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Hungerford and Peyroux Dominate First Event of South Island Grom Series

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Event 1 of the South Island Grom Series saw record entries with 60 entries.  The beautiful Tauranga Bay produced a 1.5 metre south west swell.

The day started with the Under 16 boys, stands outs were Jai Oakley scoring an 8.33 wave score with critical surfing in the pocket.  Other surfers looking good and winning their heats were James Millar, Kobi Cameron and Luke Rogers.  The Under 16 girls.  Surfers to impress were Ava Henderson, Leah Wilson and Misha Peyroux all progressing to the semis.  Under 14 Boys were next up with Benji Lowen, Nixon Reardon, Rakiatea Tau and Campbell Heasley all impressing the judges.

Under 18 Boys saw Neko Tohiariki blowing his competitors out of the water with a 17.5 heat score.  Also impressing the judges and winning their heats were Jai Oakley and Ruben Peyroux making it through to the semis.

Under 18 Girls had NZ Rep Estella Hungerford taking out her heat alongside Leah Wilson, Ave Henderson and Eve Findlay making it through to the finals.

Under 12 Boys it was Billy Cameron, Travis Henderson, Sonny Lyons and Benji Lowen all smashing their way to the final.  Under 12 Girls – surfers to impress were Ana Tau along with Tessa Gabbott, Coco Bentley and Lucy Macefield.

Under 14 Girls saw the Point Surf Team girls dominating with Holly Campbell, Ruby Armstrong and Amelie Wink alongside Misha Peyroux from South Coast making it through to the finals.

Under 16 Boys semi 1 was super close with Jai Millar and Liam Heasley sneaking ahead of Jai Oakley.  Semi 2 saw local lad Jacob Fitzgerald smashing his way to the a 1st place making it through to the final alongside Rueben Lyons from Kaikoura Surf Groms.

In the Under 16 girls Ava Henderson performed two powerful back hand re-entries in the pocket and finished with a roundhouse cutback leaving the judges no option but to give her a perfect 10.  Others to make it through to the final were Amelie Wink, Leah Wilson and Anika Ayson.

Under 14 Boys Jack McKenzie, fresh off a holiday in Indo, winning his heat ahead of Nixon Reardon. Tyler Perry from Kaikoura Surf Groms took out semi 2 with some nice back hand snaps and pushing Tom Robertson in to second.

Under 18 Boys semi 1 saw the two Dunedin Boys Ruben Peyroux and Luke Rogers making it through to the final.  Semi 2 had Christchurch boys Jai Oakley and Neko Tohiariki surf their way to the final.

The higher tide cleaned up with the left handers peeling right though the bay.  A decision was made to run the comp in 1 day with 10 hours of surfing.

Under 12 Girls was the first final in the water with all the girls out the back.  After winning the South Island Primary School champs last weekend, Ana Tau from the Northside Boardriders club claimed another victory.  Tessa Gabbott, Lucy Masefield and Coco Bentley finishing 2nd 3rd and 4th.

The Under 12 boys was hotly contested but it was Sonny Lyons also taking a second victory in 2 weeks ahead of Billy Cameron, Benji Lowen and Travis Henderson.

Under 14 Girls saw Holly Campbell of Point Surf Team claim her first victory in the South Island Grom Series ahead of Amelie Wink, Ruby Armstrong and Misha Peyroux.

In the under 14 boys, Jack McKenzie, carried on from where he left off in the semis and dominated the final ahead of Nixon Reardon, Tyler Perry and Tom Robertson.

Under 16 Girls saw Ava Henderson and Leah Wilson battle it out, with Ava Henderson finishing ahead of Leah Wilson, Anika Ayson and Amelie Wink.

Under 16 Boys saw James Millar, of the North Wai Boardriders club, coming out strongly and taking the win ahead of Rueben Lyons, Liam Heasley and Jacob Fitzgerald.

Under 18 saw an outstanding performance, Estella Hungerford smash it with a heat score of 19 with a series of incredibly powerful backhand re-entries.  Ava Henderson 2nd, Leah Wilson 3rd and Eve Findlay 4th.

The last final of the day was a bit of a fizzer, after the Under 18 Girls, with the lads struggling to position themselves in the line-up.  Ruben Peyroux snuck ahead of Jai Oakley, Neko Tohiariki and Luke Rogers.  Ruben hooking on to a right hander, popped out his fins and took the win in the dying minutes.

Stairmand and Vette Take Wins in Hawkes Bay

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A fast-paced day in Hawkes Bay saw the Backdoor BayBash surfed through to completion at Waimarama Beach today with Billy Stairmand (Rag) defending his title in the Open Men’s Division while Saffi Vette (Gis) claimed her first ever win in the Open Women’s Division.

