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Exit Surf Canterbury Champs Commences Triple Header For NZ Surf Series

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Ripe form will be rewarded for New Zealand’s top surfers over the next three weeks as a string of New Zealand Surf Series events gets under, starting this weekend with the Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Surfing Championships.

The event is being held from Saturday through to Monday and has attracted top talent from around the country.

The event precedes the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro on the 27-29 April and the Rip Curl Pro at Raglan on the 4-5 May.

This weekend’s Exit Men’s Canterbury Championships includes local surfer and defending champion Harrison Whiteside.  Whiteside found late summer form at the most recently held South Island Championships where he finished fourth in the Open Men’s Division.  He will want to go better than that this weekend as looks to make a surge up the rankings from ninth overall before heading north early next month to contest the Rip Curl Pro.

In 2017 Whiteside smashed his opponents in the final surfing to a 16.57 point heat total, one of the highest of the season.  At this event he is joined by five surfers inside top ten on the rankings including number one seed for this event, Zen Wallis (Piha).  Wallis won the South Island Championships and is a regular at the South Island events.

Other top ten surfers include National Championships finalist Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach), Dunedin’s Elliot Brown and locals Conor McLennan and Sam Sands.

Wallis will also be a contender in the Longboard Division, one of seven other divisions contested at the event this weekend.  Wallis leads the New Zealand Longboard Tour rankings but was upstaged at the last event by Christchurch surfer Hugh Ritchie.  The two will go at it again this weekend to see who can take the honours with the score level at one apiece this year.

Dunedin’s Josh Thickpenny and Christchurch’s Neill Robb will lead the way for the Over 30 and Over 45 Men’s Divisions.  The hotly contested senior divisions always bring out the competitive streak amongst the elder statesmen.  Neither of the two surfers has won events this year but their consistency across the South Island Circuit sees them atop the rankings.

The four junior divisions see an abundance of talent from both the North and South Islands.  He will back up his performances in the Open Men’s Division with the Under 18 Boys Division.  McLennan won the National Championships in January which kicked off the year perfectly and he has retained the number one ranking by way of a third at the South Island Championships.

Whangarei surfer Tom Robinson will head south for the third straight event.  The 15-year-old surfer has finalled in every event he has contested this year.  Similarly, Raglan’s Jayden Willoughby has been in top form in the Under 14 Boys Division going even better with four wins from the five events he has contested.

The three-day event takes place from Saturday through until Monday (21 – 23 April) along the Christchurch coastline from Taylors Mistake to Gore Bay.  The event is sanctioned by both Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association making for a valuable event for national rankings.

Participants across the eight divisions will be vying for $10,000 in cash and prizes.

The Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Championships features senior divisions – Open Men, Over 30s, 45s and Longboard plus the Under 20, 18, 16 and 14 Boys Divisions.

Action will take place from 8am each day and finals are scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Please see below for the current New Zealand Surf Series and Grom Series rankings after the most recent event – the Emerson’s South Island Championships held at Dunedin during Easter.

Open Men’s Division Top 10
1, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha)
2, Ricardo Christie (Mahia)
3, Zen Wallis (Piha)
4, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch)
5, Elliott Brown (Dun)
6, Paul Moretti (Nrthlnd)
7, Sam Sands (Chch)
8, Conor McLennan (Chch)
9, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
10, Nick White (Mnt)

Men’s Longboard Top 5
1, Zen Wallis (Piha)
2, Hugh Ritchie (Chch)
3, Sam Sands (Chch)
4, Jack Hawke (Chch)
5, Henry Hawke (Chch)

Under 20 Boys Division Top 5
1, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
2, Sam Sands (Chch)
3, Zac Curle (Waihi Bch)
4, Eli Voschezang (Auck)
5, Thomas Harcourt (Chch)

Under 18 Boys Division Top 5
1, Conor McLennan (Chch)
2, Caleb Cutmore (Ham)
3, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
4, Tom Norton (Waipu)
5, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)

Under 16 Boys Division Top 5
1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei)
2, Kora Cooper (Rag)
3, Myka Black (Chch)
4, Josef Jungwirth (Rag)
5, Jack Lee (Whaka)

Under 14 Boys Division Top 5
1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag)
2, Navryn Malone (Rag)
3, Dara O’Malley (Chch)
4, Jai Wallis (Auck)
5, Bill Byers (Piha)

For more information on the Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Championships please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.  Alternatively contact Russell Ritchie on 0274325972 – russell.ritchie@xtra.co.nz.

The Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Surfing Championships would not be possible without the support of Exit Surf, Ocean & Earth, Mike Pero Real Estate, Xcel, Pier Lodge, Eruption Brewing, host club North Wai Boardriders and the South Island Surfing Association.

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