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School Teams Rise to West Coast Challenge Hunting Inaugural Cranch Cup

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Twenty surfing teams took on the challenge of Maori Bay at Muriwai Beach today for the start of the inaugural New Zealand School Surfing Festival, loving the chance to surf as a team for their schools.

Auckland’s West Coast turned on a great morning with challenging 1.5m waves and morning offshore winds that turned onshore through the day, conditions giving all participants a stern test of their fitness, courage and surfing ability.

New Zealand’s top surfing schools were mixed with a cluster of schools relatively new to surfing at a national level.  Top seeds New Plymouth Boys High School, Tauranga Boys High School, Whangamata Area School and Mount Maunganui College all held their form, winning through to the Cranch Cup Semifinals.

New Plymouth Boys High School kicked off the day with an excellent first round performance but were kept in suspense until their final surfer returned to the beach and the team tents with 5 seconds remaining in the tag team format.

In the same heat it was a ding-dong battle between Liston College and a young Opunake High School with Liston getting the nod with their final wave and Opunake not getting back to the team tents on time and incurring a five point penalty relegating them to fourth.

Gisborne High School suffered a similar fate in their first match-up by not making it back to the team tent on time.  However, Gisborne’s performance in the water gave them enough of a points edge over Rosmini College and Rangitoto College to advance.

Rosmini and Rangitoto were two of the multitude of secondary schools that have taken on the challenge of the event with a big contingent from Auckland including Mahurangi College, Western Springs College, Green Bay High School, Takapuna Grammar and Westlake Boys High School.

It was Takapuna Grammar and Westlake Boys High School that put in the biggest performances to advance to the Cranch Cup Semifinals while the remainder of the schools move through to the plate round which will be surfed on Wednesday morning.

Two of the youngest teams in the event, Opunake High School and Papamoa College put in valiant efforts and will come back on Wednesday morning with a view to the forecasted smaller and clean conditions expected and they will be up to the challenge against the Auckland schools and Trident High School of Whakatane.

The four girls teams will enter the water for the first time on Wednesday morning with the first of three heats in their round robin format.

The Cranch Cup will be awarded to the top boys and girls teams at the event.  The 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.

The final day of the 2024 New Zealand School Surfing Festival will take place at Maori Bay, Muriwai Beach, Auckland from 8:00am – 3:00pm on Wednesday 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 www.Liveheats.com/SurfingNewZealand for full results from day one of the event plus the schedule for day two.

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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