The 2017 Ultimate Waterman has been crowned and the testing event was a huge success in the ruggedly beautiful New Zealand region of Southland.
Zane Schweitzer from Hawaii took out the title as the select group of competitors made their way around some of Southland’s best and most isolated spots.
The world’s finest watermen are invited to compete at this prestigious event to battle it out in eight different surfing disciplines over nine days. The invitation-only contest sought out the best conditions Southland had to offer, creating a unique event that tested the eight elite competitors’ skills and endurance on some of the planet’s most stunning coastlines.
The coastline came to the party and produced incredible waves and magnificent scenery. Through Red Bull TV’s coverage of The Ultimate Waterman, Southland’s stunning beaches and majestic scenery has been seen by a worldwide audience of more than one billion people.
The breathtaking Catlins area is the entrance to a wild world of natural marvels, including a petrified forest that’s more than 160 million years old. There are numerous walking tracks for visitors to explore this pristine wonderland.
Not to be missed, the walk through towering beech forest to cascading Pūrākaunui Falls reveals one of the most-photographed waterfalls in New Zealand. Nugget Point is another gem, where visitors can spot New Zealand fur seals, Hooker’s sea lions, sea elephants and rare penguins. Walk the track to the lighthouse for astonishing clifftop views by day and at night.
At the northern edge of The Catlins lies the charming coastal town of Kaka Point with its beautiful beaches and bushwalks, and further north are Taieri Mouth, Lake Waihola and the nearby Sinclair Wetlands.
Fiordland, one of the southern hemisphere’s great wilderness regions, was awarded World Heritage status in 1986 for its stunning natural features, exceptional beauty and role in demonstrating the Earth’s evolutionary history.
The region is a haven for native New Zealand birds such as tui, kea, kaka, native pigeon, bellbird, tomtit and grey warbler, and the endangered takahe.
Marine life thrives in the fiords, home to bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals, Fiordland crested and little blue penguins, and visiting whales. Scenic cruises and kayak tours explore the fiords and wildlife in its natural habitat.
The five episodes of Red Bull TV’s Ultimate Waterman series can be viewed here.
Final points table
Zane Schweitzer HAW 7250
Jackson Maynard AUS 6910
Caio Vaz BRA 6755
Connor Baxter HAW 6623
Manoa Drollet PFY 6516
Daniel Kereopa NZL 6408
Chuck Glynn USA 5528
Coco Nogales MEX 4860