Greg Townsend: he served as CEO of Surfing New Zealand for 23 years | Photo: Sport New Zealand

Greg Townsend will step down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Surfing New Zealand on July 27, 2018.

The longest-running CEO of any national sports organization in New Zealand dedicated 23 years of his life to Surfing NZ.

Townsend brought new competitive opportunities to the surfing community in the form of the NZ Junior Series, Pro Surfing Tour, and the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour.

GT, as he is known in the national surfing community, will now focus his time and expertise on The Ultimate Waterman, the international multi-discipline wave riding event.

The event will be based in Hawaii from 2019 and has been set up by Townsend to continue to provide an income to Surfing NZ.

"As a passionate surfer, I could not have asked for a better job and feel proud that I have stayed true to surfing throughout," said Greg Townsend.

"My role has always been about creating opportunities and stepping stones to the world stage. I have helped lay the foundation, and now I just want to see the organization keep growing, especially as it heads into a new era as an Olympic sport from 2020."

Townsend also helped Surfing NZ receive accolades and recognition, including the 2013 Water Safety NZ Awareness Award and the 2016 NZ Sport and Recreation Innovation Excellence Award for The Ultimate Waterman.

Under his leadership, Greg nurtured home-grown surfers like Maz and Jay Quinn, Paige Hareb, Richard Christie, Daniel Kereopa, Billy Stairmand, Sarah Mason and Ella Williams to be competitive on the world stage.

Greg Townsend will continue to support the national governing body as a mentor, life member, and supporter.

The new CEO of Surfing New Zealand has not yet been announced.

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