Vanuatu surfers Zaridah Taleo in the girls U18 division alongside Sera John in the open category have booked their spots in the semi-finals of the Oceania Surfing Championships which is currently underway in Samoa.

The semi-finals will be held today.

The U18 boys and the open category have fallen short of the semi-final spot however the U18 girls and open category have progressed further.

Vanuatu Surfing Association posted on facebook yesterday stated;”the competition has been gruelling here in Samoa and our Opens and U18 boys have just fallen shy of the semi-Finals.

“Our girls Zaridah Taleo (U18) and Sera John (open) however are through to the semis tomorrow with New Zealand and Juraki (Australia).”

The federation was proud of the duo’s performances. “We are very proud of their performance.”

Before departure the surfing team were farewelled by Minister for Youth Development and Sports Francois Chani reminded the athletes that he would be expecting some medals upon their return.

”My Ministry and indeed the Vanuatu Government wish Team Vanuatu the very best and I look forward to them coming back home with some medals.{p class=”x_MsoNormal”}”Surfing is one of the fastest growing sports in Vanuatu and we support is strong growth and governance and will look to support it’s inclusion in future Pacific Games,” Mr Chani said.

Oceania Surfing Federation President, Carl Probert is encouraged with the headway made in getting the first Oceania Cup up and running since 2007.

“This year’s event is one of the first steps in the development of surfing in the region and has been a focus for the Oceania Surfing Federation. We thank the Samoan Surfing Association for their efforts in making sure the event takes place in 2019” said Probert.

“It is important that we bring the Oceania nations together to participate and show that there is a pathway for our young surfers. Running the Oceania Cup and growing the event over the next few years will put surfing in a good position to be included in the sports programme for the Pacific Games being held in the Solomon Islands in 2023.”

The event includes several young up and coming surfers that have competed in recent International Surfing Association World Junior Championships.

New Zealand representatives Tom Butland and Georgia Wederell were two surfers that attended the most recent World Junior Championship held last month in California.

The Australian Indigenous Team comprises among others, three members of the Slabb family – Joel, Josh and Jalaan. Josh competed in the 1998 edition of the Oceania Cup held in Fiji.