The event, which kicked off on Saturday, saw the local surfing “queen’’ recording low points in the women’s round one competition. That meant her relegation to the repechage rounds.
Piho finished second in the opening repechage before dropping out of the mix with a fourth-place finish in the round two repechage against surfers from France, Argentina and Puerto Rico.
Despite the unfavourable finish, Piho, who became the first Cook Islander to represent the country at the SUP Surfing World Championships, spoke about the development of surfing and SUP in the Cook Islands.
Earlier this year, the country joined the International Surfing Association as the 99th member, reigniting the development of the sport here.
“To be the first athlete to represent the Cook Islands in an ISA World Championship is truly a huge honour,” Piho said.
“I hope this encourages other Cook Islanders to represent our country at an international level.”
Surfing Cook Islands president Falakiko Drollett is hoping their membership with the ISA will open doors for local surfers to international events.
“There are many other bodies and international tours where we need to build relationships with to ensure the opportunities are available for Cook Islanders and that it is Cook Islanders flying our flag,” Drollet said earlier.
Vice-president Rene Hand said Surfing Cook Islands was all about supporting a fellow Cookie should they want to take a step and test the waters at the international level.
“We have a lot of talent both past present and future, and our association is here to help support our members and intending members should they wish to take the plunge.”
- Rashneel Kumar