World’s best watermen to descend on New Zealand for ultimate multi-disciplined surfing event.
The world’s ultimate watermen will be put to the test in the toughest all-round water conditions that can be thrown at them around New Zealand over eight consecutive days.
The Ultimate Waterman is a new and unique international surfing event that will be hosted in Auckland, New Zealand but will venture to where the best conditions are on offer – whether that is huge waves for tow-in-surfing at the bottom of the South Island or calmer conditions at Takapuna for stand up paddleboarding (SUP).
The event, to be held on March 14-21, 2015, was launched today by Surfing New Zealand.
The New Zealand-based global surfing event is by ‘invitation only’ for just eight athletes, who will compete in six different surfing disciplines over eight days.
The six disciplines are shortboard surfing, longboard surfing, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) endurance and SUP surfing, waka-ama endurance and tow-in surfing.
Event creator and Surfing New Zealand chief executive Greg Townsend said athletes and challengers already confirmed for The Ultimate Waterman include New Zealand’s Daniel Kereopa along with international legends Kai Lenny (Hawaii), Manoa Drollet (Tahiti), Mark Visser (Australia) and Danny Ching (USA).
Three further competitors will be added over the next month, including two
women, for what Townsend says will be a participation, spectator and global broadcast sensation that will draw a huge local and international audience and will showcase Auckland and New Zealand’s stunning landscape to the world.
Townsend says having the best being put to the challenge in New Zealand is a significant international coup and “all eyes will be on New Zealand to see the likes of Daniel, Kai and Mark battle it out.”
“This unique, exciting event will drive water sport participation and create a powerful, lasting legacy for the whole country.”
It is expected that the event will reach over 50 million people via social media channels and deliver world-class content to a massive global audience. It will also provide an opportunity for Auckland and New Zealand to be at the focal point of international media.
Laird Hamilton from Hawaii is considered by many as the Ultimate Waterman and one of the most recognisable figures in world surfing. He is a pioneer of
foil-boarding and stand up paddle surfing, is a legendary all-round waterman, fearless big wave charger and actor.
“The Ultimate Waterman is going to be humble and versatile, very complex
person, with the capacity to do a huge array of disciplines and ultimately to be one of the greatest athletes in the world,” Laird Hamilton.
Surfing New Zealand’s The Ultimate Waterman event is a partnership involving the New Zealand Government, Auckland Tourism Events & Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council and Red Bull.
Red Bull is a key component of this event as the international media partner, bringing production experience, global distribution capacity and an action sport perspective to the table.
Red Bull will create a half to one hour TV show about the event – to be screened domestically and internationally – where the Ultimate Waterman will be crowned, and will produce other content before, during and after the event that will generate significant national and global media coverage.
Townsend says The Ultimate Waterman will be a truly mobile event, with locations around New Zealand selected on the day for optimal weather, wind and swell conditions.
Using forecasting by meteorologists and local experts, event officials will be able to determine where the best conditions are for each discipline on any given day.
The Watermen, event and media crew will then drive or fly from Auckland to
each selected discipline location, adopting a “guerrilla-like” approach with high intensity, flexibility and maneuverability.
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, the ‘reality TV’ type coverage of the travel and interaction between the athletes, stunning Auckland and New Zealand destination and lifestyle and the world class surfing footage itself.
The public will also have the opportunity to join the action, with mass participation events for national and international competitors taking place in the waka ama and stand up paddleboard disciplines at Takapuna Beach on March 14.
The Waterman Central headquarters will be located at Mission Bay on Auckland’s stunning waterfront. This will be the epicentre for the event where daily media activity, athlete appearances and signing sessions will take place. It will also function as a logistics, planning and media centre. Waterman Central will also host TUW expo, which will include sponsor activation, environment, culture and heritage displays, water safety education programmes, SUP lessons, live music, guest speakers, big screens, interactive activities and tourism destination information.
The platform is set for this event to become an annual global extreme sports sensation based here in New Zealand.
For more information on the Ultimate Waterman event please contact.
For ongoing updates www.theultimatewaterman.com