The New Zealand Surfing Team have climbed up to eighth at the INS ISA World Surfing Games with three days remaining at the event being held at Jaco Beach Costa Rica.
Day five performances yesterday were highlighted by Ella Williams (WGM) continuing her run in the main event of the Women's Division while Matt Hewitt (Mount Maunganui) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) hammered home two progressions in the Men's Repechage.
Hewitt progressed through two heats and left his run until the last wave of the heat to advance alongside Masatoshi Ono (JPN). Hewitt posted a 10.13 point heat total in that heat after posting an 11.94 point heat total to advance out of his morning heat.
Hewitt will face off against Shane Sykes (RSA), Dimitre Ouvre (FRA) and Dylan Southworth (MEX) in the next round.
The team's youngest member Raiha Ensor (Mount Maunganui) suffered a third round exit from the event today ousted by Brittani Nicholl (AUS) and Tanika Hoffman (RSA).
The 16-year-old Ensor placed 22nd overall and would have gained invaluable experience before she attends the World Junior Championships in the Azores Islands off Portugal in September.
The forecasted new swell has not arrived in Costa Rica with surfers having to contend with small 1.0m waves and light onshore breezes on day five of the event.
Ella Williams enjoyed the good early morning conditions in her third round match up where she took a comfortable win over her opponents from Portugal, Costa Rica and Argentina.
Williams posted a 12.66 point heat total, her top two rides being the first she surfed in the heat.
Williams is now potentially two heats away from the final of the event and will contest her next match up against Dominic Barona (ECU) and Teresa Bonvalot (POR) early on Sunday morning for a chance to reach the semifinals.
"I am so happy to progress through today. Our team has been surfing so well and I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much talent and an all-round great team" commented Williams.
Billy Stairmand (Rag) held on to the tightest of progressions in his final heat of the day. Stairmand held the lead for much of the 20 minutes after getting a pair of five point rides.
He then patiently held priority and waited for better waves but slipped back to third place. In the last minute of the heat he surfed to a 5.23, enough to oust American Kevin Schulz by 0.22.