New Zealand’s top young females dominated the premier Open Women’s Division today advancing through to the final twelve surfers of the National Surfing Championships. It was a clear show of talented youth finding their feet amongst the best in New Zealand. To cap it off, the group were joined by two even younger surfers yet to reach their teens.
Day two of the event was played out in clean 1.0m waves at Piha Beach, Auckland today (Monday 9th January). The waves remained clean all day thanks to an easterly direction offshore wind. Conditions varied over the tides ranging from the Bar on the low tide to perfect a-frame peaks in the middle of the bay.
New Zealand Junior Team members Skylar McFetridge (Tara), Pia Rogers (WGM), Natasha Gouldsbury and Liv Haysom (Piha) all won their heats to advance, Gouldsbury top scoring with a 12.95 point heat total.
The two youngest surfers also rode to good scores with Pauanui surfer Lola Groube (11) scoring 12.25 to win her heat and Raglan’s Alani Morse (12) surfing to 10.65 to finish second behind Haysom in their heat. The two diminutive surfers continue to challenge the older surfers, some twice their age.
Australian based surfer Tayla Green outshone all Open Women’s Division opponents surfing to a 16.65 point heat total making the most of the lefts on the Piha Bar on her backhand. Green is competing in both the Open Women’s Division and Under 18 Girls Division this week and remains alive in both divisions.
The Open Men’s Division surfed through to the final 16 surfers with the top seeds continuing to dominate proceedings. Local surfer Elliot Paerata – Reid competed to cheers from his supports that lined the beach. A 15-point heat total had him among the top scorers of the day.
“Stoked to be competing at home again. It is the first nationals I have been able to do since winning at Dunedin (2020), so I am kinda defending,” Paerata – Reid chuckled in confidence.
“The waves are pretty fun, especially for a comp. I have been competed in heaps of countries and you would be stoked to get waves like this anywhere in the world,” added Paerata Reid who already has his eyes set on the improving conditions at the end of the event “hopefully we get some solid bar action.”
The top three seeds all followed Paerata-Reid’s suit winning their heats with Daniel Farr, Billy Stairmand and Caleb Cutmore looking strong in their performances.
Others to impress included Kora Cooper (Rag) and Kalani Louis (Tara) who traded blows in their heat with Cooper getting the nod. Tim O’Connor (Mnt) and Tom Butland (Tara) put on slick performances to remain well in contention for the late stages of the event.
The afternoon saw a swath of junior heats contested. Just the eight girls remain in the Under 18 Girls Division with Leia Millar (Piha), Pia Rogers (WGM) and Chloe Groube putting in big efforts to make the final eight late in the day.
The Under 16 Boys Division is going to be one of the most hotly contested of the 60th edition of the New Zealand Championships. Today the field got reduced to 24 surfers with all heats in the pending round set for some big head-to-head match ups. Standout performers included Tairua surfers Ezekiel Wyper and Manu Roberts, Joe Goodjohn (Mnt), Alexis Owen (Dun) and Theo Morse (Rag).
The Volkswagen x Skinnies Highest Heat Score Award went to Ezekiel Wyper in the Under 16 Boys Division surfing to a 16.75 point heat total in the Under 16 Boys Division.
Day three will see the addition of the Senior Men’s Divisions as well as the youngest surfers of the event in the Under 14s.
The surf is expected to decrease further on Tuesday with strong offshore winds building throughout the day.
The 2023 National Surfing Championships commences the domestic NZ Surf Series, NZ Grom Series and NZ Longboard Series with fifteen events scheduled around the country this summer.
Over 440 entries have been received for the event. It is the fifteenth time the event has been held on the West Coast of Auckland. A total of 29 divisions are contested at the event including the premier Open Men and Women plus additional divisions comprising of age groups from Under 14 boys and girls through to Over 60s for males and females and Longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard, Bodyboard, Kneeboard and adaptive disciplines. Action will take place from 8am – 5pm daily.
The event would not be possible without the support of the following partners: Sport NZ, Volkswagen, Skinnies, Better Beer and Arepa. The 2023 National Surfing Championships is proudly hosted by Keyhole Boardriders.
Daily schedules, live scores and results are available via www.liveheats.com/surfingnz.
Schedule of events (earliest possible day to commence divisions):
Tuesday 10th January – Above divisions plus all male and female divisions
Wednesday 11th January – Above divisions plus longboard and SUP divisions
Thursday 12th January – Above divisions plus bodyboard
Friday 13th January – Above divisions plus kneeboard
Saturday 14th January – All divisions
For further information on the 2023 National Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge upon request.
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use the hashtag #Nats2023 to follow the story.
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