The Ultimate Waterman
Surfing New Zealand
Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand
1 - 9 April, 2017
Eight watermen will gather from around the globe to battle it out for the title
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 February, 2017 - Some of the most iconic stretches of coastline in New Zealand will form the backdrop for the return of The Ultimate Waterman. After two successful years in the Auckland region, this unique event will be held in Southland from April 1-9, 2017
, with Waterman Central to be based in Invercargill.
Eight watermen will gather from around the globe to tackle the rugged, unpredictable conditions of the Southland and Catlins coasts, and Fiordland, demonstrating the skill and spirit needed to win the title of The Ultimate Waterman.
Greg Townsend, CEO of The Ultimate Waterman and Surfing New Zealand says “there is no better place to hold The Ultimate Waterman than Southland, with its world-class and diverse surfing destinations. The event is a test of skill, strength and spirit, involving world class athletes across a range of exciting water sports, so what better way to take this amazing province to the world?”
The Ultimate Waterman was developed in New Zealand and remains NZ-owned, and Townsend is thrilled to have such great support for a home-grown product, “Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt, his team, Venture Southland and the very friendly local community have really got behind this event”.
In welcoming the event to the region, Stephen Canny, GM Business and Strategic Projects for Venture Southland, says The Ultimate Waterman will provide Southland with its largest ever promotional opportunity “It is the perfect vehicle to promote Southland’s dramatic landscapes, people, communities and Invercargill to a global audience of potentially 1.3 billion people” he says. “One of the key features is the opportunities for local communities and participants to also be involved”, Canny says “the media contingent and event participants will be based in Invercargill and will be joined by local student interns who will be provided with ‘real world’ event management and film experience”.
The event also continues to receive valuable support from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Major Events Fund.
“It’s great we’ve been able to support the event again this year,” says Devorah Blumberg, the Ministry’s Manager of New Zealand Major Events. “The Ultimate Waterman 2017 will showcase some of New Zealand’s most breath-taking scenery to the world and help to raise Southland’s profile internationally.”
Five athletes are returning from last year’s event, with Hawaii’s Zane Schweitzer to defend his title. Schweitzer will again be joined by Daniel Kereopa (NZL), Connor Baxter (HAW), Caio Vaz (BRA) and Manoa Drollet (PYF), with three new athletes to be announced in the coming weeks.
Raglan based Kereopa, who won the inaugural competition in 2015, says Southland is a beautiful place with amazing conditions, “it’s going to be fresh!” He says “it’s an exciting adventure and a great way to show off another part of our country…oh, and the seafood there is on another level”
The Ultimate Waterman will again see the athletes compete in eight grueling disciplines over nine days, chasing the best surf and conditions around the region. The events are; big wave paddle in surfing, waka ama, longboard, shortboard, stand-up paddle, SUP endurance, underwater strength run and swim and prone paddleboarding.
Red Bull Media House will film the event for redbull.tv, taking The Ultimate Waterman and Southland’s stunning scenery to its huge global audience, while spectators will also be able to take part in the Ultimate Paddle Day and Have-a-Go day in Invercargill.
The winner of the Innovation Excellence Award at the Sport NZ Sport and Recreation Awards in 2016, The Ultimate Waterman’s southern adventure promises to take the event to a new level this year.