For immediate release
18 October 2022
From: Surfing New Zealand
Event: Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles
Dates: 22 – 23 October 2022
Location: Ahipara, Northland
Website: Surfing New Zealand
Aotearoa Maori Titles Head North Again for 2022
Te Tai Tokerau is set to host Aotearoa’s top Māori surfers this Labour Weekend with a big contingent of surfers from around the country heading north. The Aotearoa Māori Surfing Titles is being held at Ahipara with the two-day event commencing on Saturday 22nd October.
With a stacked draw and over 100 surfers, this weekend promises to be one of the highlights of the 2022 season. The lure of pumping Northland waves has attracted a large field of surfers across the fourteen divisions being contested, all manuhiri looking to make the most of the long weekend and northern manaakitanga.
With the cancellation of the 2021 edition of the Aotearoa Mari Surfing Titles surfers having been waiting in anticipation, to return and defend their titles from the previous event held at Ahipara in 2020.
Current event title holder Kehu Butler (Ngai Te Rangi) will not be attending this year due to World Surf League (WSL) commitments however runner-up Levi Stewart (Ngati Awa) will be in attendance and hopes to take the win in 2022.
Ricardo Christie (Kahungunu) will make the long journey north from Tairawhiti (Gisborne) to compete as well as a strong field of other surfers from around Aotearoa including Cabe Kereopa (Tainui), Chris Malone (Mahaki), Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Ngapuhi), Jason Ruddell (Te Atiawa) and Navryn Malone (Mahaki).
Northland surfers will be a force to reckon with this weekend filling multiple divisions. They will be led by Kauwhata Kauwhata (Ngapuhi), Kauai Rahui, Taj Phillips, Grace Gundry, Indi Lee Ruddell and Jacob Buckle in the junior divisions. In an exciting new development for the juniors, Surfline New Zealand will provide the male and female winners of the Under 18 Divisions with a $500 scholarship, a coaching session with The Art of Surfing, Surfline subscriptions and a profile piece on Surfline as an ambassador for the year.
After a fantastic 2022 season Natasha Gouldsbury (Ta Atiawa) returns to Ahipara to defend her title in the Open Women’s Division. Chris Karaitiana will also be back to defend his Open Mens SUP title whilst James Atutahi (Te Arawa) returns to defend his Open Men’s Longboarding title.
A total of 21 Iwi will be represented at the event all working toward the Iwi of Origin title currently held by Te Atiawa.
This will be the second time the event has been held in Te Tai Tokerau in its 26 year history.
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 time 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.
The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday of Labour Weekend (23 – 24 October). On Friday evening (5:00pm sharp), the powhiri will be held at Roma Marae where manuhiri are welcome to stay for the duration of the event.
Conditions are looking ideal with chest to overhead waves from the southwest lighting up Te Kohanga. Light southerly winds are expected making for clean conditions for the entirety of the event, the swell will slowly drop away Sunday however at this time conditions are looking perfect.
The full draw can be viewed on www.liveheats.com by searching Surfing New Zealand. Live scoring will be available subject to phone coverage.
A schedule of events and location for each day will be confirmed at the powhiri on Friday night.
Please see below for defending champions from the 2020 Aotearoa Maori Titles.
Open Men’s Division – Kehu Butler (Ngai Te Rangi)
Open Women’s Division – Natasha Gouldsbury (Te Atiawa)
Under 18 Boys Division – Kora Cooper (Ngai Tai)
Under 18 Girls Division – Brie Bennett (Ngati Hine
Under 16 Boys Division – Navryn Malone (Mahaki
Under 14 Boys Division – Ryder Pennington (Te Atiawa),
Under 14 Girls Division – Indi-Lee Ruddell (Te Atiawa)
Over 35 Men’s Division – Chris Malone (Mahaki)
Over 45 Men’s Division – Darren Kiwi (Ngai Te Rangi)
Longboard Division – James Atutahi (Te Arawa)
Stand Up Paddleboard Division – Chris Karaitiana (Kahungunu)
For more information on the 2022 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles, please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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