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Gisborne Turns On for 2022 Primary School Champs

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For immediate release

1 October 2022

From:  Surfing New Zealand
Sport:  Junior Surfing
Events: 2022 Sticky Johnson Primary School Championships pres by Skullcandy
Dates:  1 October 2022
Location: Midway Beach, Gisborne
Event Info: Surfing New Zealand, LiveHeats.com 

Gisborne Turns On for Primary School Champs

A dicey weather forecast hasn’t put off the influx of groms heading to Gisborne this weekend. Despite several models predicting less than ideal waves for the groms, near perfect conditions made for an action-packed day for the start of the Sticky Johnson Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy on Saturday (1st October).

Rain, hail or shine, grommets from around the country descended on Gisborne for the Sticky Johnson Primary School champs presented by Skullcandy. After a short hiatus in 2021 due to covid, one of the favourite grommet comps of the year returned for 2022 with over 80 groms descending on Midway beach, many for the first time.

With forecasts calling for winds from every direction rain and swell size from knee high up to 3 meters, there was a few groms waiting nervously in the carpark as the sun rose, however in usual Gisborne style the waves turned on and from the first hooter at 8am the waves pumped with perfect 1.0 to 1.5M waves and not a breath of wind. With perfect conditions on offer for all abilities and clean offshore breezes the fun factor was turned up to max.

Round 1 of the Boys Year 7 and 8 kicked off the morning with Sonny Lyons, Kobi Walker, Kiedis Baskerville and Kentaro Mitchell paddling out for heat 1 of 7 in the glassy morning conditions at Midway beach. Sonny having travelled up from Kaikoura wasted no time in putting two scores on the board with careful wave selection scoring a 5.00 and a 6.33. Kobi Walker trailed close behind with a 4.67 a 4.0 however was unable to find the 6.0 he needed to jump into first place. Kentaro Mitchell from Ahipara also put a few small scores on the board narrowly beating out Kiedis Baskerville to third place.

With conditions continuing to pump throughout the morning, 6 heats of Boys Year 6 and below paddled out with froth levels through the roof. For many groms this was their first go at competitive surfing and the conditions couldn’t have been more perfect. Sailor Bisman of Papamoa Boardriders had travelled down the night before, to be honest I was a little nervous to paddle out for my first ever heat but once I was out there it was so much fun he said. “I caught three waves one small, one medium and one big one, it was a little challenging, but it was awesome to be out there with my mates exclaimed the frothing grom. One of the boys even checked on me to make sure I was ok”. “We were all hooting and calling each other into waves which was so cool, dad swam out with me this time, but I reckon next time round he can watch from the beach he laughed.

As the wind continued to abate the Year 7 and 8 girls hit the water with Lola Groube of Pauanui, Ruby Becroft and Ella Rose Luke paddling out in pumping Midway conditions. Lola Groube stoked to be back in the competitor’s jersey after the short winter break dominated the heat, scoring an 8.17 and the wave of the day, a 9.17. Ruby and Ella both managed to catch plenty of waves throughout the heat but it was Lola’s competitive experience that came into play taking out the heat with a 17.34 total.

“It was super fun, tricky getting back out but so much fun”. The Year 6 and below girls followed soon after before the older girls paddled out again for Round 2. Having moved up a division, Alani Morse of Raglan managed to find a couple of good ones. “It was a little shifty and rippy but super fun, it was actually pretty wally”, she said of the conditions”. “I held back on a couple but in my next heat I’m going to go all out, it’s been really fun, couldn’t have really ask for much more”.

Just after lunch we saw Round 2 of the boy’s divisions hitting the water. With the swell slightly easing and the tide on its way out the Year 6 boys found idyllic conditions before the Year 7 and 8 boys closed out the afternoon as the rain set in on what was an action-packed first day of the Sticky Johnson Primary School Champs presented by Skullcandy.

Day 2 is expected to have similar conditions to today in which we will see the Boys Year 7 and 8 hit the water first for Round 3 at 8:00am. Round 3 of all divisions will be held as well as Quarterfinals, Semis and the Final. 16 finalists will be crowned with trophies and amazing prize packs up for grabs thanks to Sticky Johnson and Skullcandy. We also crown the New Zealand Primary Schools Champion Team, a trophy that Bay Boardriders are defending for the second year in a row.

Many participants are competing nationally for the first time, so a user-friendly round robin format is in place giving every participant three chances at having a go before the top ranked surfers face off in finals.  an entry point for New Zealand’s youngest surfers that want to compete at a national level. The hugely popular event offers up an opportunity for first-time participants there to give it a go and have fun, the chance to experience what it is like to compete against their peers around Aotearoa.

For day 1 results of the Sticky Johnson Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy held at Midway Beach, Gisborne (Saturday 01st October). Please see https://liveheats.com/events/44597

The schedule for day 2 of the Sticky Johnson Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy held at Midway Beach Gisborne can be found at https://liveheats.com/events/44597

The 2022 Primary School Championships are supported by Gisborne Boardriders, Sticky Johnson and Skullcandy.  The event is made possible with funding from Eastern and Central Community Trust.

For more information on the event please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz

High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge upon request.

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Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Event Partners
Generous support from Sticky Johnson and presenting sponsors Skullcandy, has made this event possible along with Eastern and Central Community Trust.  The event is proudly hosted by Gisborne Boardriders.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
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Water Safety NZ

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