The Ultimate Waterman, which took the world by storm for the first time in 2015, will return with support from New Zealand Major Events (NZME).
The Government, through the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF), will invest up to 1.2 million dollars over three years in this locally-developed surfing event to be contested from 12-20 March, 2016 in Auckland and throughout New Zealand.
Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce made the announcement this morning in Auckland during a training session for 2015 Ultimate Waterman champion and New Zealander Daniel Kereopa of Raglan.
Devorah Blumberg of New Zealand Major Events, within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), says that The Ultimate Waterman is an example of an innovative home-grown event which will showcase New Zealand to the world.
“We expect The Ultimate Waterman to generate significant immediate and long-term benefits for New Zealand and have positive effects on New Zealand’s reputation as a world class event destination,” says Mrs Blumberg.
Greg Townsend, chief executive of The Ultimate Waterman and Surfing New Zealand, says this is the largest ever investment by the NZ government into a New Zealand-owned surfing event.
“This speaks volumes for the opportunity The Ultimate Waterman presents for Auckland and New Zealand internationally and the sport of surfing. We’re excited to be able to deliver an even more successful event in 2016 and beyond,” says Townsend, who is also the creator of the event.
The Ultimate Waterman also receives sponsorship from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown says The Ultimate Waterman is a superb showcase for Auckland’s coastlines and active, on-water lifestyle.
Plans for 2016 include the introduction of two new surfing disciplines – the “Underwater Strength Run and Swim” and “Prone Paddleboard” race – taking the number of disciplines athletes will compete in to eight.
Source: Surfing NZ