Bay of Plenty surfers Anna Brock and Tao Mouldey are being rewarded for a dominant domestic season, after being selected in the New Zealand team for the ISA World Junior surfing championships in South America later this year.
It’s the first time in a national team for 18-year-old Anna, who is in her first year of study at Otago University, after two years of disappointment – she was selected in 2021 but the world championships was cancelled because of Covid-19, while she was the non-traveling reserve last year.
“I’m really excited about finally getting the chance to represent New Zealand – it’s been a goal of mine for a few years and I’m stoked for it to finally happen,” Anna said.
The former Mount Maunganui College head girl completed a stellar New Zealand junior career by winning the New Zealand under-18 overall women’s series last month.
Tauranga Boys’ College student Tao, meanwhile, has been even more dominant, winning the New Zealand under-14 national championship title in 2021 and wrapping up his fourth consecutive national series crown last month.
The 15-year-old is hoping to build on his 17th-place finish at the junior worlds in El Salvador last year.
“I was pretty happy with my result last year and I got through a few rounds and got a lot of experience out of it,” he said.
The Bay Boardriders pair will be part of a 12-strong New Zealand team, although the exact venue and date of the junior worlds are still to be announced.
Bay Boardriders president James Jacobs said the selection was a fitting reward for two extremely hard-working, level-headed locals.
“We’re incredibly proud of both Anna and Tao and they’ll be riding with all their mates and supporters right behind them,” James said.
“It’s so cool to see our club surfers making such an impact on the national surfing scene and now on the international stage and we couldn’t ask for better ambassadors.”
Anna will be joined in the under-18 division by Australia-based Tayla Green, who won the national championship title, and Whangamata’s Pia Rogers.
Taranaki’s Kalani Louis and Spencer Rowson headline the under-18 boys, alongside Raglan’s Navryn Malone, while Alani Morse (Raglan), Leia Millar (Piha) and 12-year-old Pauanui prodigy Lola Groube complete the under-16 girls team.
Tao’s teammates in the under-16 boys’ division will be Alexis Owen (Dunedin) and Auckland’s Theo Morse.
As an IOC recognised event, New Zealand has been represented at ISA World Junior Championships since 2003 when the junior divisions were separated from the World Surfing Games.
Women: Anna Brock (Mount Maunganui), Pia Rogers (Whangamata), Tayla Green (Australia). Men: Kalani Louis (Taranaki), Navryn Malone (Raglan), Spencer Rowson (Taranaki).
Women: Alani Morse (Raglan), Leia Millar (Piha), Lola Groube (Pauanui). Men: Alexis Owen (Dunedin), Tao Mouldey (Mount Maunganui), Theo Morse (Auckland).
– Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media.