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Thirtieth Edition of National Scholastic Champs Gets Underway

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The thirtieth edition of the National Scholastic Surfing Championships got underway at Makorori Beach, Gisborne today (Monday 8th October).  The event has brought together junior surfers from around the country, some of whom are second generation competitors at the event, their parents having competed at some of the first editions of the event which started in 1989.

Day one started out with a messy 1.0m swell and onshore southerly winds before the sun broke through and the swell lined up for the latter rounds in the afternoon.

Christchurch surfer Myka Black is one of several second-generation surfers competing at the event, his Dad Nick having competed at the Scholastics in 1995 as part of the Canterbury Team.  This year Nick is back on site supporting his son as the team coach of what he describes as one of the strongest Canterbury Teams in recent years.

Myka lived up to his part of the deal today, comfortably advancing through to the second round with a 13.80 point heat total.  He also surfed to the highest single wave score of the Under 16 Boys Division – 8.77 points for two big backhand turns.

Black departs to California in two weeks’ time as part of the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team competing at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Championships.  His team mates also advanced successfully today as they continue to prepare for the international event.

Team mates Kora Cooper (Rag) and Tom Robinson (Northland) both advanced through their heats posting 10.67 and 12.0 point heat totals respectively.

Other surfers to impress with early form included local surfer Finn Johnson who posted a 13.14 point heat total, Taylor O’Leary (Auck) and Jack Hinton (Mnt).

It was another Christchurch surfer that dominated the Under 14 Boys Division with Jai Oakley surfing to the highest heat score of the day in his division – 14.50 out of a possible 20 points.

Oakley got one solid right hander, completing two big forehand turns for a 7.87 points.  Four of Canterbury’s five surfers advanced out of the first round of the Under 14 Boys Division for one of the better starts out the eleven regions present.

Other surfers that looked strong in the Under 14 Boys Division included Jayden Willoughby (Rag), defending champion Finn Vette (Gis) and Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Northland).

The defending champion Bay of Plenty Team saw the majority of their surfers advance through the first day of competition, however, at least one of their surfers will have to contest the requalifying rounds after placing third in their heat.

Late in the afternoon, the Under 18 Boys Division hit the water with Caleb Cutmore making an instant statement surfing to a 15.90 point heat total – the highest of the day.

“I am stoked with the heat, the waves have cleaned up a lot and I am glad I found a few waves to go to work on” commented Cutmore about his performance.  “The surf looks like it will be similar all week and I like it out here, there are waves through all the tides and enough to work with” he added of his pending heats.

Surfing in the division for the first time, Cutmore looked sharp and will be hoping to lead his Waikato Team to a big result with the goal of lifting the team trophy off Bay of Plenty despite being one surfer short of the full complement of twelve.

“We have a strong team even though we are one surfer short” said Cutmore.  A couple of years ago it was just me and my cousin Taylor Hutchison but now all the groms have come through so hopefully we can get a good result” he added.

Cutmore was joined by Aryton Yarrell (Waihi), Max Brunker (Whangarei) and Luke Griffin as winners of the early heats in Round 1 of the Under 18 Boys Division.

Conditions are expected to improve for day two of the event with favourable northwest winds and a good swell remaining throughout the day.  The girls divisions will hit the water as well as the repechage rounds of the boys divisions that were contested on day one.

With no elimination rounds completed at the event, all teams remain on full points but day two will see the first surfers eliminated from the event.

Please see below for results from day one of the 2018 National Scholastic Surfing Championships held at Red Bus, Makorori, Gisborne today (Monday 8th October).

Under 16 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Kora Cooper (Rag), 10.67, 1, Finn Murphy (Gis), 4.4, 2, Sam Baxter (WGM), 1.4, 3

Heat 2

Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 9.5, 1, Jacob Fitzgerald (Tas), 5.44, 2, Josh Watson (Wai), 2.74, 3

Heat 3

Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 12.1, 1, Manawa Ruru (Gis), 9.33, 2, Flynn Healy (Wgtn), 4.6, 3, Ziny Halsall (Tas), 3.57, 4

Heat 4

Finn Johnson (Gis), 13.14, 1, Jacob Buckle (Whngrei), 6.2, 2, Cade O’Dae (Tas), 5.5, 3

Heat 5

Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.83, 1, Billy Gilbert (Nrthlnd), 5.53, 2, Ben Smith (Coro), 4.67, 3

Heat 6

Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 12, 1, Ethan Wray (Tara), 7.86, 2, Oscar Harper (Nrthlnd), 5.93, 3

Heat 7

Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 7.86, 1, Jacob Saunders (TGA), 7.84, 2, Josh Sheridan (Tas), 4.17, 3, Alan Paterson (Tas), 3.23, 4

Heat 8

Tom Butland (Tara), 10.33, 1, Sam Charlesworth (Auck), 7.97, 2, Harri Adams (Coro), 2.87, 3

Heat 9

Jack Hinton (Mnt), 11.83, 1, Noah Collier (Gis), 9.2, 2, DJ Thompson (Tas), 2.5, 3, Dallas Maddison Snook (Wgtn), 1.33, 4

Heat 10

Myka Black (Chch), 13.8, 1, Hunter Petersen (Tara), 8.1, 2, Jack Luke (Tara), 6.63, 3


Under 14 Boys Division Round 1
Heat 1

Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 13.4, 1, Finn Vette (Gis), 12.5, 2, Liam Heasley (Chch), 4.9, 3, Tyler Clarke – Moran (Hbay), 1.9, 4

Heat 2

Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Sandy Bay), 10.54, 1, Reuben Lyons (Kaik), 7.07, 2, Jarvis Camenzind (Rag), 5.06, 3, Jordaan Harris (Tas), 3.33, 4

Heat 3

Tai Erceg-Gray (Whngrei), 8.37, 1, Sam Thompson (Auck), 5.34, 2, Connor Green (Tas), 4.5, 3, Kalani Smith (Coro), 4.1, 4

Heat 4

Jai Oakley (Chch), 14.5, 1, James Millar (Chch), 9.74, 2, Tana Clapham (Rag), 3.5, 3, Matt Norris (Wgtn), 2.44, 4

Heat 5

Koby Cameron (Chch), 7.93, 1, Ollie Holland (Rag), 7.5, 2, Sean Smith (Coro), 4.44, 3, Keanu Martin (Tas), 4.13, 4

Heat 6

Tiger West-Hill (Gis), 7.24, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 6.74, 2, Harper Mcbride (Mnt), 4.94, 3, Luke Burns (Wgtn), 2.6, 4

The 2018 National Scholastic Surfing Championships is sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand, the New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council and supported by Pub Charity.

For more information on these events please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution images from the event will be available to media upon request.

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