The day broke to clean 0.5m waves and light winds, and with no improvement forecasted throughout the weekend, it was decided that completing the event in one day was the best option.

Stairmand lived up to his favourite tag with precision surfing all day including the final which he dominated from start to finish, enabling him to defend his event title and in doing so, leap frog Zen Wallis (Piha) to reclaim the year end number one ranking.

“It’s good to finish the year on a high, it’s a good Christmas present” proclaimed Stairmand.

“I didn’t have a good year competing internationally but to win the final event of the year here in New Zealand is good and my earlier win in the Rip Curl Pro has helped me defend my overall New Zealand Surf Series title so that is something to take into next year as I gear up for another shot at the Australian leg of the WQS” added Stairmand.

“I knew the final was going to be hard, Levi surfs those conditions really well and Caleb has been in good form plus I have watched Jack Lee improve so much surfing at the Academy this year.  But when I got that first good wave, that gave me a boost and the confidence to wait for the best waves for the rest of the final.”

Stairmand finished with a 14.10 point total in the final, attributing his win to the finding the right waves and having new boards from Sharp Eye which has pumped him up to compete in small waves.

Finishing second in the final was Caleb Cutmore (Ham) who took one last swing at Stairmand with an air reverse on his last wave but came up short of the required score.

Waihi Beach surfer Levi Stewart finished third in the final and runner up to Stairmand on the New Zealand Surf Series.  16-year-old Jack Lee (Whaka) finished the final in fourth place.

17-year-old Gisborne surfer Saffi Vette left her run late in the Open Women’s Division surfing her last wave in the final 10 seconds of the final to overcome Auckland surfer Aimee Brown.

“It was pretty nerve racking but I have had heaps of comp experience this year and I got that last wave and did the job so I am stoked” said Vette of her situation in the final.

“It was a huge confidence boost to get that win, I haven’t done extremely well this year so hopefully I can take this on to next year and start well at the Nationals in January” she added.

Vette finished with 13.10 point heat total to defeat Brown (12.33) in the final, Brown finishing ahead of Laura Griffin (Whangarei) who had led for much of the final but ultimately finished third ahead of Tegen Bishop (Chch) in fourth.

While Vette will be in New Zealand for the National Championships in January, she will quickly switch focus to international events with the goal of qualifying for the World Surf League (WSL) Junior Championships as well as competing on the WSL WQS.

In the junior divisions it was a role reversal for Vette when she led the Under 18 Girls Division final until the final ten seconds when Brown caught a last-gasp wave to jump into the lead and with that, win the overall series for 2018.  Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) finished the final in third place ahead of Tegen Bishop (Chch) in fourth.

Ohope surfer Jared Gebert claimed the Under 18 Boys Division with a strong performance that netted him a 14.26 point heat total to defeat Luke Griffin (Mnt) in second, Caleb Cutmore (Ham) in third and Tom Robinson (Whangarei) in fourth.

Finn Vette kicked off the finals for their family with a win in the Under 16 Boys Division.  It was a slickly surfed right-hander that included two vertical backhand re-entries that saw Vette march into the lead in the final.  He eventually finished with a 12.83 point heat total to eclipse overall series winner Kora Copper (Rag) who finished in second place ahead of Luis Soutehrwood (Whaka) in third and Taylor O’Leary (Mur) in fourth.

This is the fifth year the Backdoor BayBash has taken place.  The event included six divisions with the Men’s and Women’s premier divisions being supported by the New Zealand Grom Series Under 18 and 16 age groups.

Please see below for results from the Backdoor BayBash completed at Waimarama Beach, Hawkes Bay today (Saturday 8th December).

Open Men’s Division Final
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 14.1, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 10.93, 2, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 9.53, 3, Jack Lee (Whaka), 4.9, 4

Open Women’s Division Final
Saffi Vette (Gis), 13.1, 1, Aimee Brown (GB), 12.33, 2, Laura Griffin (Mnt), 10.44, 3, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 8.9, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Final
Jared Gebert (Ohope), 14.26, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 12.23, 2, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 12.03, 3, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.86, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Final
Aimee Brown (Auck), 10.46, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 10.27, 2, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 8.6, 3, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 3.97, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Final
Finn Vette (Gis), 12.83, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 11.57, 2, Luis Southerwood (Whaka), 10.6, 3, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 8.47, 4

Information
For more information on the Backdoor BayBash please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.  Alternatively contact Backdoor via Geoff Hutchison – hutch@backdoor.co.nz.

