Kai Lenny: Hawaiian waterman | Photo: Scott/TUW

The government of New Zealand will invest up to 1.2 million dollars in the Ultimate Waterman over three years.

The event puts a group of wave riders competing in eight different surfing disciplines over ten days. The 2016 edition will run between March 12th-20th, in Auckland and throughout New Zealand.

The organization added two new categories: the "Underwater Strength Run and Swim" and the "Prone Paddleboard" race. New Zealander Daniel Kereopa won the inaugural edition.

"The skill, strength and spirit needed to win this coveted title has been increased. The 2016 competition is all about taking it to the next level - casting our net wider with the athletes we invite, increasing competition intensity and throwing all the toughest surfing conditions that New Zealand has to offer at them," says Greg Townsend, CEO at Surfing New Zealand.

The world's finest watermen will return to the land of the Maori. Connor Baxter, Mark Visser, Kala Alexander, Danny Ching, Manoa Drollet, Georges Cronsteadt, Caio Vaz and Kereopa have already been confirmed.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved surfing's qualification system for the Tokyo 2020.

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