Stairmand Steers Kiwis to Seventh with an Eighth-Place Finish
Billy Stairmand secured New Zealand’s best ever result of eighth at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans completed in Japan today (Sunday 15th September). The excellent result helped the New Zealand Team to finish seventh overall.
Stairmand’s performance and the team result round out a big week of surfing for New Zealand with two surfers provisionally qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The seventh place finish also ensures New Zealand qualify for the 2020 Aloha Cup which is contested against the top eight nations at the World Surfing Games.
“It’s been a crazy week. It is all kind of a blur, surfing a lot of heats everyday” said Stairmand as he was packing and heading to the airport.
“But now it’s all starting to sink in, sitting down and saying that I can become an Olympian is such a crazy feeling. And also getting the best result ever for a Kiwi and holding down the fort for the team to get seventh is pretty cool also” added Stairmand whose next event starts in the Aores Islands on Tuesday.
Above: Billy Stairmand - Photo: ISA / Ben Reed
Stairmand automatically advanced out of his first match up today after Brazilian Filipe Toledo pulled out due to injury. In his second match up, Stairmand pushed right through the heat with a fall on his last wave the difference between moving through to the top six and a chance at qualifying for the final.
“I’m kicking myself that I didn’t land that floater, it was a big section but I knew I had to give it my all and I did, I gave it everything I had but that heat just wasn’t meant to be. But I’m so proud of myself and my achievements this week. It’s been so fun” Stairmand said.
Stairmand has had an exceptional year of results that started with a National Championship in January followed by a World Qualifying Series win in Australia in May among other top results.
“Yeah my boards have been a huge factor in my performances this year but also I think I’ve totally changed my frame of mind this year and it’s helped not only in this event but others. So I’m just sticking with it. I’ve been working with a friend of mine Albee James from Bodyrehab and he’s helped me a lot with the mental side of things. Also changed a bit in my lifestyle stuff. So I’ve made some changes in my life and it’s paying off” said Stairmand who heads straight back to Europe to contest a QS6,000 event in the Azores next week.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games presented by Vans was held at Miyazaki from 7-15 September. A total of 55 nations and 240 surfers competed at the event this week.
Please see final results for the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans completed at Miyazaki, Japan today (Sunday 15th September).
5, South Africa
7, New Zealand
8, Costa Rica
Men’s Repechage Round 10
Ramzi Boukiam (MAR), 1, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 2, Filipe Toledo (BRA), DNS
Men’s Repechage Round 11
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 13.64, 1, Sun Mukakami (JPN), 12.57, 2, Fredrico Morias (POR), 12.53, Billy Stairmand (NZL), 11.17, 4
1, Italo Feirro (BRA)
2, Kolohe Andinon (USA)
3, Gabriel Medina (BRA)
4, Shun Murikami JPN)
8, Billy Stairmand (Provisional Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics)
19, Kehu Butler
37, Ricardo Christie
1, Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
2, Silvana Lima (BRA)
3, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
4, Carissa Moore (USA)
29, Ella Williams (Provisional Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics)
33, Paige Hareb
33, Raiha Ensor
Above: Kiwi surfer Ella Williams has provisionally qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics securing the Oceania slot after placing the highest of the Oceania surfers at the ISA World Surfing Games.
Williams will be part of an exclusive group of twenty female surfers from around the world that will attend the first-ever Olympic surfing event in July next year.
The Olympic qualification process starts with the World Surf League (WSL) where ten males and 8 females on the 2019 World Tour will directly qualify for Tokyo 2020. No more than two athletes per nation can qualify via this process.
The top ranked male and female from the Oceania Region at this year’s event will qualify for Tokyo 2020. The selections will then need to be ratified by the New Zealand Olympic Committee before being confirmed.
Athletes have a further chance to qualify for the Olympics at the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games where the final four males and six females in each division will be determined by the top placing athletes at that event.