Partners
Generous support from Backdoor Surf Shop, Billabong, Rip Curl, Channel Island Surfboards and Hastings District Council has made this event possible.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Keep in touch with all the surfing info from around the country by following Surfing New Zealand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – @surfingnz

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

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
TAB

Ends

Hawkes Bay Set to Host Final Surf Event of 2018

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The New Zealand surfing community is anxiously awaiting the final day of surfing at the Vans World Cup in Hawaii tomorrow (Friday) where it is expected that Ricardo Christie will requalify for the 2019 World Tour.  A little closer to home, New Zealand based surfers will have to interrupt their road trip east to the Hawkes Bay and catch Christie in action before continuing on to the final domestic event of the year – the Backdoor BayBash.

The New Zealand Surf Series title is on the line this weekend in both the Men’s and Women’s Divisions with good results from the front runners in both, expected to affect the year-end rankings.

Piha surfer Zen Wallis currently leads the Men’s Division but will be sweating on the results of his New Zealand teammates Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) who sit in second and third respectively. Both surfers are capable of catching Wallis with a good result in what is expected to be small surf conditions.

Stewart can take home the series title with a win this weekend eliminating all other scenarios.

Stairmand only needs a runner-up finish to take matters into his own hands and defend his 2017 series title.  Stairmand will look favourably on the Backdoor BayBash after winning the 2017 edition held at Te Awanga in December last year.

Meanwhile, Wallis will need a win and other results to go his way to claim his first New Zealand Surf Series title, his previous best ranking being a third in 2016.

In the Women’s Division, an absence of the top ranked surfer and National Champion, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), means a win by Aimee Brown (Great Barrier) will see her jump to the number one ranking and take home the title.

Brown claimed her first Open Women’s Division win earlier this year at the Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro held at Raglan so she is certainly capable of another win this weekend.

Brown finds herself in a similar position in the Under 18 Girls Division where she sits in second needing a win this weekend and a third placed finish by current rankings leader Tegen Bishop (Chch) to finish on top in what is shaping up to be a big two days of surfing for the Aucklander.  A runner-up finish by Bishop will be enough to see her hold on to the New Zealand Grom Series title.

The Under 18 Boys Division has become a two-horse race with Caleb Cutmore (Rag) out in the lead over Conor McLennan (Chch).  A win by McLennan and a seventh place finish by Cutmore could see the rankings flip after this weekend.

Kora Cooper (Rag) has an unassailable lead in the Under 16 Boys Division leaving this weekend’s event for bragging rights amongst a stacked field of young surfers.

This is the fifth year the Backdoor BayBash has taken place.  The event includes six divisions with the Men’s and Women’s premier divisions being supported by the New Zealand Grom Series Under 18 and 16 age groups.

Action will take place from 8:00am – 4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday with a call on the event venue made first thing each morning.  Given the swell forecast, the event will most likely be held at Waimarama Beach.

Please see below, current New Zealand Surf Series and New Zealand Grom Series standings.

Open Men’s Division
1, Zen Wallis (Piha)
2, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch)
3, Billy Stairmand (Rag)
4, Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
5, Luke Cederman (Rag)
6, Nick White (Mnt)
7, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha)
8, Elliott Brown (Dun)
9, Conor McLennan (Chch)
10, Dune Kennings (Whmata)

Open Women’s Division
1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
2, Aimee Brown (GB)
3, Georgia Wederell (Chch)
4, Elin Tawahru (Mnt)
5, Tegen Bishop (Chch)
6, Brie Bennett (Rag)
7, Billie Scott (Whangarei)
8, Ella Williams (Whmata)
9, Gabriella Sansom (Auck)
10, Saffi Vette (Gis)

Under 18 Boys Division
1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham)
2, Conor McLennan (Chch)
3, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
4, Shane Kraus (Piha)
5, Tom Norton (Waipu)

Under 16 Boys Division
1, Kora Cooper (Rag)
2, Myka Black (Chch)
3, Tom Robinson (Whngrei)
4, Jack Lee (Whaka)
5, Josef Jungwirth (Rag)

Under 18 Girls Division
1, Tegen Bishop (Chch)
2, Aimee Brown (Auck)
3, Kea Smith (Arataki)
4, Tiana – Breeze de Mooj (Mnt)
5, Georgia Wederell (Mnt)

Under 16 Girls Division
1, Brie Bennett (Rag)
2, Estella Hungerford (Chch)
3, Georgia Wederell (Mnt)
4, Hannah King (Gis)
5, Anna Brock (Mnt)

Information
For more information on the Backdoor BayBash please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.  Alternatively, contact Backdoor via Geoff Hutchison – hutch@backdoor.co.nz.

