritz in the south of France from the 20th – 28th May.
The New Zealand Team is led by QSL World Qualifying Series surfer Ella Williams (WGM) who has podiumed twice at the event in the past with her best result coming in 2015 with a third place finish.
Williams, 22, is joined by Raiha Ensor (Mnt) in the Women’s Division, Ensor earlier this week also being announced as one of four females in the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team set to compete in Japan at the World Junior Championships being held during September.
Together, Williams and Ensor will go up against the likes of World Tour surfer Johanne Defay (FRA), ex World Tour surfer Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and 2016 World Surfing Games bronze medallist Pauline Ado (FRA).
The girls are joined by JC Susan (Dun), Paul Moretti (Mur), Taylor Hutchison (Rag) and Zen Wallis (Piha) in the Men’s Division. Both Hutchison and Wallis were members of the 216 team.
Susan has represented New Zealand on several occasions in the past but missed the 2016 event. Muriwai-based Paul Moretti is new to the New Zealand Surfing Team but has competed internationally as a junior and was eager to make the transition to the Open Division this year.
Hutchison has been in excellent form all summer sitting in second place overall on the New Zealand Surf Series and first in the Under 20 Division of the New Zealand Grom Series. Hutchison will leave behind his performance at the 2016 event where he was eliminated in the early rounds and focus on this challenge with another year of experience to help his cause.
The guys will see some amazing talent in their division highlighted by host nation France who line up World Tour surfers Jeremy Flores and Joan Duru. The Brazilian Dantas brothers Wiggolly and Weslley line up for Brazil and Argentina bring back their 2016 gold medal winning surfer Leandro Usana.
In a change from traditional scheduling, the Opening Ceremony will take place on Saturday night (NZT) before the Women’s Division gets underway on the same day. The Women’s Division will be completed on the first three days of the event to fit in with another international event scheduled in Japan. The Men’s Division will commence on May 23rd.
New Zealand’s ranking of eighth secures a berth in the Aloha Cup Tag Team event which includes the top eight nations at the event. New Zealand placed fourth in the 2016 Aloha Cup.
Peru is the defending champion at the event after winning the 2016 edition held in Costa Rica over Portugal, USA and France.
The 2017 New Zealand Surfing Team is as follows:
JC Susan (Dun)
Paul Moretti (Mur)
Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
Zen Wallis (Piha)
Ella Williams (WGM)
Raiha Ensor (Mnt)