AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Hawaiian athlete Zane Schweitzer will contest the 2016 The Ultimate Waterman title in New Zealand this month, replacing Australian Jamie Mitchell who is injured it was announced. Zane is a born waterman who has earned a swag of international titles. He could surf since he could walk, has been windsurfing since he was nine years old and stand up paddling since he was 13. He took to the world competition stage at age 11 and has been competing ever since.
Greg Townsend, chief executive of The Ultimate Waterman and Surfing New Zealand, says Schweitzer is at the top of his game and is a strong contender for the title.
“Although he’s joined late in the piece, this won’t affect his chances. He’s the kind of athlete who naturally trains for this event as part of his day-to-day water activities,” says Townsend.
Zane finished the 2015 Stand Up World Tour second behind current world champion and fellow Ultimate Waterman competitor Caio Vaz. “This goes to show the high level of international competitors and attention the Ultimate Waterman is attracting,” says Townsend.
New Zealand will now welcome the following athletes to its shores to from March 12-20: Connor Baxter (HAW), Mark Visser (AUS), Kala Alexander (HAW), Danny Ching (USA), Manoa Drollet (PYF), 2015 winner Daniel Kereopa (NZL), Caio Vaz (BRA) and Zane Schweitzer (HAW).
Confirmed locations for the competition and public events are Piha, Takapuna Beach and Auckland Viaduct in Auckland. Other potential competition locations include Great Barrier Island in the Auckland region; Coromandel Peninsula, Gisborne and Mahia on the East Cost of the North Island; Raglan on the West Coast of the North Island; Fiordland, Dunedin (North and South coasts) and Catlins in the South Island.
Zane’s accolades and achievements include:
- 2014 SUP World Tour Pioneer Award – awarded to the SUP’per who pushes the progression of the sport all over the world
- European Cup Championship
- 3x Masters of the Ocean Championship
- US SUP Tour (waves and racing)
- SUP World Tour Sprint Champion
- Big Island of Hawaii
- SUP World Tour Abu Dhabi Champion