Partners
Generous support from Backdoor Surf Shop, Billabong, Rip Curl, Channel Island Surfboards and Hastings District Council has made this event possible.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Keep in touch with all the surfing info from around the country by following Surfing New Zealand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – @surfingnz

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

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
TAB

Ends

Kiwi Team Finishes with Bronze in Relay, Fifth Overall at ISA Worlds

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The New Zealand Team has finished fifth place overall after a bronze medal in the relay race, the final event of the 2018 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship completed at Wanning, China overnight.

The New Zealand Team could not bridge the small points difference to catch Spain and make the podium despite bringing home six medals from the event.  Australia won the overall team rankings for the sixth straight year.

The Kiwi relay team was led by triple medallist Trevor Tunnington (Aus based) along with Tara Hope (Auck) on the stand up paddleboards and Danny Hart (Mnt) and Devon Halliday (Mnt) on the prone boards. The team edged Denmark by less than half a second.  Australia won gold ahead of USA who claimed bronze.

Prior to the relay races, Tunnington added a second medal to his tally with silver in the Men’s SUP Sprint Race.  The performance left him exhausted for the distance races being held the next day and he had to pull out mid-race.

Danny Hart (Mnt) was the top performing Kiwi in the distance races finishing fifth in the Prone Discipline.  Ollie Houghton finished tenth in the SUP Distance Race while Tara Hope finished eleventh.  Devon Halligan finished eighth in the Women’s Prone Distance Race.

Earlier in the event the Kiwi’s secured three medals in the shorter technical races with Tunnington taking a bronze in the men’s 5km Technical Race, Danny Hart bronze in the Men’s Prone Technical Race and Ollie Houghton silver in the Under 18 Boys Technical Race.

The event started with the Stand Up Paddleboard Surfing where Stella Smith (Gis) surfed her way to New Zealand’s first medal in the discipline – a bronze in the Women’s Division.

The New Zealand Team secured their best ever result of third in 2017 and podiumed in fourth place in 2016.

Please see below for the full team that competed at the 2018 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship held at Wanning, China from the 24th November – 2nd December.

Jamie Andrews (Tara) – SUP Surf Men’s – 11th
Sean Hovell (Gis) – SUP Surf Men’s – 11th
Stella Smith (Gis) – SUP Surf Women’s – 3rd
Lucy Te Moananui (Kaikoura) – SUP Surf Women’s – 17th
Trevor Tunnington (AUS based) – Endurance, Technical, Sprint SUP Races – DNF, 3rd, 2nd
Oliver Houghton (Auck) – Endurance, Technical, Junior SUP Races, 10th, 9th, 2nd
Tara Hope (Auck) – Endurance and Technical, Sprint SUP Races – 11th, 13th, 7th
Maddie McAsey (Auck) – Endurance and Technical, Junior SUP Race Women’s – 6th, 23rd, 33rd,
Danny Hart (Mnt) – Technical Prone Race Men’s – 3rd, 5th
Devon Halligan (Mnt) – Technical Prone Race Women’s – 6th, 8th

Manager – Rosie Houghton (Auckland)
Assistant Manager – Gavin Houghton (Auckland)
Coach – Gary Smith (Gisborne)

Team Points
1 Australia, 15748
2 USA, 14853
3 France, 12568
4 Spain, 11796
5 New Zealand, 11452
6 Japan, 11040
7 Italy, 9489
8 Denmark, 9414
9 South Africa, 9177
10 Great Britain, 9108

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
TAB

Ends

Three Further Medals For the Kiwis at the World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships

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The New Zealand Team has secured three valuable medals during the final day of technical races at the International Surfing Association World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships.

The Kiwi performances throughout the day saw the team hold on to fifth place overall in the tightest of races to get on to the podium.

Australian based Trevor Tunnington secured a bronze in the Men’s 5km Technical Race while Ollie Houghton (Auck) secured silver in the Under 18 Boys 5km Technical Race and Daniel Hart finished third in the Men’s 5km Prone Race.

The Kiwi girls were also in action with Tara Hope finishing 13th in the Women’s 5km Technical Race, Maddie McAsey sixth in the Under 18 Girls 5km Technical Race and Devon Halligan sixth in the Women’s 5km Prone Technical Race.

Tunnington noted the stacked field of athletes in the men’s race, guys that he competes against on the world circuit and ironically didn’t have high hopes of getting a podium finish.

“I didn’t get a good start at all but managed to get some clean water and sprint my way up to the front pack. The entire race, it was the four of us at the front – Daniel (Hasulyo), Connor (Baxter), myself and Bruno (Hasulyo). It was a very tight race and a lot of fun” said Tunnington.

