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Finals Day Set Up For Maori Titles With Impressive Performances From Senior Surfers

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Aotearoa’s finest underground surfers put on an impressive display of surfing on day one of the Maori Surfing Titles held in Taranaki today (Saturday 26 October) as they challenged some of the best surfers in the country with their outstanding performances.

The large swell hammering the West Coast all week tapered off for the first day of the event with a manageable 1.5m swell and moderate southwest winds, the event being held at Mokotunu.  The day kicked off early to make the most of the morning full tide before the afternoon conditions deteriorated.

Wellington export, now Taranaki based, Brandon Kingi reminded those present of his explosive surfing that has been witnessed from year to year with the competition jersey on.  Today he posted a 17 point heat total with a series of searing forehand carves to take a convincing win and advance through to the quarterfinals.  The performance did not come as a surprise to those that have regularly witnessed his surfing at the break over the past few years where he has consistently impressed.

Kingi was joined by two other goofy foot surfers in Manu Schafer (Tara) and Chris Malone (Rag) who both looked impressive on their way to winning their first round match-ups.

The older surfers were kept on their toes by the youngsters who will be out to prove a point that they can match them on day two when the Open Men’s Division resumes.

The youngsters included Dune Kennings (Piha) who advanced out of the first round with a 16.27 point heat total alongside defending champion Bachelor Tipene (Tara) in second.  2018 Under 18 Boys Champion Sonny Rapira – Martin (Tara) also advanced as did 16-year-old Josef Jungwirth (Rag).

Jungwirth was in action most of the day, contesting a further three heats in the junior divisions where he advanced to the finals of both the Under 18 and 16 Boys Divisions.  His Raglan counterpart Kora Cooper also looked sharp advancing to the finals of both divisions, posting the highest single wave score of the day – 9.66 out of a possible 10 points.

The pakeke (older) surfers in the event contesting the senior division saw the field reduced to the final four surfers.  The Over 45 Division will see Motu Mataa (Tara), Dawson Tamati (Tara), Jason Matthews (Tara) and Darren Kiwi (Mnt) contest the final.

The Maori Titles has divisions ranging from Under 14 Boys through to Over 45 Men plus longboarding and standup paddleboarding and the coveted Iwi of Origin.  On Friday night, manuhiri were welcomed onto Parihaka Pa, a first for the Maori Titles when being held at Taranaki.

“There was a tono put to the Waitara Bar Boardriders Club that the hau kainga at Parihaka said they would be happy to host the event and that it would be a good experience for manuhiri” said event organiser Jason Matthews.

“Because of the historical significance of the place and what is currently going on with the acknowledgement from the government which is a redress of the atrocities which happened to one of the most thriving communities of Aotearoa in the pre 1900s, we wanted to bring our moana tangata from around the Motu here” he added.

“All the little changes that come with educating our whanau such as our venue today called Mokotunu commonly known as Rocky Point.  If the weather goes to plan, tomorrow we will also be at Tuiraho more commonly known as Stent Road” said Matthews.

Sunday is likely to see a slight decrease in wave size but a more defined swell and light winds.  A decision on the finals-day venue will be confirmed first thing Sunday morning.

Please see below for results from day one of the 2019 Aotearoa Maori Titles held at Rocky Lefts today (Saturday 26th October).

Open Men’s Division Round 1
Heat 1

Dune Kennings (Maniapoto), 16.27, 1, Bachelor Tipene (Ngati Ranginui), 11.36, 2, Kaya Horne (Ngai Te Rangi), 10.83, 3, Lee Ririnui (Ngai Te Rangi), 9.03, 4
Heat 2
Sonny Rapira-Martin (Tara), 10.02, 1, Jason Ruddell (NgaPuhi), 7.1, 2, Danny Kaweroa (Tara), 4.34, 3, Jack Luke (Tara), 4.33, 4
Heat 3
Brandon Kingi (Wgtn), 17, 1, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 10.93, 2, Leon Crowe (Aus), 8.93, 3, Jacob Buckle (Whngrei), 6.87, 4
Heat 4
Chris Malone (Gis), 12.17, 1, Motu Mataa (Tara), 8.33, 2, Te Rapai Barbarich – Love (Tara), 7.57, 3, Michael Mckinlay (Aus), 7.2, 4
Heat 5
Manu Schafer (ChCh), 13.73, 1, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 8.67, 2, Ahmet Auld (Tara), 7.93, 3, Mike Banks (Rag), 5.73, 4
Heat 6
Henry Mckinlay (Aus), 12.47, 1, Jamie Andrews (Tara), 11.87, 2, Kora Cooper (Rag), 11.4, 3, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngrei), 9.2, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngtrei), 11.2, 1, Jacob Buckle (Whangrei), 9.33, 2, Jack Luke (Tara), 8.83, 3, Reuben Lyons (Kaik), 7.47, 4
Heat 2
Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 14.3, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 13.3, 2, Navryn Malone (Rag), 11.2, 3, Kaya Horne (Aus), 11, 4

Over 35 Men’s Division Round 1
Heat 1

Henry Mckinlay (Aus), 11.47, 1, Manu Schafer (Tara), 10.4, 2, Darren Kiwi (Mnt), 9.46, 3, Motu Mataa (Tara), 7.33, 4
Heat 2
Chris Malone (Rag), 16.83, 1, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 9.97, 2, Alan Te Moananui (Kaik), 9.04, 3, Jeff Piper (Ngapuhi), 4.33, 4
Heat 3
Brandon Kingi (Wgtn), 14.5, 1, Jason Ruddell (Whngrei), 9.97, 2, Danny Kaweroa (Tara), 7.77, 3, Shaun Coffey (Tara), 7.53, 4

Over 45 Men’s Division Round 1
Heat 1

Motu Mataa (Tara), 10.9, 1, Darren Kiwi (Mnt), 10.3, 2, Shaun Coffey (Tara), 5.4, 3, Pipi Ngaia (Tara), 8.0, 4
Heat 2
Jason Matthews (Tara), 8.27, 1, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 8.20, 2, Luke Baxter (Ngati Awa), 7.83, 3, Jeff Piper (Ngapuhi), 5.00, 4

For more information on the 2019 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 2019 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles would not be possible without support from hosts Waitara Bar Boardriders Club, Surfing Taranaki and Surfing New Zealand.

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