Some of the world’s well renowned surfers battled it out for the 2016 Ultimate Waterman at Piha Beach. Hawaiian athlete Zane Schweitzer won the prone paddle board race after he beat out 7 of the invited contestants by 2 minutes and 36 seconds to finish a 6-kilometer course within 4 minutes and 58 seconds. Schweitzer is the most consistent surfer of the event by winning three of the seven disciplines contested.
According to Schweitzer, the race was really different for all the contestants because nobody has specialized on the discipline. At first Mark Visser from Australia was leading the pack for most of the race but Schweitzer pulled away to win the event. Danny Ching won the first event, an outrigger canoe race held at Takapuna Beach but Schweitzer has placed third on the 16-kilometer Standup Paddle Board Race that is why he was able to clinch the title over runner-up Ching.
Schweitzer has been training for the event all his life without even knowing about it however, last year he was not able to participate on the event. This year, he received a late call up a couple weeks before it started but Schweitzer was able to prove that he deserved being called. There were a lot of athletes on the event because it broadens their horizons beyond what they are used to. In fact, seven of the eight athletes have not tried out on the Dolphin Surf Craft Boards until 30 minutes of the race. They had to step out of their comfort zones and try something new.
The Ultimate Waterman is held at different locations on the country with shortboard, longboard, stand up paddle board surfing and big wave surfing disciplines among the water sports activities. Piha prone paddleboard results are as follows: Zane Schweitzer 41:58, Mark Visser 44.34, Danny Ching 45.02, Caio Vaz 45.59, Daniel Kereopa 46.01, Manoa Drollet 46.07, Connor Baxter 52.25 and Kala Alexander 57.14.
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