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Tayla Green Heads into Final Day of World Junior Championships Chasing a Podium Finish

Friday 1 December 2023, 1:50PM

By Surfing New Zealand Inc

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Tayla Green.
Tayla Green. Credit: ISA / Barboza

The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team heads into the final day of the World Junior Championships with one team member vying for a podium finish amongst the best young surfers in the world.

Tayla Green progressed out of today’s (Thursday 30th November) match ups to advance through to the final twelve surfers in the Under 18 Girls Division.  Four of her teammates finished their run at the event posting personal best results at the event.

The overall team performance sees the team vying for a top ten finish despite dropping three places overnight to twelfth.

Day 6 was held in small waves under the 1.0m mark with the full tides again putting a halt on proceedings midway through the day at Praia Da Macumba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Green faced off against fellow teammate Pia Rogers (WGM) in their fourth round heat with Rogers holding the upper hand until the dying stages, sitting in second position behind the Spanish surfer.  However, it was Green that got the final 5.6 point ride to leap frog Rogers and advance.

“It was definitely was another day of tough conditions, I had the wobbles on my first few waves in the heat, I ended up siting away from the other girls and a wider set came through at the end and managed to secure the score I needed,” said Green of her 5.6 point ride, the highest of the heat.

“It feels nice to be into finals day of the competition, my focus will be on staying composed and taking it heat-by-heat, maintaining the same pre heat lead up, then executing,” added Green of the pressure cooker situation tomorrow.

Rogers finished third in their heat and 13th overall – her best international result to date.

“I’m definitely super proud of myself but always so hard being so close to a quarterfinal finish at a world comp” said Rogers.  “Key Lessons for me is to just keep being busy in every heat and going into each heat with a good mindset,” she added noting 2024 is her final year at a junior level.

Leia Millar (Piha) found herself finishing third in her heat today and also placing 13th overall in the Under 16 Girls Division, up from 22nd in 2022.

“Overall I was happy with my performance, looking back I felt like I had a bit more to give but so many good take aways from the whole comp and I’m happy to improve from last year” said the 16 year old surfer.

“My heat today was quite slow, I managed to get a small score in the first half, but what I could’ve done differently was made sure I caught some of the better set waves to give myself a chance of a good score in the second half of the heat,” added Millar when analysing her performance.

Lola Groube (Pauanui) finished 19th in the Under 16 Girls Division.  The youngest of the Kiwi surfers at the event at only 12 years of age, Groube battled away against her opponents but came up short finishing in fourth place needing a 5.33 point ride to advance.

Spencer Rowson (Tara) was the last Kiwi boy competing today and made tough going of his heat after getting off to a slow start.  Rowson was left requiring a 6.07 point ride to advance and finished the heat in fourth place and a credible 25th place finish overall in his second international campaign.

Day 7, the final day of the event, is scheduled for a 7:30am start subject to conditions.  There is a small bump in the swell expected to complete the event. 

You can view the livestream of the event here.  There is also a single camera live stream of the second podium without commentary via www.isasurf.org.

Day 7 Schedule (all times in NZT)
Podium 1
1:30am - Under 18 Girls Round 5 – Tayla Green

Semifinals from 3:50am subject to progression.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 365 surfers from 46 nations in 2023.  The divisions contested are Under 18 and Under 16 Boys and Girls.