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Bay Boardriders Top Kiwi Clubs at Whangamata

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Mount Maunganui’s Bay Boardriders Club surfed to victory at the Hurley New Zealand Boardrider Club Championships presented by Volkswagen completed at Whangamata yesterday (Saturday 11th March), topping the best clubs in the country.

A modified event format was implemented to capitalize on the 1.0m swell fanned by offshore winds and complete the event in one day.  The condensed format made for a big day of surfing and survival of the fittest.

Bay Boardriders, supported by a swathe of members, rode to victory in the final of the tag team which was enough to see them topple defending champions Point Boardriders of Raglan with Oakura Boardriders in third and Lion Rock Boardriders in fourth.

The club now gets the chance to represent New Zealand at the Usher Cup World Club Challenge to be held at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast in January 2024.

The bay team comprised Tim O’Connor, Jack Hinton, Owen Barnes, Elin Tawharu and Tao Mouldey.  After finishing second in the individual results to start the day, they won three rounds of the tag team for a deserved win.

“This win means a lot to us at Bay Boardriders,” club president James Jacobs said.  “We have worked hard as a club and we made sure we had our top surfers in the team and to win this and beat Point Boardriders in the final is huge” added Jacobs.

“The final was interesting for all teams with the ocean slowing up but we had a game plan and ultimately it worked.”

Bay Boardriders scored 22.73 out of 50 in a low scoring tag team final and it was their opposition that handed them the victory with Oakura being the only other team to return to the beach and avoid getting a time penalty.

Defending champions Point Boardriders of Raglan had looked strong all event, winning all five individual heats as well as the first two rounds of the tag team.  However, the powerhouse team comprising Caleb Cutmore, Taylor Hutchison, Brie Bennett, Navryn Malone and Larry Fisher, succumbed to the inconsistent waves and outgoing tide that made conditions challenging.  Their fourth place finish in the tag team was enough to hold on to second place overall at the event.

Oakura reversed their form in the tag team finishing in second place and jumping from sixth to third overall to seal their best result.

Lion Rock Boardriders of Piha finished third in the tag team and fourth overall, another best result for the club.

Host club Whangamata and New Plymouth Surfriders finished fifth equal in the tag team.

The tag team format is the essence of the Hurley New Zealand Boardrider Club Championships and involves five surfers in the team going out and catching two waves in succession.  A win in the tag team component of the event is worth 50% of the points up for grabs and ultimately decides the champion club.

The Usher Cup is a recently-developed club event held at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast of Australia.  2023 marks the first year that the event will be international with six countries attending as well as 23 clubs from Australia.  The event takes place in January and accommodates teams of four from each club in a standard surfing format for males and females with $7,000 going to the winners of each division.  Other countries attending include France, Indonesia, Japan, Hawaii and USA.

Overall Results
Bay Boardriders, 7440
Point Boardriders, 6680
Oakura Boardriders, 5772
Lion Rock Boardriders, 5600
Whangamata Boardriders, 5360
Waihi Beach Boardriders, 4660
New Plymouth Surfriders, 4552
North Coast Boardriders, 4440
North Wai Boardriders, 4220

Further Information
For further information on the 2023 Hurley New Zealand Club Championships presented by Volkswagen, please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution action images of the surfing at the event will be available to media free of charge.

Event Hotline
Event details can be found on Liveheats.com/Surfing New Zealand.  This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions for the day.

Generous support from Hurley, Volkswagen and Better Beer has made the event possible.

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