“I think we were all stoked, at least I was, because we knew that most likely we would be getting at least a copper medal! That took the pressure off for the race and we were able to focus on setting a good pace and doing our best.  I was really happy with my race and stoked to come third. It was awesome finishing with some close friends such as Daniel and Bruno and Connor” he added.

Tunnington now turns his attention to the sprint race which starts on Friday and the distance race on Saturday which will complete the event.

18-year-old Ollie Houghton was in a race for gold, leading for much of the race before getting overtaken with the finish line in sight.

“On the last buoy I was absolutely drained from dragging Ryan (Funk) round the last lap and he managed to sneak on the inside of me and around it and that was pretty much the difference between gold and silver” explained an exhausted Houghton.

“Although gold would have been so much better I’m still stoked with a top three performance” added Houghton who went on to compete in the Men’s Race but admitted to fatiguing a lot quicker in the second half of the race.

Houghton also turns his focus to the distance race which is being held at Shenzhou Peninsula on December 1.

The New Zealand Team comprises eleven athletes and they are looking to defend their bronze medal they secured in 2017.  26 countries are represented at the event.

The remaining schedule for the event is as follows:

Shenzhou Peninsula
November 30 – Sprint Races
December 1 – Distance Races
December 2 – Relay Races, Closing Ceremony

Please see below for the full team that are competing at the 2018 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held at Riyue Bay, Hainan Island, China from the 24th November – 2nd December.

Jamie Andrews – SUP Surf Men’s
Sean Hovell (Gis) – SUP Surf Men’s
Stella Smith (Gis) – SUP Surf Women’s
Lucy Te Moananui (Kaikoura) – SUP Surf Women’s
Trevor Tunnington (AUS based) – Endurance, Technical, Sprint SUP Races
Oliver Houghton (Auck) – Endurance, Technical, Junior SUP Races
Tara Hope (Auck) – Endurance and Technical, Sprint SUP Races
Maddie McAsey (Auck) – Technical SUP Race Women’s
Charlotte Spicer (Singapore) – Endurance SUP Race Women’s
Danny Hart (Mnt) – Technical Prone Race Men’s
Devon Halligan (Mnt) – Technical Prone Race Women’s

Manager – Rosie Houghton (Auckland)
Assistant Manager – Gavin Houghton (Auckland)
Coach – Gary Smith (Gisborne)

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
TAB

Ends

Surfing success named Skills Active Māori sport scholar for 2018

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Surfer Raiha Ensor, of Te Whānau a Apanui, Tainui, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāi Tuhoe, has been awarded the Skills Active Māori Sport Scholarship.

Since 1999, Skills Active, in partnership with Te Tohu Taakaro o Aotearoa Charitable Trust, have provided the $5,000 Māori Sports scholarship for promising and outstanding Māori athletes in support of their sporting and academic careers.

This year, the scholarship was open to any male or female athlete of Māori descent, aged from 16 to 20, who is achieving outstanding results at regional, national or international level, and is committed to furthering their education.

Having grown up in Mt Maunganui, Raiha has been surfing since she was eight years old. She is now studying towards a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance at the University of Waikato, but still finds time to be on the water for at least two hours every day.

19-year-old Raiha is the current Women’s National Surfing Champion, having taken out the title at the 2018 National Surfing Championships. She leads the 2018 open women’s rankings with one event remaining. She intends to retain her lead and win the 2018 series title, and she also has her sights set on retaining her Championship title in 2019.

Raiha also achieved 9th place in the 2017 World Surfing Games (Open), and came 7th and 9th respectively in the 2016 and 2017 World Junior Surfing Championships.

She is a member of the New Zealand Surfing team and aspires to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, when surfing will be included for the first time.

The scholarship will be used to help fund Raiha’s studies and the costs of training and competing.

Skills Active chief executive Dr. Grant Davidson says the organisation is thrilled to be able to support such a hard-working and gifted young athlete, in a dynamic sport that highlights our beautiful marine environment.

“We have no doubt Raiha is destined for great achievements both in sport and in her education, and we are proud to be a part of her journey.

“Each year there are many deserving young Māori athletes who could receive the scholarship. Although it is always difficult to select one scholar, it is exciting to see the huge breadth of talent and potential in the Māori sporting world.”

Stella Smith Wins New Zealand’s First SUP Surfing Medal – Bronze at the ISA Worlds

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16-year-old Gisborne surfer Stella Smith has secured New Zealand’s first ever Stand Up Paddle Surfing medal, winning bronze in the 2018 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship today (Monday 26th November).

The event is being held at Riyue Bay, Hainan Island, China with the finals contested in a fading 1.0m swell with offshore winds.

