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Semifinalists Confirmed After Relocation North for National Championships

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Defending champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) has led the charge into the semifinals of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships with the final eight surfers determined today (Thursday 9th January).

A major increase in swell forced a shift north to Karitane Beach today after the day dawned at St Clair Beach with swell in excess of 2.0m steamrolling into the primary venue.  Karitane Beach offered up more manageable waves in the 1.5m range but the winds continued to blow onshore all day affecting conditions.

Stairmand surfed to a 15.83 point heat total in his quarterfinal match up advancing alongside local surfer Elliott Brown and he remains on track to claim an eighth national title.

“I desperately want to take the cup home, it is one of my goals this year and I want to make it happen” said Stairmand post heat.

“I’m stoked to be down here in Dunedin and be putting the rashie back on for the first time 2020.  It is going to be a big year for me and it is always good to start the year off competing in New Zealand” he added.

Stairmand’s performance looked a notch above his opponents with exceptional speed through his turns and added flare on each wave, the conditions appearing to have little impact on his approach.

“It has been pretty wild the last few days, windy and cold, I guess it is normal South Island.  Today it has been tough too but there is a little left out there and that is my bread and butter, I felt real comfortable in that heat.”

2019 finalist Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) continued his drive through to the finals with a heat-winning performance of 12.93 points.  Paerata – Reid finished runner-up in 2018 and third in 2019 showing amazing consistency but the driven 23-year-old surfer will accept nothing short of a win at this event.

Other heat winners included 2019 Junior Champion Caleb Cutmore (Rag) who has moved up to the Open Division and the youngest surfer in the field, 15-year-old Gisborne surfer Finn Vette.  Vette won the first quarterfinal match up, advancing alongside Daniel Farr (Tara).

Vette was back in action several heats later in the Under 18 Boys Division where he also advanced through to the semifinals keeping his hopes alive across three divisions going into the penultimate day of the event.

Vette was joined by Tom Butland (Tara) who surfed to the highest score of the event to date – 15.87 points out of a possible 20.  Other standouts in the quarterfinals included Jack Lee (Whaka) and Taylor O’Leary (Mur) who advanced out of their quarterfinals in first position.

The Under 18 Girls Division was contested through to the final four surfers.  Ava Henderson (Chch) and Leah Wilson (Chch) will meet Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and Amarnie Barber (Aus) in the final, all four surfers having to battle though two rounds in the tough conditions today.

Action will take place from 800am on Friday morning with confirmation of venue and order of events to be confirmed at 7:00am.  The likely venue will be St Clair Beach.

The final day of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships being held on Saturday will also be streamed live via the Sky Sport Next YouTube channel.

Please see below for results from day four of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships held at Karitane Beach, Dunedin today (Thursday 9th January).

Open Men’s Division quarterfinals
Heat 1

Finn Vette (Gis), 10.2, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 9.84, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 8.6, 3, Jack Lee (Whaka), 8.3, 4
Heat 2
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 15.84, 1, Elliott Brown (Dun), 10.73, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 10.47, 3, Jay Piper – Healion (Whiti), 8.07, 4
Heat 3
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 12.6, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11, 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 8.56, 3, Conor McLennan (Chch), 7.93, 4
Heat 4
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 11.97, 1, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 11.4, 2, Tom Butland (Tara), 9.73, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 5.1, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Tom Butland (Tara), 15.9, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 11.4, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11, 3, James Millar (ChCh), 6.7, 4
Heat 2
Jack Lee (Whaka), 13.3, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 7.43, 2, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 6.46, 3, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 3.14, 4
Heat 3
Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 10.2, 1, Jack Luke (Tara), 6.87, 2, Luis Southwood (Whaka), 6.73, 3, Luke Rogers (Dun), 6, 4
Heat 4
Finn Vette (Gis), 11.3, 1, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 6.9, 2, Sam Charlesworth (Auck), 5.73, 3, Ruben Peyroux (Dun), 5.57, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1

Ava Henderson (Chch), 10.07, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 6.63, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 5.37, 3, Amelie Wink (Chch), 2.4, 4
Heat 2
Leah Wilson (Chch), 10.06, 1, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10, 2, Eloise Addison (Chch), 2.6, 3
Heat 3
Ariana Shewry (Tara), 11, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 6.77, 2, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 5.13, 3
Heat 4
Amarnie Barber (Aus), 7.6, 1, Liv Haysom (Piha), 7.37, 2, Jaya Reardon (Dun), 0.93, 3, Anika Ayson (Dun), 0, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Ava Henderson (Chch), 9.8, 1, Leah Wilson (Chch), 7.1, 2, Brie Bennett (Rag), 4.17, 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 2, 4
Heat 2
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 6.06, 1, Amarnie Barber (Aus), 3.96, 2, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 3.87, 3, Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin), 1.73, 4

Over 35 Men’s Division Round 1
Heat 1

Chris Malone (Gis), 12.3, 1, Felipe Pires (Dun), 7.64, 2, Duan Reardon (Dun), 6.37, 3, David Watkins (ChCh), 3.63, 4
Heat 2
Jarred Hancox (Tara), 10.6, 1, Damian Phillips (Dun), 8.63, 2, Dane Robertson (Kaik), 7.37, 3
Heat 3
Luke Murphy (Dun), 9.03, 1, Josh Thickpenny (Dun), 8.4, 2, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 8, 3, Jamie McCaw (Coro), 3.7, 4

2020 marks surfing’s debut as an Olympic sport and come July, New Zealand will have at least two athletes competing at the inaugural surfing event in Tokyo.

The Health 2000 National Surfing Championships is the first of several domestic events where Kiwi surfers will get the opportunity to push for selection into the New Zealand Team that will attend the World Surfing Games in May.  Under International Surfing Association (ISA) guidelines, Stairmand and Williams along with Paige Hareb (Tara) and Ricardo Christie (Gis) are automatic selections for the New Zealand Team leaving only one spot each for the men and women.

It is the eighth time the National Championships has been held at Dunedin.  The longest running surfing event in New Zealand takes place over six days from January 6-11.  In the 56 year history of the event the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships has grown to encompass 29 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups making for a largely inclusive event, filled with high level surfing as well as good times in and out of the water.  Over 280 entries have been received for the event.

Further Information
For further information on the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships 2020 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.

Event Hotline
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506.  This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.

Social Media
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Use the hashtag #H2KNats2020 to follow the story.

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