Sharpeye teamrider Billy Stairmand is on cloud nine after earning a qualification spot at the Tokyo Olympics next year following a dramatic day of competition at the ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan.
Stairmand surfed an astonishing five heats last Friday to secure his position in Tokyo, beating out fellow Kiwi Kehu Butler to claim the qualification spot.
This year’s ISA event was the first opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games surfing debut, with the top male and female surfer from each continent inside the top 30 overall earning a continental qualification spot. Stairmand will be the second Kiwi surfer at the Olympics, after Ella Williams claimed the women’s Oceania slot earlier in the week.
“I didn’t want to know anything about the Olympics stuff, and I didn’t go on the internet or anything,” Stairmand said afterwards.
“I just wanted to keep making heats and worry about it later. People were asking and interviewers were saying things, but I just had my head down and did my job. But now I am pretty freaking stoked, aye. I honestly can’t believe it. It’s been a huge day and I’m still trying to wind down. This is a dream come true and I cannot wait for the future. But, I still have a job to do and that is to finish this completion strong.”
“I’m so tuckered out. A long day at the beach and I surfed five heats, giving it my all in every single one,” Stairmand offers.
“I knew it was gonna be a big day so I was prepared with food and lots of water,” he reveals. “Every heat I’d make I’d have to forget about it then focus on the next one. To be honest it’s all kind of a blur except for the last heat. That one was the one I really wanted to win. I was telling myself, one more, just one more, and it happened.”
Our Billy will be one of just 20 surfers in the men's competition at next year's Olympic Games and we are stoked to see him advance so far in his surfing career. Due to his terrific results at the ISA on Friday, Billy Stairmand is now well and truly in the frames for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Want to know what surfboard model Billy was riding this weekend to secure his win? It is the Disco Inferno, you can learn more about it here.
Additionally, we’re proud to mention Sharpeye teamrider Silvana Lima took silver in the women’s event at the World Surfing Games and has also earned a qualification spot. As well as Japan’s Shun Murakami, who came in 4th place and performing strong on his Sharpeye Surfboard.
Take a look at our range of pro surfing models here.