THE ULTIMATE WATERMAN CROWN IS DOWN TO KEREOPA AND LENNY FOLLOWING A NAIL BITER LONGBOARD DISCIPLINE AT RAGLAN
Another sizzling performance by New Zealand surfer Daniel Kereopa has seen him clinch back-to-back disciplines in The Ultimate Waterman driven by Subaru.
Kereopa won the longboard discipline yesterday evening (Thursday 19th March).
The win, in Kereopa’s double whammy discipline, awarded him 2,000 vital points and catapulted him into the lead with one discipline remaining. Kereopa entered the water today ranked seventh of eight athletes.
An early morning journey back from the South Island led the eight athletes to the long left hand point breaks of Raglan where they were greeted with clean 1.0m waves and clean conditions that were perfect for longboard surfing.
Kereopa resumed his head-to-head battle with Hawaiian Kai Lenny (HAW), the two surfers clear standouts on longboards.
Kereopa clinched the final on his last scoring ride, 9.17 out of a possible 10 points, which combined for an 18.50 point heat total. Kereopa bested Kai Lenny’s 18.07.
Lenny led for much of the final with two well executed nine point rides but it was Kereopa that stole the win with five minutes remaining in the 45 minute final. The win came in a similar manner to the stand up paddleboard discipline contested the day prior.
The result means that the final discipline, the 16km stand up paddleboard race at Mission Bay will determine the inaugural winner of The Ultimate Waterman. The race for the title is now down to two surfers – Kereopa and Lenny.
Kereopa is the only athlete with the result in his own hands. A third placing will gift him the title but anything lower than that will give the Hawaiian a chance at come from behind win.
Placing third in the final today was Australian goofy footer Mark Visser who had been waiting all event to make it to the fabled point breaks of Raglan and surf the long lefthanders. Visser and Hawaiian Connor Baxter were in a tussle for the minor placings with Visser jumping one place to fifth overall by way of today’s results.
Baxter sits in eighth place well off the pace but he has his preferred and double whammy discipline remaining which could see him climb as high as a podium finish should he go on to win the race.
The stand up paddleboard race will take place at Mission Bay, Auckland from 11:00am on Saturday 21st March giving athletes a full day of rest and recovery after an arduous week of travel the length and breadth of the country to find the best waves New Zealand has offer.
Please see below for overall points after four of the six disciplines.
1, Daniel Kereopa (NZL)*, 4,253
2, Kai Lenny (HAW)*, 3,980
3, Manoa Drollet (TAH)*, 3,666
4, Danny Ching (USA)*, 3,611
5, Mark Visser (AUS)*, 3,533
6, Georges Cronsteadt (TAH)*, 3,251
7, Kala Alexander (HAW)*, 3,101
8, Connor Baxter (HAW), 2,625
*Denotes double whammy division completed