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Ahipara Greets Top Maori Surfers of Aotearoa

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The Friday night powhiri set the tone for a good day of surfing on Northland’s famed point breaks today (Saturday 22nd October) where the country’s top Maori surfers pushed through their preliminary rounds at the Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles.

The event went mobile around the points of Shipwreck Bay to the Mokorau Point for the day where surfers enjoyed an awesome day at the beach despite the easterly winds creating a side chop across the strong 1.0m waves.

After a delayed start to the day, allowing for the full tide to recede, the rangatahi got the day under way before the Open Men’s Division and senior men’s divisions were contested.

Waihi Beach surfer Levi Stewart (Ngati Awa) surfed to the single highest wave score of the day posting a 9.17 out of a possible 10 points to win his opening heat and progress alongside Nga Puhi surfer Te Kauwhata Kauwhata.  The two surfers set up a good semifinal match up with Chad Dowsett (Ngati Awa) and Jai Wallis (Nga Puhi), Wallis a standout in both the Open Men’s Division and Under 18 Boys Division.

The second semifinal is stacked with contrasts as ex National Champion Chris Malone (Mahaki) and ex World Tour surfer Ricardo Christie (Nga Puhi) go up against young blood in Malone’s son, Navryn Malone and Ngati Porou surfer Will Hardie, both surfers still under the age of 18.

Christchurch’s Roberts brothers (Nga Tahu) won their heats in the Under 18 Boys Division joining Wallis, Malone and winner of the final heat Rakiatea Tau.

In the senior men’s divisions, standouts included local surfer Adam Bowmar (Taranaki) and Simon Jones (Mnt) who won their heads alongside Chris Malone.

The Kiwi brothers Mike and Darren (Ngai Te Rangi) dominated the Over 45 Men’s Division moving through to the semifinals.

The only female surfers to enter the water were the Under 14 Girls Division where Te Atiawa surfer Indi-Lee Ruddell convincingly moved through to the final to set up a title defence.  Ruddell faces Grace Gundry (Te Rawara), Kyra Wallis (Nga Puhi) and first-time-competitor Leila Te Amorangi Steward.

Conditions are expected to be good on Sunday with a decrease in swell size and offshore winds turning light variable in the afternoon.  The decrease in swell will enforce a venue change to the Bluff for the final day of the event.  Note: No cell phone reception is available at the Bluff and live scoring will be offline.

The full draw, results and schedule can be viewed at https://liveheats.com/events/44861.

The Maori Titles has a unique feel to it with a mix of top New Zealand surfers as well as many who focus their attention on Labour Weekend as the only occasion they pull on a coloured jersey in competition.

Divisions range from Under 14 Boys and Girls through to Over 45 Men and Women plus Longboarding and Stand Up Paddleboarding.  Whanau and friends attend the event as a celebration of surfing with the Friday evening powhiri setting the kaupapa for the long weekend.

For more information on the 2022 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles, please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution images will be available to media upon request. Images will be distributed free of charge.

The 2022 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles would not be possible without support from Northland Inc, Te Rarawa Kaiwhare, Surfline and Surfing New Zealand.

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