Daniel Kereopa prepares to defend Ultimate Waterman title

By Rahia Timutimu
Daniel Kereopa invted to Ultimate Waterman 2016 - Photo / file

Two new sports will be seen at the second ever Ultimate Waterman competition, after the first competition this year was won by Māori surfer, Daniel Kereopa.

The Ultimate Waterman is a search to find the world’s best all round waterman.  It's an invite only contest, which attracts the best watermen from around the world that competed in six disciplines this year.

After winning the latest competition, Kereopa has had a strong focus on his health.  Just yesterday he returned to the water following surgery on his ears seven weeks ago.

He explains, “I needed to get surgery on my ears, I had a bone growth called "Surfer's Ear", there was a bone that grew over both of my ear canals, so it made me deaf.  Now my balance is much better, I can hear things and feel things.”

There has been a few changes to the competition as well, it was just announced today that the Ultimate Waterman competition will receive $1.2m in government funding.

The funding, supplied by the Ministry of Economic Development's Major Events Development Fund, means it will remain in New Zealand for the next three years.

Next year’s event will also see the inclusion of two new disciplines; Prone Paddle boarding and Underwater Strength Running & Swimming.

There has also been a few invites sent to other top waterman around the world, including Brazilian Caio Vaz, who is the current World Stand Up Paddle champion.

The competition will be held in March next year.