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School Surfing Calendar Gets Exciting New Addition 

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For immediate release

11th  March 2024

From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: Surfing
Event: 2024 New Zealand School Surfing Festival
Location: Maori Bay, Muriwai Beach Auckland
Event Info: Surfing New Zealand

School Surfing Calendar Gets Exciting New Addition

New in 2024, the New Zealand School Surfing Festival is being held next week (19-20 March) at Maori Bay, Muriwai, Auckland. This exciting new event will be held in a team’s format with boys and girls teams vying to become first time winners of the Cranch Cup.

Schools from around the country have been formulating teams over the past two months with 20 teams confirmed to attend so far.

Coastal strongholds look set to put up good challenges at the event but with the festival format including a plate round, a number of schools have entered the event as they look to grow their teams looking toward future events.

The Bay of Plenty region has traditionally been strong in junior surfing and the region is defending Scholastic Champions.  Three Bay of Plenty school teams have entered next week’s event with the strength of Tauranga Boys College giving them favourite tags with the likes of Joe Goodjohn and Tao Mouldey anchoring their five-surfer team.

New Plymouth Boys High School has a team lead by New Zealand representative Spencer Rowson and polished surfers Nate Florence and Soren Bucka – Christensen.

Whangamata Area School is another team to field national representatives in both their boys and girls teams with Harrison Biddle leading the boys team which looks strong across their five surfers, and young Lola Groube heading up a formidable girls team.

Mount Maunganui College has a youthful boys team that will be aiming for final day honours but it is their girls team that take the favourites tag with the team including New Zealand representative Pia Rogers and junior representative and head girl, Sophia Brock.

Gisborne Boys High and Trident High School will make the journey north and they are joined by a number of Auckland schools that will want to make an impression at the inaugural event.  Takapuna Grammar, Westlake Boys and Rangitoto College have all entered teams as have Liston College, Green Bay College and Mahurangi College.

The Cranch Cup is being awarded in honour school surfing stalwart Carol Cranch who instigated the New Zealand school surfing programme in the late 80s with the formation of the Scholastic Championships.  Cranch was responsible for the development of numerous top level surfers around the country and was one of the founding promoters of the World Grommet Titles which ultimately morphed into the ISA World Junior Championships.

Cranch spent her final years based at Gisborne before passing away in early 2022.  Sister Janice is currently back from Australia and intends on making the trip to Muriwai to check out the action next week on behalf of her sister.

With the National Scholastic Surfing Championships for secondary school students and the Sticky Johnson Primary School Champs presented by Skullcandy already confirmed for late in 2024, the NZ School Surfing Festival has been a welcome addition to the school sport calendar and is being held during Summer Tournament Week with support from School Sport New Zealand.

Team surfing takes place at the New Zealand Club Championships in New Zealand but is uncommon nationally outside that event.  Teams of five boys and four girls make up each team.  Surfers compete in a relay format known as tag team, the team having an overall allotted amount of time to get their scoring rides and return to the beach.

Being a festival event on the School Sport New Zealand calendar, the event has Cup and Plate rounds.  This helps promote surfing to a wider number of schools that are at different stages of developing their surfing teams.

“Surfing is traditionally an individual sport so the aim of this event is to bring schools together to participate in a team environment, an aspect which is so often missing in standard surfing events. This gives schools an event to target and test themselves against other schools from around the country, whether they are at the top end or starting their surfing journey,” said Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings.  

The 2024 New Zealand School Surfing Festival will take place at Maori Bay, Muriwai Beach, Auckland from 8:00am – 4:00pm on Tuesday and Wednesday 19-20th of March.

Further Information
For further information on the 2024 New Zealand School Surfing Festival please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Event details
Please visit Liveheats.com/SurfingNewZealand for live scores and results

This will be distributed free of charge from each event.  Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.

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

Follow the event
Follow the action via social media – @surfingnz across TikTok , Facebook, Instagram and X.  Follow the hashtag #nzschoolsurffest and #schoolsportnewzealand

Surfing New Zealand are proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
NZ Community Trust
Sun Bum



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