The Kiwi finished behind two-time defending champion Shakira Westdrop (AUS) and America’s Candice Appleby with a 10.50 point heat total compared with Westdrop’s 14.37 points out of a possible 20.

“Yeah I was stoked to make the final but was still gutted with my result and thought I could’ve done better” said the young surfer.

“The final itself was a lot slower than the other heats and I didn’t capitalise on the few sets when they came” she added of her finals performance.

The final came after Smith earlier advanced directly to the final alongside another teenager in Yuuka Horikoshi (JPN) who placed fourth in the final.

“To get the opportunity to surf against the best again was such a blessing and I’m so lucky.  The Kiwi Team this year is very strong and I’m excited to watch the racers compete from tomorrow onwards” said Smith.

Smith’s performance in the surfing was complemented by eleventh place finishes for Taranaki’s Jamie Andrews and Gisborne’s Sean Hovell in the Men’s Division and a 17th place finish for Christchurch surfer Lucy Te Moananui.

The four surfers have pushed New Zealand into fourth place overall from the 26 teams competing at the event.  Australia, Spain and USA currently occupy the top three placings.

Attention will now turn to the racing disciplines that get underway tomorrow starting with two days of 5km technical races through the waves at Riyue Bay before the distance races are held at Shenzhou Peninsula from November 30.

The New Zealand Team comprises eleven athletes and they are looking to defend their bronze medal they secured in 2017.  26 countries are represented at the event.

The remaining schedule for the event is as follows:

Riyue Bay
November 26 – SUP Surfing
November 27 – Technical Races
November 28 – Technical Races
November 29 – Lay day

Shenzhou Peninsula
November 30 – Sprint Races
December 1 – Distance Races
December 2 – Relay Races, Closing Ceremony

Please see below for the full team that are competing at the 2018 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship being held at Riyue Bay, Hainan Island, China from the 24th November – 2nd December.

Jamie Andrews – SUP Surf Men’s
Sean Hovell (Gis) – SUP Surf Men’s
Stella Smith (Gis) – SUP Surf Women’s
Lucy Te Moananui (Kaikoura) – SUP Surf Women’s
Trevor Tunnington (AUS based) – Endurance, Technical, Sprint SUP Races
Oliver Houghton (Auck) – Endurance, Technical, Junior SUP Races
Tara Hope (Auck) – Endurance and Technical, Sprint SUP Races
Maddie McAsey (Auck) – Technical SUP Race Women’s
Charlotte Spicer (Singapore) – Endurance SUP Race Women’s
Danny Hart (Mnt) – Technical Prone Race Men’s
Devon Halligan (Mnt) – Technical Prone Race Women’s

Manager – Rosie Houghton (Auckland)
Assistant Manager – Gavin Houghton (Auckland)
Coach – Gary Smith (Gisborne)

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
TAB

Ends

Kiwi Juniors Twelfth at World Junior Championships

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For immediate release

7 November 2018

From:   Surfing New Zealand
Sport:   International Surfing
Event:  2018 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship
Divisions: Under 18 and 16 Boys and Girls
Date:    27 October – 4 November 2018
Location: Huntington Beach, California, USA
Websites: ISA and Surfing New Zealand

Kiwi Juniors Twelfth at World Junior Championships

The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team has finished twelfth at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Championship completed early this week in California, USA.

The New Zealand Team performance was highlighted by top performers in the Under 18s Division and Under 16 Girls Division with Caleb Cutmore (Ham) finishing 13th overall in the Under 18 Boys Division.

Gisborne’s Saffi Vette finished 16th overall in the Under 18 Girls Division and Brie Bennett (Rag) finished 19th in the Under 16 Girls Division.

Cutmore advanced through seven rounds of the event eliminating teammate Conor Mclennan (Chch) in the process, McLennan finishing 17th overall.

“I was stoked with how I ended up going throughout the comp” said Cutmore.

“I was a bit gutted when I got the double interference in the third round but it turned out to be a positive as I started to gain momentum throughout the repechage rounds. With each round I progressed through, I felt less pressure as I had nothing to lose, I was surfing against some big names and I was the underdog. I was stoked with some of the waves I got and heats that I surfed but I feel as though I still have a lot more to give and I want to come back stronger next time” added Cutmore who is eligible for the event again in 2019.

Cutmore’s last heat was a high scoring affair with the Hamilton surfer posting a 13.10 point heat total yet finishing third to surfers from Spain and Peru.

“I started off my last heat with a 7 and then backed it up with a 6. I was still looking for a steeper wave where I could start to go more top to bottom. There weren’t many waves coming through and I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Two other surfers in the heat dropped 7’s and 8’s so I was left chasing a 7.8 and I couldn’t find it. I was still glad I put up a good fight though and I learnt heaps surfing against those top guys.”

