Daniel Kereopa: meet the The Ultimate Waterman 2015 | Photo: Jim Culley

Kiwi wave rider Daniel Kereopa is The Ultimate Waterman 2015. The event invited eight athletes to compete in five different ocean disciplines, in New Zealand.

Kereopa went into the final 15-kilometer stand up paddleboard endurance race with a minimal points lead over Kai Lenny, but the home boy held his nerves and kept close to the Hawaiian.

"Up on stage I realised how many years I've put into surfing and paddling, all the hours of going out when it is real horrible, not spending time with my family and stuff and all the memories flooded back to me. I am thankful I remembered that on stage because without them I have nothing," expressed an emotional Daniel Kereopa.

"I managed to keep Kai close at the start but Connor, Danny and George powered ahead and part of me was actually excited even though I couldn't keep up as that helped my chances for the overall title."

Kereopa didn't win the waka ama and shortboard surfing divisions, but he improved his performances to claim the stand up paddleboard and longboard categories.

Connor Baxter ended up victorious in the final stand up paddleboard endurance race, and he jumped from eighth to third in the event to secure a podium finish.

The Ultimate Waterman 2015 | Final Results



1. Daniel Kereopa (NZL), 4836
2. Kai Lenny (HAW), 4650
3. Connor Baxter (HAW), 4625
4. Danny Ching (USA), 4499
5. Manoa Drollet (TAH), 4249
6. Mark Visser (AUS), 4061
7. Georges Cronsteadt (TAH), 3981
8. Kala Alexander (HAW), 3576