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Solid Swell Set to test South Island Groms

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This weekend the groms head to Christchurch for The Connect Group SISA Grom Series, the third event of this South Island Series. Held between Waikuku Beach and Taylors Mistake the event is mobile and will head to wherever the conditions are best. Surfing action kicks off on Friday 25th March and promises to be a great event, attracting young surfers from throughout the country.

“With a forecast of solid swell and offshore winds Christchurch looks to offer big quality conditions which will certainly test a few of the grommets” says South Island Chairperson Russel Ritchie. He hinted at New Brighton or Taylors Mistake being the venue for the weekend adding that the famous New Brighton pier would allow the grommets a better chance of getting out the back in what is expected to be “solid” conditions.

The Christchurch event is the second last of the Connect Group Series with the final event taking place next weekend at Kaikoura.

This weekend’s event replaces the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing this year. The grom comp is usually held during the three-day festival which also includes a longboarding competition, free surf lessons for kids, an art show with art from local artists, a skate competition and exhibition, a concert and kids movie competition which aims to raise community spirit and celebrate the life of the Duke and the surfing (Aloha) spirit.

Local Christchurch Surfer Rakiatea Tau
Image Courtesy of NZ Surf Journal

Unfortunately, in 2022 due to covid restrictions the festival was cancelled. Instead, the Connect Group Series Christchurch will give the groms an opportunity to test themselves against each other despite all other activities not taking place.

Local Under 16 surfer Jack Tyro had been looking forward to the ‘Duke’ as it was one of the main longboarding competitions although he added, “conditions weren’t looking ideal for longboarding so we may have dodged a bullet with that one.” Jack was however looking forward to pulling on the contest jersey in his home waters.” It’s nice to finally have a comp at home again, I love heading to the North Island to compete but it’s great to be able to cruise down to the local and have all my friends and family right there for support.

Jack enters the competition as one of the top seeds. Asked about the conditions for the weekend, he hinted that he had been surfing solid waves at home the past few weeks so felt comfortable knowing he had a bit of practise in the bigger stuff. With the swell forecasted to be more easterly and coming straight in, he said it could be a challenging but fun couple of days.

Surfers from Ahipara down to Dunedin will take part this weekend in Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 divisions with action taking place from 8am – 5pm daily.

COVID 19 Protocols

The event will be held using strict COVID 19 protocols.  All participants will be required to sign in with their My Vaccine Pass and scan QR codes.  Masks are required on the event site.  The divisions will be split into two separate days and run through to completion to limit the number of participants at the event site.

Further Information 
For further information on the Connect Group Event 3 Christchurch please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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

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