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Ngapuhi Claim Iwi of Origin at the 2023 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles

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Ngapuhi claimed their first Iwi of Origin at the Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles completed in Te Tai Tokerau on Sunday (22nd October), edging defending champions Te Atiawa and Te Rarawa by one placing in a tight tussle for the title.

The final day of the event was held on the East Coast at the idyllic Rarawa Beach in small but clean waves and strong offshore winds.

Navryn Malone (Mahaki) went one better than his 2022 efforts in the Under 18 Boys to win the Rangatira Tane this year, beating his father in the process.  The Whaingaroa surfer was a standout all weekend and his overall performances also won him the Tangaroatanga – Innovation Award – He tohu maumahara o Taniora – Danny Carse, awarded to the most innovative surfer.

In the final, Navryn posted 14.83 points for the win over father, Chris, on 13.2 points with double finalist Ngati Awa surfer Tai Murphy finishing in third.

In a talent-laden Rangatira Wahine final, it was Elin Tawharu (Ngati Raukawa) that stormed to victory with a 14.0 point heat total.  Tawharu’s form was strong all weekend with some excellent surfing at Mokorau on day one and then she navigated the strong offshore winds perfectly and beach break conditions perfectly on day two.

Defending champion Natasha Gouldsbury (Te Atiawa) finished in second place with a 10.36 point heat total ahead of Brie Bennett (Ngati Hine) and Indi-Lee Ruddell (Te Rarawa) in third and fourth respectively.

In the senior divisions it was Mike Kiwi (Ngai Te Rangi) that beat younger brother Darren in the Over 45 Tupu.  The older of the brothers found his way into a few nice waves to post a 10.17 point heat total in the final.  Darren finished in second with Dawson Tamati (Te Atiawa) in third and Mike Gundry (Te Rarawa) in fourth.  Chris Malone claimed the over 35 Tupu ahead of Dean Morrison (Te Rarawa) in second, Dawson Tamati (Te Atiawa) in third and Adam Bowmar (Taranaki) in fourth. Chris Malone claimed the Over 35 Tupu earlier in the day defeating Dean Morrison (Te Rarawa), Dawson Tamati (Te Atiawa) and Adam Bowmar (Taranaki).

Tai Murphy (Ngati Awa) scorched a nine point ride in the Taitamatane Under 18 Boys Division to stomp his dominance on the final and take the win.  Manu Roberts (Ngai Tahu) held the lead for over half of the final but had to settle for second place.  Navryn Malone (Mahaki) finished in third place with Caelan Pitkeathly (Ngai Tahu) (Ngapuhi) finishing in fourth.

Murphy onwon the Surfline scholarship including $500 and coaching through the Art of Surfing alongside Indi-Lee Ruddell who won the Taitamawahine Under 18 Girls Division.

Ruddell surfed to a 10.97 point heat total in the final to edge out Kyra Wallis (Ngapuhi) in second place with Te Waiotu Farlie (Ngati Porou) finishing in third and India Kennings (Ngati Whatua Orakei) finishing in fourth.

Harrison Biddle (Te Aupouri) claimed his first major victory in the Taitamatane Under 16 Boys Division leading the final from start to finish.  Biddle posted 16.17 out of 20 claiming the Volkswagen Highest Heat Score of the Day.  2022 Under 14 Boys Champ Zeke Pragert came back late in the final with an 8.07 to make a tense final five minutes but ultimately finished in second place ahead of Jackson Pardoe (Ngati Porou) in third and Luca Thompson (Tainui) in fourth.

Luca Thompson stole a late victory in the Taitamatane Under 14 Boys Division with his last ride of 6.27 to push Remy Sale back into second place.  Local surfer Taj Phillips (Ngati Kahu) finished in third ahead of Lennox Holdaway (Ngai Tahu) in fourth.

Kyra Wallis (Ngapuhi) claimed the Taitamawahine Under 14 Girls Division with a 10.10 point heat total besting a gallant effort from young Ngati Kahu surfer Jade Phillips in second and Ruby Becroft (Ngapuhi) in third.

Jamie Andrews (Te Atiawa) returned to the Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles for the first time in several years to claim the Stand Up Paddleboard Division.

A total of 21 Iwi were represented at the event this weekend, all working toward the Iwi of Origin Title.  The top six iwi were Nga Puhi, Te Atiawa, Te Rarawa, Mahaki, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Porou.

Open Men’s Division – Navryn Malone (Mahaki)
Open Women’s Division –  Elin Tawharu (Ngati Raukawa)
Under 18 Boys Division – Tai Murphy (Ngati Awa)
Under 18 Girls Division – Indi-Lee Ruddell (Te Rarawa)
Under 16 Boys Division – Harrison Biddle (Te Aupouri)
Under 14 Boys Division – Luca Thompson (Tainui)
Under 14 Girls Division –  Kyra Wallis (Ngapuhi)
Over 35 Men’s Division –  Chris Malone (Mahaki)
Over 45 Men’s Division –  Mike Kiwi (Ngai Terangi)
Men’s Longboard Division – Zen Wallis (Ngapuhi)
Women’s Longboard – Natasha Gouldsbury (Te Atiawa)
Stand Up Paddleboard Division –  Jamie Andrews (Te Atiawa)

For more information on the 2023 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 2023 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles would not be possible without support from Northland Inc, Puhi Te Aewa, Drop In surf and supply, Te Rarawa Kaiwhare, Aio Solutions, Whangarei Takiwa, Sticky Johnson, Kai Ora Honey, Inlet Surf Shop and Surfing New Zealand.

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