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National Surfing Championship Returns to Dunedin  

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For immediate release

27th June 2023

From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: Domestic Surfing
Event: 2024 National Surfing Championships
Divisions: Open Men and Women, Juniors, Seniors,  Longboard, SUP, Bodyboard, Kneeboard and Adaptive
Date: 7-13 January
Location: Dunedin
Websites: Surfing New Zealand

National Surfing Championship Returns to Dunedin

Aotearoa’s most prestigious domestic surfing event, the National Surfing Championships heads south in 2024 and will be staged at Dunedin in early 2024. 

The seven-day event will attract the country’s best surfing talent as they vie for coveted national titles.  The event doubles as the final selection event for the 2024 New Zealand Surfing Team who head to Puerto Rico for the ISA World Surfing Games Olympic qualifier at the end of February.

The 2024 edition of the event has been adapted to cater for the increasing demand participation numbers over recent years.  Senior divisions now have ten-year increments with the inclusion of an Over 70s Division for the first time ever.  There will be a cap on entry numbers to complete the event in seven days with participants limited to entering two divisions.  Staggered start and finish days for all divisions mean national champions will be crowned daily throughoumt the week.  

Bookending the largest gathering of New Zealand’s surfing community will be the fast-paced action of the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions.  Piha surfer Dune Kennings is the defending champion and good friend, and fellow Piha surfer Elliot Paerata – Reid won the event when it was last held in Dunedin in 2020.  The event will also attract the likes of eight-time champion Billy Stairmand.

The youthful women’s division will be led by national representative and defending champion Pia Rogers (WGM).  For the past two years, the average age of the national women’s field has trended to below 18 years of age, highlighting the immense talent pool coming through the ranks.  The Dunedin edition of the Nationals is expected to be no different.

A thriving local surfing community and a talent pool stretching throughout all divisions will make the most of the event in home waters.  The likes of Elliot Brown, Josh Thickpenny, Luke Murphy, Hayley Coakes and Jake Owen will contest the open and senior divisions.  Three-time national champion Alexis Owen leads a strong pack of Otago grommets including Lewis Murphy, Jack Higgins, Flint Sherborne-France, Keo Morrison, Rewa Morrison, Tessa Gabbott, Sari Ayson to name a few.

Point Boardriders of Raglan will defend the club title which they won at Piha this year. This will be hotly contested by several leading clubs from Mount Maunganui, New Plymouth, Auckland, Whangamata, Christchurch and hometown heroes South Coast Boardriders.

Also, up for grabs is the Peter Byers Overall Performance of the Event Award. Peter Byers started surfboard building in 1958 after being visited by Bing Copeland and Rick Stoner. The two California lifeguards taught him to shape boards and ride waves. Remembered as one of the pioneering board riders and the founding father of board making in New Zealand Peter passed away in 2012 at the age of 71.  That year and every National Championships since, we have honoured the memory and pioneering work of Pete Byers with a beautiful surfboard shaped trophy shaped out of West Coast Kauri by Piha craftsman Clive Barron.

Taking place from 7-13 January, the seven-day event brings together the surfing community from all over the country to enjoy a fun week of great waves and southern hospitality. Just 5km from the main city, Saint Clair Beach will be the main venue for the event with alternative options up and down the coast depending on weather and swell conditions.

Dunedin is known as the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand and prides itself on its beautiful built heritage, stunning scenery, and unique biodiversity. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, it is New Zealand’s oldest city and with pumping waves around every corner Dunedin is an idyllic location to hold the 2024 National Surfing Championships.

It is expected that more than 350 entries will be received for the event.  A total of 27 divisions will be contested including the premier Open Men and Women plus additional divisions comprising of age groups from Under 14 boys and girls through to Over 70s for males and females and Longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard, Bodyboard, Kneeboard and adaptive disciplines.  

2024 National Surfing Championships Schedule
Day 1, Kneeboards, Senior Men and Women
Day 2, Senior Men and Women
Day 3, Senior Men and Women, Longboard, SUP, Body, Junior Boys and Girls
Day 4, Junior Boys and Girls
Day 5, Open Men and Women, Junior Boys and Girls
Day 6, Open Men and Women, Junior Boys and Girls
Day 7, Open Men and Women

Set out below are winners of the major divisions contested for the past five years.   

Open Men 
2019 – Billy Stairmand (Rag)  
2020 – Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)  
2021 – Billy Stairmand (Rag)  
2022 – Daniel Farr (Tara)  
2023 – Dune Kennings (Piha) 

Open Women 
2019 – Aimee Brown (G Barrier)  
2020 – Ava Henderson (Chch)  
2021 – Saffi Vette (Gis)  
2022 – Paige Hareb (Tara)  
2023 – Pia Rogers (WGM)

Under 18 Boys Division 
2019 – Caleb Cutmore (Rag)  
2020 – Jack Lee (Whakatane)  
2021 – Finn Vette (Gis)  
2022 – Rakiatea Tau (Chch)  
2023 – Navryn Malone (Rag) 

Under 18 Girls Division 
2019 – Saffi Vette (Gis)  
2020 – Ava Henderson (Chch)  
2021 – Ava Henderson (Chch)  
2022 – Ava Henderson (Chch)  
2023 – Tayla Green (AUS) 

2019 – Jamie Andrews (Tara)  
2020 – Ambrose McNeill (Chch)  
2021 – Daniel Procter (Gis)  
2022 – Jack Tyro (Chch)
2023 – Oliver Janes (Auck)

Further Information 
For further information on the 2024 National Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s 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.  

Social Media 
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Use the hashtag #Nats2024 to follow the story.  

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by: 

Sport NZ  




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