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Surfing siblings set their sights on Ecuador

Surfing siblings set their sights on Ecuador

Posted by Juan Gavasa on March 11, 2014

Mount Maunganui surf siblings Jonas and Elin Tawharu are off to Ecuador next month for the World Champs and need to fundraise $10,000. Surf siblings Jonas and Elin Tawharu will be pitting their skills against the big guns next month when they ride the waves at the Vissla ISA Junior World Champs in Ecuador.

The New Zealand under 16 national champions are part of a 12-strong squad which includes fellow Mount Maunganui surfers Kehu Butler, Kea Smith and Jordan Griffin. The Western Bay of Plenty is fielding the highest number of competitors per region and local surf coach and teacher Khan Butler will manage the Kiwis.

More than 250 top surfers representing 30 nations will battle it out for titles at Salinas from April 5-13. The brother and sister duo can be found most days at the beach honing their talents and have their sights set on professional careers.

Not ones to shy away from critiquing each other, they believe their rivalry has helped them progress through the ranks and notch up wins on the national circuit.

"I tell her what she is doing wrong," Jonas jokes.

The pair have put in long hours training and mum Ana Axfeldt is often called upon to video their moves. "The children are very dedicated and determined," she says. "They always want me to film them so they can watch the footage and improve their techniques and manoeuvres."

Jonas started surfing as an 11-year-old, admitting he was a late starter, but says his passion for skateboarding helped. Elin began surfing when she was nine and loves all aspects of the sport.

"It's so hard to describe. I like the freedom of being in the water and the feeling you get when you are in the barrel or catch a great wave." At the moment they are coming up with innovative ideas to raise $10,000 to fund the trip to Ecuador.

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