And we’re talking about a surfing competition here…. However, we are also talking about a juvenile competition so perhaps that makes a difference? Juvenile being under-18’s. In this particular case we are talking about the ISA Quiksilver Juvenile Surfing Championships in New Zealand. But what about everyone else?!
Interesting combination the New Zealanders – well at least today has been interesting from a news point of view: first they publicly photograph and name their most famous soldier in action in Afghanistan – almost definitely to the detriment of his safety, and yet they proclaim a total ban on alcohol for a sport renowned for its laid-back-ness and total cool factor. Hmmmm…… Is there an anomoly here?
But back to the extreme sport we are meant to be talking about and not the extremeness of a country’s reporting quirks…
The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, an Olympic style event, is the biggest annual surfing event in the world for Under 18 surfers, considering the surfing level, amount of competitors and participating countries. This is the pinnacle of the juvenile career of every junior surfer around the planet.
The 21 participating countries in New Zealand 2010 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Fiji, France, Great Britain, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Tahiti, United States of America, and Vanuatu.
This is the first time it has been held in the Australasia region. New Zealand being a natural choice because of its coastline packed with consistent waves.
It is reported that police are stepping up their presence for the championships at Piha Beach, west of Auckland, to ensure the event is trouble free and enjoyable for everyone.
The championships started on Thursday and up to 15,000 people are expected to crowd south Piha during the week long event.
“The primary focus of police will be on enforcement and compliance of the 24 hour liquor ban that is already in existence, the increased traffic flows to and from Piha, a zero tolerance to speeding driver behaviours, and merging with the daily crowds,” they say.
Officers from throughout the Waitemata and the Auckland police districts plus highway patrol, traffic alcohol group and team policing units will be on duty.
Piha Beach is a great location as it is considered to be one of Auckland’s most adventurous playgrounds for keen surfers. It was the birthplace of New Zealand board riding in 1958, and has been the scene of both New Zealand national and international surfing championship competitions.
However, it is a dangerous coast, the rip currents along this section of coast are very unpredictable and can shift with little warning, but the surf is relatively predictable and the life-savers very good at their jobs! Obviously they are not imbibing alcohol when on duty!
Tut-tut… I must be serious…
I am able to report that there was plenty of swell about for the first day of surfing, although it was a bit crumbly… possibly due to too many mixes and not enough spirit?
Enough, enough. Good luck everyone. Hope you have fun.