In an action packed day two of The Ultimate Waterman being held along New Zealand’s Southland coastline, Brazil’s Caio Vaz took an unexpected win in the Longboard discipline held yesterday (Sunday 2nd April).
The forecasted big southern swells arrived on cue and built throughout the morning until it was a solid 2.0m – 2.5m for the final, challenging the world’s top watermen.
Midway through the final, Vaz stroked into a massive lefthander, took a steep drop and pulled into a cavernous backhand tube to score an 8.83 point ride. That single wave performance set the tone but it was only Vaz himself that maintained the level striking another blow to his opponents with an 8.67 point ride late in the final and eventually securing the win.
“You can’t see anything of your opponents out there” said Vaz. “I got a good score on the barrel and some other good waves but longboarding is not my division so to win in those conditions is amazing you know” added a dumbfounded Vaz.
The Brazilian’s surprise win put a dent in the campaigns of both defending champion Zane Schweitzer (HAW) and 2015 champion Daniel Kereopa (NZL) who both had the longboarding discipline as their double whammy event. However, all was not lost with Schweitzer finishing runner up and Kereopa finishing in third along with Connor Baxter (HAW) in fourth. All three athletes found it hard to find the right waves as the swell built in the final.
Once the longboarding was complete, the athletes hit the road again. After a long assessment of the building swell and the conditions at big wave locations, it was determined that the swell was not large enough to contest the Big Wave discipline. Huge waves in the 3m-4m range were breaking along the Catlins coastline but that was not enough for some locations to come alive.
It was agreed by the athletes that they scope out other locations to maximise the swell on offer and a Tube Riding discipline was held during late afternoon ultimately replacing the Big Wave. This discipline saw surfers scored on their barrel riding performances alone.
Manoa Drollet (TAH) stormed to victory in fading light after the 1.5 hour expression session held in pumping 1.5m – 2.0m beach break waves.
Drollet had a late flurry of waves in the second half of the final to post a 16.67 point heat total.
Drollet, who is world famous for his tube riding exploits at home in Tahiti, positioned himself the best of all the athletes and picked up the best waves to win the discipline.
Second placed Kereopa managed to sneak ahead of Jackson Maynard (AUS) in third and Caio Vaz (BRA) in fourth, the latter two surfers only managing to find the one good wave each during the session.
Early front runner Jackson Maynard (AUS) maintained his lead on the overall standings despite placing seventh and third respectively in the divisions contested.
Please see below for official results from the Longboard and tube riding disciplines held at the Catlins yesterday (Sunday 1st April) 2017.
Overall Standing (After event 3 of 8)
1, Jackson Maynard (AUS)*, 3285
2, Zane Schweitzer (HAW)*, 3163
3, Daniel Kereopa (NZL)*, 2848
4, Caio Vaz (BRA), 2340
5, Manoa Drollet (TAH), 2138
6, Connor Baxter (HAW), 1955
7, Chuck Glynn (USA), 1694
8, Coco Nogales (MEX), 1505
The Ultimate Waterman sees the athletes compete in eight 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.
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Southland, one of the largest regions in New Zealand, boasts a rugged coastline of 3,400 kilometres and an array of lakes, mountains and open plains. Colac Bay is one of the top surf spots in the country where consistent waves are present all year round thanks to its exposed beach break, while Curio Bay may give the opportunity to surf alongside the resident hectors’ dolphins. Home to the world famous Bluff oysters, Southland is a place of incomparable and unique beauty, countless species of native wildlife and friendly locals.
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