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Top Dogs to Challenge Locals for Crown at South Island Championships

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The 2018 Emerson’s South Island Surfing Championships has attracted several of New Zealand’s top surfers who will be looking to head south in search of an extra Easter treat this weekend.

National Championships finalists Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach) are both heading south this week for the event which takes place from Friday and finishes on Sunday (30 April – 1 May).  The two surfers will take on a strong field of surfers from both the Otago area and greater South Island.

Local surfer Luke Murphy won the Open Men’s Division in 2017 keeping the title in the south for a second consecutive year.  However, both Paerata – Reid and Stewart will have title aspirations of their own after their respective barnstorming runs at the National Championships in January.

Paerata – Reid finished runner-up at the event and has been competing on the World Qualifying Series in Australia since.  Stewart placed third at the National Championships and will look for another podium to prove that his renewed form is here to stay.

Murphy is joined by several local surfers that will also be favourites at the event including two-time winner JC Susan (2013, 2016) and Elliott Brown.  Brown has not competed since the National Championships in January where he placed seventh but knows the surf at St Clair Beach better than most.

Ariana Shewry (Tara), defending champion in the Open Women’s Division, is competing in Hawaii this weekend and will be unable to defend her title.

Shewry leaves several young up and coming girls to fight it out with two past winners in Britt Kindred (Mur) and Hayley Coakes (Dun).  Youngsters like Tegen Bishop (Chch) and Estella Hungerford (Chch), have been in good form recently, winning their respective junior divisions at the Duke Festival in Christchurch two weeks ago.  They will now get the chance to step up their performances in the Women’s Division this weekend.

The junior divisions will see young local talent on display including Elliott Brown in the Under 18 Boys Division along with good mate Jack McLeod.  The two surfers will face off against National Champion Conor McLennan (Chch).

Defending Longboard Champion Hugh Ritchie (Chch) will go head-to-head with rankings leader and New Zealand teammate Zen Wallis (Piha), Wallis having the most recent moral success two weeks ago in Christchurch when the two surfers finished second and third at the Duke Festival.

The surf is expected to build from Friday through to Sunday when the finals will be contested.  All forecasts point toward the event being held at St Clair Beach although the official call will be made at 7am on Friday morning, day one of the event.

The three-day event is hosted by South Coast Boardriders and is dual sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association.  The event features 16 divisions ranging from Open Men and Women through to Under 14 Boys and Girls, Longboard, Seniors and Stand Up Paddleboard.

The Emerson’s South Island Surfing Championships is the second of six events on the 2017 New Zealand Surf Series which started with the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships held at Gisborne in January.  See below for remaining events:

Event 2: Emerson’s South Island Surfing Championships – 30 March – 1 April, Dunedin (SNZ 3 star)
Event 3: Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Championships – 21-23 April, Christchurch (SNZ 4 star)
Event 4: Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro – 27-29 April, Raglan (SNZ 4 star)
Event 5: Rip Curl Raglan Pro pres by Galbraiths – 4-6 May, Raglan (SNZ 6 star)
Event 6: Backdoor BayBash – 17-18 November, Hawkes Bay (SNZ 3 star)

The event is also part of the New Zealand Grom Series and the New Zealand Longboard Series.

Please see below for winners of the Emerson’s South Island Championships over the past five years.

Open Men’s
2017 Luke Murphy (Dun)
2016 JC Susan (Dun)
2015 Maz Quinn (Gis)
2014 Tane Wallis (Piha)
2013 JC Susan (Dun)

Open Women’s
2017 Ariana Shewry (Tara)
2016 Britt Kindred (Mur)
2015 Jess Terrill (Riverton)
2014 Hayley Coakes (Dun)
2013 Grace Spiers (WGM)

For more information on the Emerson’s South Island Surfing Championships please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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