Australian Jamie Mitchell will line-up against the world’s best watermen in a quest to win the 2016 Ultimate Waterman title, it was announced today.
Mitchell will join eight other athletes from around the world, including fellow countryman and waterman Mark Visser, in New Zealand from the 12-20 March, 2016. They’ll compete in eight surf disciplines to decide who is the best overall waterman.
Mitchell, from the Gold Coast, says he thinks the competition is a great way to get a group of amazing athletes together and have a great time on and off the water.
“I’m looking forward to representing my country along with Mark and hopefully making Australia proud. We’re very competitive, but overall I want to enjoy the competition and celebrate what it means to be a waterman.”
Greg Townsend, chief executive of The Ultimate Waterman and Surfing New Zealand, says having an athlete like Mitchell involved will add an exciting new edge to the competition.
“The Ultimate Waterman is designed for someone like Jamie. He’s an all-rounder and a true waterman, and I believe he could be a true contender for the title,” says Townsend.
“With the addition of two new disciplines in 2016, the prone paddle board and underwater strength run and swim, this contest is truly a test for watermen with a broad range of skills.”
Mitchell has an impressive list of achievements. He’s an accomplished big and small wave surfer, tow-in surfing fanatic, champion stand up paddle boarder, professional lifeguard and long distance ocean paddler. Mitchell’s accolades include winning the U.S. Paddleboard Championships six times and the “Monster Paddle In” category at the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards. He’s clocked up ten consecutive wins at the Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race – considered to be the world championship of paddle boarding and true endurance test. In 2011 he set the fastest time in the race’s history.
The other athletes announced so far are Connor Baxter (HAW), Mark Visser (AUS), Kala Alexander (HAW), Danny Ching (USA), Manoa Drollet (PYF), Georges Cronsteadt (PYF), 2015 winner Daniel Kereopa (NZL) and Caio Vaz (BRA). One final athlete announcement will be made when confirmed.
Confirmed locations for the competition and public events are Piha, Takapuna Beach and Auckland Viaduct in Auckland. Plus, potential competition locations include Great Barrier 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. Final competition locations will be determined by where the surf conditions are best and are decided between 1-2 days prior.
Source: The Ultimate Waterman