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Eight Titles Spread Across the Regions at Surfing Championships

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Eight early titles were spread out amongst surfers from around the regions today (Thursday 10th January) as the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships nears a conclusion in Taranaki.


Titles went to surfers from Taranaki, Raglan, Auckland and Gisborne with participants contesting clean 1.5m waves fanned by strong cross-offshore winds at Arawhata Road north of Opunake.


A further fourteen titles are set to be awarded across the next two days including the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions.


The first of the senior men’s finals were contested and it was perennial favourite John Gisby (Gis) that stormed to a 17.66 point heat total to defend his Over 60s crown and claim a record 36th title overall.


Gisby’s grip on the title meant it was a fight for the minor placings and local surfer Brian Clark emerged as the front runner to finish second ahead of Rupert Newbold (Whanagrei) and Michael Gray (Orewa) in fourth.


Phil Wallis (Piha) jumped to an early lead in the Over 55 Men’s Division and held on for the remainder of the final for the victory.  Wallis finished with a 13.7 point heat total outpointing Phil Griffin (Mnt), Geoff Hutchison (Rag) and Michi Jungwirth (Rag) who finished second through fourth.


The Stand Up Paddleboard Divisions came down to a battle of the New Zealand representatives with Jamie Andrews (Tara) and Stella Smith (Gis) winning titles over teammates Sean Hovell (Gis) and Lucy Te Moananui (Kaik) who both finished in second place.


It was Andrews’ first national title after going close at the event in 2018.  This time he left nothing to chance posting a 17.74 heat total.  Smith also looked unstoppable posting a 14.8 point heat total.


Two titles were awarded in the junior divisions with the finals of the Under 14 Boys and Girls contested.  Navryn Malone (Rag) claimed the Boys Division while Australian based Amarnie Barber claimed the Girls Division.  Malone was the standout surfer in the final running away with a 14.8 point heat total to finish ahead of Ryder Pennington (Tara), Tai Erceg – Gray (Whangarei) and Tigher West – Hill (Gis) who finished in second through fourth in that order.


The girls final was a little different with Barber getting her win by way of Ava Henderson (Chch) making a priority error which saw her finish runner up over Anna Brock (Mnt) in third and Asia Braithwaite (Gis) in fourth.


Two longboard titles were awarded to Auckland surfers Gabriella Paul (Piha) in the Open Women’s Division and Nat Fitt in the Junior Longboard.  Paul’s performance was exceptional throughout the day finishing runner up in the Junior Longboard and also advancing to the final of the Under 18 Girls Division final.


Friday (January 11th) is the penultimate day of the event which will comprise a number of quarterfinals, semifinals and some finals.  The surf is expected to build slightly throughout the day with westerly winds.

See below for results from day five of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships held at Arawhata Road, Opunake today (Thursday 10th January).

Under 14 Boys Final
Navryn Malone (Rag), 14.8, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 10.4, 2, Tai Erceg-Gray (Whngrei), 9.16, 3, Tiger West-Hill (Gis), 3.73, 4

Under 14 Girls Final
Amarnie Barber (Aus), 9.46, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 7.17, 2, Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 3.83, 4, Anna Brock (Mnt), 5.37, 3

Men’s Longboard Round 1
Heat 1

Michael Grendon (Tara), 15.5, 1, Paul Culpan (Auck) , 10.5, 2, Rupert Newbold (Ocean Beach), 6.1, 3, Phil Bonham (Auck), 4.27, 4
Heat 2
Zen Wallis (Piha), 15.6, 1, Glen Johnson (Auck), 11.9, 2, Jamie Andrews (Tara), 10.8, 3, Mark Hoyle (Orewa), 10.7, 4
Heat 3
Natt Fitt (Auck), 11.7, 1, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck) , 10.2, 2, Dylan Vujcich (Hbay), 7.83, 3, Paul Moretti (Mur), N/S, 0

Men’s Longboard Semifinals
Heat 1

Paul Culpan (Auck), 14.77, 1, Glen Johnson (Auck), 12.4, 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 12.06, 3
Heat 2
Michael Grendon (Tara), 14.97, 1, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck) , 14.6, 2, Natt Fitt (Auck), 11.6, 3

Women’s Longboard Semifinals
Heat 1

Gabi Paul (Piha), 15.3, 1, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 11.7, 2, Donna Henderson (Chch), 8.23, 3, Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 4.07, 4
Heat 2
Sasha Brownlie (Auck), 7.57, 1, Jo Moore (Tara), 4.87, 2, Lucy Te Moananui (Kaik), 3.1, 3, Margurite Vujcich (Hbay), 2.23, 4

Women’s Longboard Division Final
Gabi Paul (Piha), 12.34, 1, Jo Moore (Tara), 9.94, 2, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 7.24, 3, Sasha Brownlie (Auck) , 5.37, 4

Junior Longboard Semifinals
Heat 1

Nat Fitt (Auck), 14.44, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 12.33, 2, James Millar (Chch), 8.97, 3, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 4.77, 4
Heat 2
Dylan Vujcich (Hbay), 11.73, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 9.67, 2, Jai Wallis (Piha), 5.93, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), N/S

Junior Longboard Final
Nat Fitt (Auck), 17.83, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 12, 2, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 9.53, 3, Dylan Vujcich (Hbay), 9.5, 4

Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard Semifinals
Heat 1

Jamie Andrews (Tara), 18.4, 1, Sean Hovell (Gis), 15.9, 2, Steev Peyroux (Dun), 11.5, 3, Gavin Horton (Tara), 6.6, 4
Heat 2
Geoff Pardoe (Gis), 13.1, 1, Jamie Scott (Whangarei), 11.9, 2, Sam Loader (Chch), 8.5, 3, Alan Te Moananui (Kaik), 7, 4

Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard Division Final
Jamie Andrews (Tara), 17.74, 1, Sean Hovell (Gis) , 14.06, 2, Geoff Pardoe (Gis), 11.37, 3, Jamie Scott (Whangarei), 10.6, 4

Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard Final
Stella Smith (Gis), 14.84, 1, Lucy Te Moananui (Kaik), 8.57, 2, Josephine Moore (Tara), 4.5, 3, Amelie Wink (Chch), 3.14, 4

The longest running surfing event in New Zealand takes place over seven days from January 6-12 along the Taranaki Coastline.  The event was last contested in the Taranaki region in 2007 and has been held in the region on nine other occasions.  This year’s edition is being hosted by Oakura Boardriders Club.

In the 55 year history of the event the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships has grown to encompass 29 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups making for a largely inclusive event, filled with high level surfing as well as good times in and out of the water.  Over 330 entries have been received for the event.

The Health 2000 National Surfing Championships forms the first leg of the 2019 New Zealand Surf Series which in turn provides a vital pathway toward the ISA World Surfing Games, a key Olympic qualification event in 2019.

Below is the schedule of events taking place with surfing being held from approx. 8am – 4pm daily.

Day 1 – Open Men, Junior Boys divisions
Day 2 – Addition of Women’s divisions
Day 3 – Addition of Men’s senior age group divisions
Day 4 – Addition of Longboard divisions
Day 5 – Addition of SUP and Bodyboard Divisions
Day 6 – Addition of Kneeboard
Day 7 – All divisions

Further Information
For further information on the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships 2019 please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Event Hotline

The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506.  This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.

Social Media
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  Use the hash tag #H2KNats2019 to follow the story.

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