World Surfing Games Podium Finish One Step Away For Hareb
Above: Paige Hareb. Image courtesy of ISA / Ben Reed
The New Zealand Surfing Team has been buoyed by Paige Hareb’s run of heat progressions that see her one step away from a podium finish at the 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games being held in Japan this week.
The Taranaki surfer advanced through one round on Wednesday to advance through to the last six surfers in the event and help New Zealand to eighth overall on the team rankings.
It may now be a long wait with the swell expected to be small through until the final day of the event window on Saturday (22nd September) potentially meaning two lay days.
Hareb started her Round 5 heat well but soon found herself in third place facing relegation to the repechage rounds at the hands of Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Justine Dupont (FRA). However, she fought back on a small righthander posting a 3.60 which was enough for second place (8.30 out of 20) and the pressure went back on the French surfer who was not able to retaliate.
“I made a mistake with my priority but luckily it didn’t cost me the heat” said Hareb who changed her equipment in light of the small waves on offer.
“The surf changed heaps compared with the day prior and I wasn’t sure whether to change boards to my epoxy or not but I made the switch and it worked out thankfully”.
Despite being one heat away from the final and pressure mounting, Hareb has maintained that a podium finish has always been her goal even prior to the event starting.
“I’m happy with how it’s going so far but yeah every heat gets harder and harder so for now I’m just concentrating on the next heat”.
Hareb faces off against Bianca Buitendag again along with Holly Wawn (AUS) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the next round with the top two advancing through to the final and third and fourth dropping back to the Repechage Semifinal for one last chance.
Given the potential of two lay days, Hareb expects to take in some of the surrounding Tahara region and relax before Saturday’s action.
Elin Tawharu and Raiha Ensor were also in action on day four looking to advance their cause in the repechage rounds.
Tawharu surfed a stellar heat in Round 4 to advance but in Round 5 came up short thanks to a quiet ocean and she was eliminated by Nadia Erostarbe (ESP) and Philippa Anderson (AUS).
Tawharu finished the event 22nd equal overall.
Ensor’s campaign also came to a close thanks to a flat ocean, the young Mount Maunganui surfer unable to find a 4.45 point ride with the ocean going flat for the last few minutes of her heat.
Ensor finished the event in 25th place overall.
The ISA UR World Surfing Games is contested over seven days at Tahara Beach with over 200 athletes from 42 nations in attendance.
Please see below for results from day four of the 2018 UR ISA World Surfing Games held at Tahara Beach, Japan (Wednesday 19 September).
1 USA 3920
2 Australia 3490
3 France 3375
4 Japan 3368
5 South Africa 2973
6 Peru 2605
7 Spain 2528
8 New Zealand 2415
9 Argentina 2340
10 Canada 2248
11 Portugal 2173
12 Costa Rica 1890
13 Great Britain 1850
14 Indonesia 1819
15 Chile 1660
Women’s Round 5
Bianca Buitendag, RSA, 10.66, 1, Paige Hareb, NZL, 8.3, 2, Justine Dupont, FRA, 7.66, 3
Repechage Round 4
Minori Kawai, JPN, 10.9, 1, Eva Woodland, CRC, 9.34, 2, Raiha Ensor, NZL, 8.1, 3, Coral Wiggins, CRC, 6.53, 4
Elin Tawharu, NZL, 11.17, 1, Josefina Ane, ARG, 9.47, 2, Nicole Pallet, RSA, 7.14, 3, Shelby Detmers, MEX, 3.23, 4
Women’s Repechage Round 5
Nadia Erostarbe, ESP, 9.27, 1, Philippa Anderson, AUS, 9.23, 2, Eva Woodland, CRC, 7.24, 3, Elin Tawharu, NZL, 5.36, 4
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.
2018 marks the lead-in to Olympic qualification via the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games. A good team result in 2018 will set up nations with a good seed for their first qualification attempt at the 2019 World Surfing Games. The top ranked male and female from the Oceania Region at the 2019 event will qualify for Tokyo 2020.
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. The selections will then need to be ratified by the New Zealand Olympic Committee before being confirmed.