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Stairmand, Vette selected for Olympics

Updated: May 7

Billy Stairmand and Saffi Vette have been selected for the 2024 Olympics in surfing
Surfer Saffi Vette has been confirmed for the 2024 Olympics along with Billy Stairmand PHOTO: PABLO FRANCO/SURFING NZ

Raglan’s Billy Stairmand and Gisborne’s Saffi Vette have been named to the New Zealand Team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.


The surfers have just spent two weeks training at the Olympic venue of Teahupoʻo in Tahiti, which is regarded as one of the most epic reef breaks in the world.


“The wave itself is intense,” said Stairmand.


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“It’s short and sharp and really critical, there’s no room for errors but I learnt so much on my last trip over there, I got some amazing barrels and became way more comfortable and confident in that lineup.”


Paris will be the second Olympic Games for eight-time National Champion Stairmand, while it will be the debut of Vette who recently secured a place on the coveted World Surf League Challenger Series, alongside some of the best surfers in the world.


Eight-time national champ Billy Stairmand will surf at the 2024 Olympics
Billy Stairmand will compete at his second Olympics. PHOTO: PABLO FRANCO/SURFING NZ

“It’s a dream come true,” said Vette.


“I watched the Olympics growing up but never thought surfing would be involved. It’s a huge opportunity to be amongst so many amazing athletes and it’s a pretty massive achievement for a girl from Gisborne.”


“It’s unbelievable to be going to my second Olympics, I’m super proud,” added Stairmand.


“I’m stoked to be representing New Zealand again and I know I can do something special over there.”


For Vette the accomplishment is particularly meaningful. The 22-year-old lost her father Andrew Vette in 2020. She says he was the driving force behind her surfing.


“Dad introduced me to surfing and I’m so grateful for that.


“I want to work hard for something that he’s given me, this opportunity to excel in a sport that I love. I also want to thank my mum as well, she’s always been amazing and has really helped me to keep the dream alive these past few years. I wouldn’t be where I am without them and without the community I’ve had around me.”


They secured their Olympic spots with strong performances at the 2023 International Surfing Association World Games in El Salvador. 


The Olympic surfing competition will take place over four days in a nine day swell window, from 27th of July to 4th of August. 

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