The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team surfed cleanly through the first day of the World Junior Surfing Championships in Panama.
All six surfers, including Mount Maunganui’s Mackenzie Christie, safely progressed through to the second round of qualifying at the competition at Playa Venao Beach.
Mount Maunganui’s Mackenzie Christie at the World Junior Surfing Championships in Panama. Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzalez.
The first day got off to a perfect start with Mackenzie winning his first round match-up to progress through to the second round alongside Brazilian surfer Deivid Silva.
Mackenzie posted 9.76 points out of a possible 20 to win the heat over Silva on 9.07.
He was joined in the second round by Paul Moretti from Mimiwhangata, and Tane Wallis from Piha, who both placed second in their heats.
In clean 1m waves, it was the Under-18 and Under-16 boys that got their campaigns underway competing against 301 surfers from 31 countries around the world.
In the Under-16 Boys Division, Piha surfer Elliot Paerata - Reid posted the third highest heat score of the round to scorch through his heat.
A heat-high 7.50 point ride and 13.50 point heat total saw Paerata - Reid run away with the win.
Elliot was joined by Korbin Hutchings from Gisborne and Mount Maunganui surfer Jordan Griffin, who both placed second in their match ups.
Korbin left behind Brazilian surfer Eilivelton Santos and Jordan behind the highly touted Italian surfer Leonardo Fioravanti.
The Under-18 Girls was not contested on day one of the event, while heats for Ben Poulter from Raglan and Christchurch’s Harrison Whiteside were also not contested.
The day before New Zealand suffered a narrow loss to South Africa in the SANZ Trophy.
The event is contested annually between the two teams in the build-up to the World Junior Championship. Both teams went into the final with six surfers each, however South Africa got the nod 8890 points to New Zealand’s 8720 once the finals were completed.
The swell is expected to increase in the next three days with clean conditions forecast.
To check out the live event website for up to date information, images, video and live action.