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The Ultimate Waterman is a unique multi-discipline water-based competition to find the world’s best all-round waterman. Eight of the world’s finest watermen will come together to compete in eight different surfing disciplines over nine days.
Date: 31st March - 9th April 2017
Website: The Ultimate Waterman
The 2017 event will be held in Southland in some of the most iconic stretches of coastline in New Zealand. The invitation-only contest will seek out the best conditions the Southland region has to offer, to create an exciting event that will test the competitor’s skill, strength and spirit in some of the planet’s most stunning coastline.
The eight world-class competitors will gather from around the globe to tackle the rugged, unpredictable conditions of the Southland and Catlins coasts, and Fiordland, to contest the eight disciplines (shortboard surfing, longboard surfing, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) endurance and SUP surfing, waka-ama endurance, tow-in surfing, prone paddleboard and underwater strength run and swim).
The 2017 athletes are:
Zane Schweitzer (Hawaii)
Caio Vaz (Brazil)
Connor Baxter (Hawaii)
Manoa Drollet (Tahiti)
Daniel Kereopa (NZ)
Jackson Maynard (Australia)
Chuck Glynn (USA)
Carlos ‘Coco’ Nogales (Mexico)
TUW will be a mobile event, with locations around Southland selected on the day for the optimal weather, wind and swell conditions. Using meteorologists and local experts to forecast these conditions, event officials will determine where the best conditions for each discipline will be on any given day. The Watermen and event crew will then drive or fly, either by plane or helicopter from the event hub in Southland to each selected discipline location, adopting a “guerrilla-like” approach with high intensity, flexibility and maneuverability.
Red Bull Media House will produce 5 x 10-minute host driven shows that will play on Red Bull TV from April 6-10. These shows will recap the event, Southland, NZ and showcase the personalities and disciplines involved. They will capture all facets of this unique event – the sporting challenge, the skills of the competitors, tourism, culture, education and the environment. The shows will be put on Red Bull TV’s daily Bullet Points show, plus its social pages and YouTube channel (which has about 4 million subscribers). In addition, daily clips will be produced for all social media platforms. The guerrilla-style nature of the event will make for great TV, with features that include a daily press conference to talk through the weather conditions and where the athletes will be heading next, and footage of Southland’s stunning destination and lifestyle, plus its world-class surfing opportunities.
The event hub (Waterman Central) will be located at Queen’s Park in Invercargill. It will be the high profile epi-centre of the event and host daily media activity, athlete appearances and signing sessions, and act as the fan base. It will also function as a logistics, planning and media centre with daily press conferences, recaps on previous day’s competition, and meteorological planning and programme development for the days ahead.
Waterman Central will also host TUW expo with environmental, culture and heritage displays, sponsor displays, music, guest speakers, big screens, interactive activities, tourism destination information etc.
The event will also include a public participation day for national and international competitors and spectator engagement opportunities that will run alongside the elite athlete Ultimate Waterman competition. The public will have the opportunity to both watch and join the action during the Ultimate Paddle Day for national and international competitors at Riverton Beach on April 9 with outrigger (waka ama), stand up paddle boarding, surf ski and prone paddleboarding competitions. A Have a Go (HAG) Day will be run in conjunction with the Ultimate Paddle Day to include surfing, waka ama and SUP. The HAG Day is a great opportunity for the community to experience surfing, waka ama and SUP within a fun and safe environment. It is also a great opportunity for the public to find out more about the sports, and learn life-long beach and water safety skills.
The Ultimate Waterman is teaming up with Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand to put on a surf experience for a number of New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis on April 9. The eight Ultimate Waterman athletes will take them out in the water, harnessing the healing powers of the ocean and the excitement of trying surfing for the first time to bring a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the participants and their families.
The platform is set for this event to become a global extreme sports sensation that delivers a unique combination of destination Invercargill/Southland/New Zealand tourism outcomes and direct engagement opportunities through the mass participation events, exhibition events and LIVE site, and the media profile created by hosting a unique global sporting event.