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Duke Festival Underway in Christchurch with Flaring Junior Performances

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Kiwi juniors kicked off the 2021 Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing in fine form today (Friday 12th March) with New Brighton Beach playing host to some big performances from the largest field of junior surfers in the event’s six year history.

A clean 0.5m – 1.0m swell rolled in all day with glassy conditions in the morning and light sea breezes all afternoon.

Local Christchurch surfer Jai Oakley delivered the most explosive performance of the day surfing to a 16.0 point heat total thanks to two excellent airs in the Under 18 Boys Division.  Oakley predominantly surfs local events in the Christchurch region and when he does, he tests the best young talent Aotearoa has to offer with today being no different.

Mount Maunganui surfer Jack Hinton also impressed in his first heat surfing to a 14.47 point heat total including one wave where he finished on the northern side of the pier.  Oakley and Hinton will face off against each other in the quarterfinals alongside Jake Owen (Dun) and Dara O’Malley (Chch).

Number one seed, Jai Wallis (Piha) pushed through his heat finishing in second place to local favourite Myka Black.  The two surfers will face off against Tyler Perry (Kaik) and Nixon Reardon (Dun) in the next round.

Others to impress in their heats were Koby Cameron (Chch) and Jackson Peak (Auck) who advanced into the Quarterfinals in first place.

In the Under 18 Girls Division, it was Ava Henderson (Chch) that carried on her form from earlier in the day when she cleaned up her heat in the Under 16 Girls Division.  In the Under 18s, Henderson advanced alongside Leah Wilson (Chch).  Mount Maunganui sisters Anna and Sophia Brock advanced out of their early heats in both the Under 18 and Under 16 Girls Divisions setting up a big weekend of surfing ahead.

Leia Millar (Piha), Chloe Groube (Pau) and Poppie Entwisle (Chch) also opened the weekend with impressive wins.

The Under 16 Boys Division saw a swag of solid performances by the strong contingent of South Island surfers.  Tyler Perry (Kaik), Jack McKenzie (Chch), Jack Tyro and the Owen brothers Jake and Alexis of Dunedin all excelled.  Tao Mouldey (Mnt) was the only North Island surfer to break the chain of South Island wins.

The youngest of the participants at this year’s Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing enjoyed some clean waves on the northern side of the pier at the second arena.

Christchurch surfer Benji Lowen showed some dominant form on both his forehand and backhand to notch up wins in the Under 14 and Under 12 Boys Divisions.  Lowen has already won one event on the New Zealand Grom Series this year and will be hoping for a second this weekend.

Tao Mouldey split his time between the two arenas and in the Under 14 Boys Division surfed to a 16.0 point heat total mixing his usual flow with some flare in his performances.  Others to win their heats included number one seed Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM), Theo Morse (Auck), Indica Corcoran (Mnt) and Billy Cameron (Chch).

In the Under 12 Girls Division, Lola Groube and Alani Morse (Auck) advanced in first and second position from their heat and into the semifinals. Amelie Clark (Chch) and Georgie Macefield (Chch) both won their heats.

Day two of the event on Saturday will commence with the longboard divisions in the morning while the juniors will start from midday.  The swell is expected to decrease slightly with moderate sea breezes forecasted for the afternoon.

Click here to see results from the first day of the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing held at New Brighton Beach, Christchurch today (Friday 12th March).

The three-day Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing celebrates the sport under the name of legendary Hawaiian waterman and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku with surfers from the length of the country heading to New Brighton to take part. Many enter the event purely for the festivities and the great cause behind the festival which brings to life New Brighton.

The Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing is dual sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association.

About the Duke Festival of Surfing
In 2015 Ross Tyson made the amazing replica of the Duke’s surfboard as part of the centenary celebrations of Duke Kahanamoku’s surfing and swimming displays in the area. Ross designed the support framework; the pattern for the board was kindly drawn out in full size by Mark Calcutt; Dave Poyner finished the board surface with a beautiful high spec coating.

These celebrations spurned the inaugural “Duke Festival” the following year and the festival is now one of New Zealand’s largest surfing events.

The Duke Festival is about more than just the sport of surfing; it’s about the culture of the beach and those who love the sand between their toes and salt in their hair.

The Duke Festival uses the sport and culture of surfing to raise pride in, and the perception of, the wider New Brighton area.

For more information on the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing please contact Mark O’Malley on 021 207 5177 or malsa09@yahoo.co.nz or Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Keep in touch with all the surfing info from around the country by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.  Follow the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing on Instagram – @dukefestivalofsurfing, Facebook – @Dukesfestival and @dukefestivalof2 on Twitter.

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