Mclennan had remained in the main round of the event up until Round 4 before suffering back to back defeats in the main round and repechage round.

Shane Kraus (Piha) finished the event in 49th overall after exiting in the Repechage Round 3.

Gisborne’s Saffi Vette placed 16th overall in the Under 18 Girls Division as the highest placed female Kiwi.  Surfing in the division for the first time, Vette found herself taking in a lot of learnings as she pushed through some tight rounds to advance her cause.

“I felt like my overall performance was good but I needed to get on the best waves and I didn’t really give myself the chance to show the judges my best surfing. But then again I learnt so much from being in high pressure situations and I have learnt a lot from my losses.”

“Hopefully something will click soon and I can come back better next year” added the young surfer who returns to New Zealand via Australia where she is competing in the final WSL World Qualifying Series event of the year this week.

Vette failed to fire a shot in her final heat of the event finishing in fourth with a 7.60 point heat total, despite that, only requiring a modest 5.57 point ride to advance.

“Oh my last heat I had a total shocker! I was pretty disappointed with the way I surfed and was lucky to even make it through the heat before. So that was not the way I wanted to exit but I have seen all the mistakes I made wave selection and priority errors so hopefully I can put that into practice so I can make them my strengths in future” said Vette.

Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mnt) and Kea Smith (Mnt) finished 31st and 49th respectively in the Under 18 Girls Division.

Raglan’s Brie Bennett placed 19th overall in the Under 16 Girls Division and along with Ariana Shewry (Tara), advanced through multiple rounds during their successful campaigns.

“I’m happy with my results as well as the event giving me more confidence for events back in New Zealand and a taste for the standard for overseas comps” said Bennett.

“It was so fun surfing as a team and gaining knowledge amongst the best in the world, it was really cool and it made me feel good when I came in from a win or loss to still get great support and encouragement from the New Zealand Team.”

Shewry finished the event in 22nd overall finishing fourth in her Repechage Round 5 heat.  Both her and Bennett have the fortune of being eligible for the same division in 2019.

Christchurch surfer Estella Hungerford finished the event in 43rd overall.

Our surfers in the Under 16 Boys Division suffered a baptism of fire all being eliminated in the first round of the main event before bowing out early in the repechage rounds.  Christchurch surfer Myka Black was the highest placed in 57th overall with Tom Robinson (Whangarei) and Kora Cooper (Rag) finishing in 65th overall.

The Japanese Surfing Team went on to win the event, a first for Japan to go alongside their win at the World Surfing Games earlier in the year.  Japan beat USA, Australia and Hawaii who rounded out the top four.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 350 surfers from 44 nations.  2018 marks the first year that all divisions are gender equal at the event with three surfers in each of the four divisions contested.

Results from the 2018 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship held at Huntington Beach, California, USA from the 27th October – 4th November are as follows:

Team Rankings
1 Japan 7503
2 USA 7371
3 Australia 5814
4 Hawaii 5798
5 France 4898
6 Spain 4471
7 Brazil 4380
8 South Africa 4310
9 Germany 4186
10 Portugal 4108
11 Peru 3923
12 New Zealand 3628

Under 18 Boys Division
Caleb Cutmore (Hamilton) – 13th
Conor McLennan (Christchurch) – 17th
Shane Kraus (Piha) – 49th

Under 18 Girls Division
Saffi Vette (Gisborne) – 16th
Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mount Maunganui) – 31st
Kea Smith (Mount Maunganui) – 49th

Under 16 Boys Division
Myka Black (Christchurch) – 57th
Kora Cooper (Raglan) – 65th
Tom Robinson (Whangarei) – 65th

Under 16 Girls Division
Brie Bennett (Raglan) – 19th
Ariana Shewry (Oakura) – 22nd
Estella Hungerford (Christchurch) – 43rd

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Imagery
High resolution action images of team members will be available to media free of charge upon request.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via all social media platforms – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
Water Safety New Zealand

Ends

Junior Surfing Team Primed for World Championship in California

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The New Zealand Junior Surfing Team has used the most recent National Scholastic Surfing Championships as the textbook preparation for the World Junior Championship taking place next week.

The twelve surfer team heads off to the United States of America next week to compete at the 2018 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being held at Huntington Beach, California from the 27th October through until the 4th November.

Nine surfers in the New Zealand Team were competing in Gisborne at the Scholastic Championships with three of those surfers taking home titles – Caleb Cutmore, Brie Bennett and Kora Cooper all of Raglan.

The scholastic event mirrors that of the World Junior Championship with a focus on the team aspect and also the long duration of the event, surfers having to pace themselves over five days of competition.

