Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team Set to Attend Melanesian Cup for the First Time

Posted - News Posted for New Zealand News, World Surfing News.

Riccardo_Lucibella_BGS20151Ricardo Lucibella. Photo: Rambo Estrada

The Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team will be competing at the 2015 Melanesian Surfing Cup for the first time since the events inception in 2010.  The event starts on Tuesday (11th August) with the opening ceremony followed by competition on Wednesday.

The Melanesian Surfing Cup plays host to Pacific nations such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, New Caledonia and Tonga with sixty competitors expected to attend this year’s event.  An invitation was extended to both New Zealand and Australia this year which was gladly accepted.

The Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team comprises 22 surfers from around the country including current and ex national champions as well as up and coming junior males and females.

Current Under 18 and Under 16 Girls National Champion Kea Smith (Ngati Ranginui) leads the team in both the Open Women’s and Under 18 Girls Divisions.  Smith is part of two family pairings in the team.  Smith’s father Pete (Ngati Ranginui) will compete in the Open Men’s Division and Longboard as well as son Jamee (Ngati Rangnui) who will compete in the Bodyboard Division.

The second family pairing is that of Jason and Reef Matthews (Te Atiawa).  Jason, an ex-national champion, will compete in the Over 35 Men as well as the Longboard Division while taking on a managerial role as well.  Jason’s son Reef (Te Atiawa) will compete in the Under 18 Boys Division.

The team also includes the likes of ex New Zealand Champion Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki) and current New Zealand Junior Surfing Team member Kaya Horne (Ngati Awa).

Three South Island surfers will compete in the team with Al TeMoananui (Ngati Tamatera) competing in the Over 35 Men’s Division as well as juniors Nick Tuhikarama (Tainui) in the Under 18 Boys Division and Myka Black (Tainui) in the Under 14 Boys Division.

Zhana_Hutchieson_BGS20151_1Zhana Hutchieson. Photo: Rambo Estrada

The surfing disciplines are being held on the outer reefs of Bourail, which is located two hours north of the capital Noumea.  The Stand Up Paddleboard races being held closer to the mainland at Bourail.

Vanuatu is the Melanesian Surfing Cup defending champion after winning the 2014 event which was hosted by Samoa.  Vanuatu have put claim to the number one spot since 2012. 

The sixth edition of the event is proving to be popular with all Pacific nations, the number of divisions contested at the event now totalling eleven.  The top two results from each division count toward the team’s overall ranking.

Please see below for the full Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team that will compete at the 2015 Melanesian Cup at Bourail, New Caledonia from the 11th – 16th August.

Open Men

Andrew Archibald (Taranaki)

Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki)

Pete Smith (Ngati Ranginui)

Quin Matenga (Tainui)

Open Women

Abby Logan (Ngati Porou)

Indica Ratima (Rangitane)

Kea Smith (Ngati Ranginui)

Zhana Hutchieson (Te Atiawa)

Under 18 Boys

Ihaia Ngata (Ngai Te Rangi)

Nick Tuhikarama (Tainui)

Reef Matthews (Te Atiawa)

Riccardo Lucibella (Te Atiawa)

Under 14 Boys

Josef Jungwirth (Ngaiterangi)

Kaya Horne (Ngati Awa)

Myka Black (Tainui)

Under 18 Girls

Abby Logan (Ngati Porou)

Indica Ratima (Rangitane)

Kea Smith (Ngati Ranginui)

Zhana Hutchieson (Te Atiawa)

Over 35 Men

Alan TeMoananui (Ngati Tamatera)

Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki)

Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine/Te Atiawa)

Jason Matthews (Te Atiawa)

Longboard

Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine/Te Atiawa)

Jason Matthews (Te Atiawa)

Pete Smith (Ngati Ranginui)

Junior Longboard

Nick Tuhikarama (Tainui)

Stand Up Paddleboard Surfing

Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine/Te Atiawa)

Sean Hovell (Ngati Porou)

Stand Up Paddleboard Race

Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine/Te Atiawa)

Sean Hovell (Ngati Porou)

Bodyboard

Dane Cassidy (Ngati Maniapoto)

Jamee Smith (Ngati Ranginui)

Management

Jason Matthews (Te Atiawa) – Manager

Steve Ria (Rongowhakaata) – Assistant Manager

Further Information

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

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