29 January 2010
Piha played host to around 250 young surfers from 30 different countries last month as the Quicksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship rolled into town.
The competition ran from January 20 to 28 and Auckland Airport got in on the act by providing space at the airport to showcase the event and to let visitors to Auckland know where to find the action.
Piha is said to have some of the hardest surfing conditions in the world, and the junior competitors certainly had some tough moments as they tried to find just the right wave to show the judges what they were capable of.
Despite the youth of the competitors, there were some great skills on show, especially from Brazilian Gabriel Medina, whose aerial skills helped him take out the gold individual medal. Australia took overall prize for their fifth straight teams title, with New Zealand finishing seventh overall. The standout from the Kiwis was Ben Poulter who cam sixth in the under-16 boys. He was incredibly close to getting a podium finish and showed great promise for the future.
Auckland is using its performance with the juniors to bolster its bid for the ISA World Surfing Games 2011 (ie the adult version), so watch this space!