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Tawharu and Farr Claim Titles at Te Arai

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Elin Tawharu (Mnt) and Daniel Farr (Tara) were victorious at Te Arai Beach over the weekend taking out the two titles at the Aotearoa Surf Pro completed on Sunday afternoon (7th April).

The Aotearoa Surf Pro is the fourth event on the 2024 NZ Surf Series and it is the first time the series has taken in the East Coast of Auckland.  The final day of surfing was played out in 1.0m waves and moderate onshore winds that persisted all day, challenging top surfers from around the country.

Tawharu returned to the podium after a lengthy time out of the water due to injury and only having recently started back surfing.  However, the young Mount Maunganui surfer navigated her way through two rounds into the final before posting a 12.60 point heat total to win the Open Women’s Division.

“I am absolutely frothing,” said Tawharu, still dripping wet post final.  “So stoked to be at this event and then to take the win was great,” she added.

It was a back and forth final with Tawharu posting 6.67 point ride to open her campaign and take the lead.  However, it was Leia Millar, the tenacious young Piha surfer that swung into action and held the lead for much of the final.  Tawharu found rhythm late to edge past Millar, pushing her down to second place and an eventual runner up finish.

“It was back and forth between Leia and I until the end and I was lucky I got the wave at the end to secure the win over the girls.  It is my first win since the Maori Nats in October last year, so I am super stoked, I have the buzz back and I am looking forward to more,” said Tawharu of the encounter.

Alani Morse (Rag) finished third in the final with Aimee Brown (Gt Barrier) returning to the competitive arena securing fourth place.

The Open Men’s Final capped off a fantastic two days of action with a high scoring encounter that saw Daniel Farr post a 17.34 heat total for the win.  His performance was bookended by a 9.17 point ride in the dying stages of the final for a big two turn combo, the highest score of the event.

“The nerves were there all weekend, seeing the guys you were coming up against.  But going into the finals I felt a bit more prepared than the first heats.  And at the start, that first wave popped up for me perfectly then I got that good one at the end to finish it off,” said Farr.

“Great to back up from the win at the National Champs in January but it actually didn’t come easy.  It is always tough coming up against the likes of Caleb and Billy and all the top guys, I am glad we were all here to make it a good challenge this weekend,” said Farr whi is actually three from three in national events that he has entered in the past 12 months.

“It is awesome to get up here and see this part of the country and have an event somewhere new.  And we got some waves today, not the best, bit onshore but heaps of fun” added Farr who will base himself in Australia later this month.

It was Raglan’s Caleb Cutmore that pushed Farr until the end of the final, especially when he locked in an 8.5 point ride.  With one chance remaining, Cutmore scouted the line up and got a wave in the dying minutes but posted a 6.37 point ride, short of the 8.85 points required for the win.

Jack Hinton (Mnt) edged his way into third place on the final buzzer pushing Taranaki surfer Spencer Rowson back to fourth place after both surfers showed their talent in the earlier rounds to make the final.

Earlier in the day Rowson and Farr eliminated Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Jackson Peak (Auck) in the first semifinal while Cutmore and Hinton eliminated Kora Cooper and Taylor Hutchison of Raglan.

In the Women’s Division, Brown and Millar defeated Kyra Wallis (Piha) in one semifinal and Morse and Tawharu defeated Liv Haysom (Piha) in the other.

Full results can be viewed via  https://liveheats.com/events/44498.

Farr takes a commanding lead on the 2024 NZ Surf Series but will be run down missing the final two events of the season.  Leia Millar’s runner up finish sees her take the lead on the Women’s side with two events remaining in the season.  Full rankings can be viewed here – https://liveheats.com/surfingnz/rankings/?series=18209&division=185422

The Aotearoa Surf Pro is one of seven events on the NZ Surf Series and sees over $5000 in prize money plus prizes and giveaways up for grabs. An SNZ2000 rated event, it has attracted the best surfers from all over the country as well as a handful of local talent keen to give the event a crack in home waters.

The event brings together surfing, athletes, enthusiasts and spectators to experience a new dynamic surf comp that is spectator focused, embracing entertainment, food and festival vibes!

Just over an hour North of Auckland CBD Te Arai Beach is an iconic beach break situated to the south of Mangawhai Heads. With peaks up and down the beach, often heavy barrels and a right hander off the point when the sand is right, Te Arai is one of the premier breaks of the Auckland region.

More About Aotearoa Surf
Aotearoa Surf is a surf shop, surf lesson and accommodation provider in Te Arai, established in 2003.  They offer safe and fun surfing lessons for all ages & abilities at Mangawhai – Te Arai, plus wetsuits, surfboards, SUP boards and more for hire.

They have a range of services to suit all ages and experience levels with everything from locally based kids camps, after school programs and holiday programs to overseas surf retreats for adults. They are also the preferred choice for large organisations and corporate events.

Experience their outstanding 5-Star Qualmark certified accommodation options. Take the time to reconnect with yourself, your partner or your family in their eco pods or experience their glamping experience in their amazing range of teepees.

Aotearoa Surf are located at 11 Te Arai Point Rd, Te Arai Auckland

Visit their website

More about the Aotearoa Surf Pro and NZ Surf Series
The Aotearoa Surf Pro is an SNZ2000 event and part of the wider New Zealand Surf Series which includes the following events:

7 – 13 January, National Surfing Championships, Dunedin- St Clair
2-3 March – New Zealand Women’s Surf Festival pres by Sun Bum and VW, Pauanui
29 March – 1 April – Te Kaika South Island Surfing Championships, Dunedin
6-7 April – Aotearoa Surf Pro, Te Arai Beach, Auckland
13-14 April – Benchmark Homes Women’s Canterbury Champs, Sumner, Christchurch
26-28 April – Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Championships, Christchurch
24-26 May – Backdoor King and Queen of the Point pres by Quiksilver

For the Facebook event page Click Here

The Aotearoa Surf Pro would not be possible without the support of Aotearoa Surf, Surfing New Zealand, Volkswagen, Sun Bum, Sticky Johnson, Shapers, Vissla, Pyzel

Further Information
For further information on the 2024 Aotearoa Surf Pro 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.

Event details
Please visit Liveheats.com for live scores https://liveheats.com/events/44498

Follow the event
Follow the action via social media @surfingnz across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by: 
Sport NZ
NZ Community Trust
Sun Bum



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