It will be that domestic experience that the team will need to pull on with only three of the surfers having previously competed at the prestigious international event.

You would expect the youngest surfer in the team, 14-year-old Kora Cooper, to be the surfer with the most nerves heading into the biggest event of his life and travelling without family.  However, the young natural foot surfer appears to be relaxed only days out from departure, taking things in his stride and looking forward heading away as part of the junior team.

Cooper claimed two titles and a runner up finish at the 2018 Bayleys Real Estate Aotearoa Maori Titles held in Taranaki over the weekend as he bagged more heat time getting ready for the event.  Likewise, Brie Bennett won the Under 18 Girls Division and placed second in the Open Women’s Division at the event also putting in hours in the coloured jersey.

The three veteran team members looking to improve on their 2017 performances are Caleb Cutmore, Saffi Vette (Gis) and Kea Smith (Mnt).

Vette moves up into the Under 18 Girls Division this year after an impressive run at the event in 2017 that saw her finish eleventh overall.  The Gisborne surfer will want to replicate her performances this year as she hunts for more international success after spending much of this year competing both in New Zealand and in Australia.

Cutmore also moves up into the Under 18 Boys Division and will be hoping to improve on his 49th placing from 2017.

For the past two years the team has finished tenth overall and they will be aiming to push into the top eight to gain qualification for the Aloha Cup.  USA won the 2017 event beating Hawaii, Japan and Australia who finished second through fourth respectively.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) had to opt out of the event after being originally selected and is now focussing on his preparation for the WSL World Junior Championship in Taiwan later in the year after winning the Australasian Junior Series.  Elin Tawharu (Mnt) was also selected for the team but stepped up to represent New Zealand at the World Surfing Games in September where she placed 22nd overall.  The two surfers have been replaced by Shane Kraus (Piha) and Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mnt).

Next week’s championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 350 surfers from 44 nations.  2018 marks the first year that all divisions are gender equal at the event with three surfers in each of the four divisions contested.

The 2018 New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Boys Division
Caleb Cutmore (Hamilton)
Conor McLennan (Christchurch)
Shane Kraus (Piha)

Under 18 Girls Division
Kea Smith (Mount Maunganui)
Saffi Vette (Gisborne)
Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mount Maunganui)

Under 16 Boys Division
Kora Cooper (Raglan)
Myka Black (Christchurch)
Tom Robinson (Whangarei)

Under 16 Girls Division
Ariana Shewry (Oakura)
Brie Bennett (Raglan)
Estella Hungerford (Christchurch)

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Follow Surfing New Zealand
Follow Surfing New Zealand via all social media platforms – @surfingnz.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
Water Safety New Zealand

Ends

Paige Hareb Wins White Buffalo QS3000 in Japan

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The shores of Okuragahama Beach, Japan, were buzzing from the start for an exciting finals day at the White Buffalo Women’s Hyuga Pro QS 3,000 with a lot of surfing on schedule to crown the 2018 victor. That incredible victory belongs to QS veteran Paige Hareb after charging from Round 3 to the Final, not skipping a beat throughout the day and posting the event’s top performances en route to the podium over Australian upstart Isabella Nichols in clutch fashion.

It’s been nearly a decade in the waiting for Hareb, who’s fallen off the Championship Tour and showed her will to get back, and this win all but seals her re-qualification as she now sits at 13,800 points.

Hareb’s Hair-Raising Finish

The New Zealand native took advantage of the 30-minute Final as she sat patiently for nearly 20mins of the heat before getting things started against a busy Nichols.

The Australian had Hareb in an early, 12.40 (out of a possible 20) combination situation — meaning she needed two new scores to equal Nichols. But, the former Championship Tour (CT) showed her poise as the clock wound down below the four-minute mark needing a 6.77 (out of a possible 10) and delivering a 7.00 to steal the lead and a big win.

“This win is pretty special since it’s my first one in ten years when I last qualified for the Tour,” Hareb said. “I knew I had more time since it was a thirty-minute heat, but I just couldn’t find anything and maybe I was in the wrong spot. I had to be patient since I only needed two waves. It was frustrating seeing Bella get that one under my priority and it seemed she was on everything.”

Hareb had to overcome a talented lineup in her run toward the podium, starting the day off with a near-perfect 9.33 — the event’s highest single-wave score — and 8.17 for an event-best 17.50 heat total. But, the New Zealander wasn’t done yet and took down Holly Wawn in decisive fashion before a close heat with Japanese competitor Mahina Maeda in the Semifinals.

The 28-year-old now moves into the Top 6 with a remarkable performance as she looks to requalify.   “It’s given me a lot of confidence for the next event and to requalify,” Hareb added.

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