This week John O’Neill, Komosion’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of Surfing NSW, is at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro at Manly.

Competing surfers have paid their respects to the victims of the Christchurch terror attack and shown support for the people of New Zealand with an emotional paddle-out and message of ‘Kia Kaha’.

New Zealand surfers Billy Stairmand and Ella Williams led a group of more than 30 international and local surfers beyond the breaking waves where they formed a circle around floral wreaths. Speaking to the group in the water, Stairmand paid respect to the victims of the horrendous attack and expressed support for the families affected and the people of New Zealand, generating a teary response from many in the circle. “It’s so hard being far away at a time like this, but we are all thinking of everyone back home,” said Stairmand.

A moment’s silence followed as the surfers sat on their boards with heads bowed and people watched solemnly from the beach in light rain. At the end of the silence, the circle of boardriders splashed the water and threw flowers into the air.