Source: Surfing New Zealand
Defending Open Men’s Champion Billy Stairmand (Raglan) made an impressive start to his campaign at the 2015 Billabong National Championships driven by Subaru today (Wednesday 14th January) winning through to the final 16 surfers.
Day four of the event saw the swell remain in the 1.5m – 2.0m range with a nice early morning offshore wind that turned sea breeze later in the day.
The improvement in conditions was enough to put the pinnacle Open Men’s Division in the water first thing in the morning after three days of waiting for the top seeds.
Stairmand instantly focussed his attention toward the middle of the beach at the south end of Piha. The majority of surfers that took the same ‘risk and reward’ strategy progressed through to the quarterfinals.
Stairmand’s first wave was an 8.33 point ride which set the pace for his performance. He ended up with a 13.2 point heat total progressing in first place.
“We have been waiting around for three days and we finally got to enter the water today” said Stairmand.
“There were a few good ones out there but heaps of close outs too” added Stairmand in reference to the powerful beach break waves on offer.
Stairmand is gunning for his fourth national title at the event, a feat only achieved by four other surfers in the event’s 52 year history. Wayne Parkes (Auck) and Iain Buchanan (Piha) have five titles a piece while Maz Quinn (Gis) has four titles.
Maz Quinn can improve on that number this week and is another event favourite at the National Championships. Quinn progressed through his heat in second place behind Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) this morning posting a 9.5 point heat total.
Quinn won his last title in 2006 but today showed glimpses of the form required to match the likes of Parkes and Buchanan.
Quinn will face Dune Kennings (WGM), Harrison Whiteside (Chch) and JC Susan (Dun) in his quarterfinal match up.
New Zealand representative brothers Zen and Tane Wallis of Piha won their second round heats, Tane top scoring in the second round with 16.17 out of a possible 20 points.
The Wallis brothers are extremely familiar with the line-up at the south end of Piha Beach and opted to sit in the middle of the beach in search of the best waves. Tane hunted out the big lefthanders while Zen found the rights in his heat.
In a quirk of the draw, the two surfers will meet each other in the same quarterfinal scheduled to take place on Thursday. They will be joined by local dark horse Liam Joyce and Tairua surfer Sean Peggs.
The swell is forecast to remain in the 1.5m range for day six of the event with light winds forecasted.
The 2015 Billabong National Surfing Championships driven by Subaru runs from the 11th – 17th January. It is the eleventh time the event has been held at Piha. The event is hosted by Lion Rock Boardriders Club.
The event schedule for the remainder of the week is set out below. The days listed are the earliest possible start days for each division.
Thursday 15th – All divisions
Friday 16th – All divisions plus Kneeboard
Saturday 17th – All divisions plus SUP Race
In the 52 year history of the event the National Championships has grown to encompass 23 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups. Over 250 entries have been received for the event.
Please see below for results of day four at the 2015 Billabong National Surfing Championships driven by Subaru held today (Wednesday 14th January) at the south end of Piha Beach.
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 13.83, 1, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 10.6, 2, Max Marshall (Chch), 7.27, 3, Kehu Butler (Mnt), 5.5, 4
JC Susan (Dun), 11.4, 1, Sean Kettle (Tara), 10.67, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 9.27, 3, William Cooper (Mnt), 6.57, 4
Alex Dive (Mnt), 10.67, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 9.2, 2, Mackenzie Christie, 9.1, 3, Coby Perkovich (Tara), 7.07, 4
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 12.5, 1, Maz Quinn (Gis), 9.5, 2, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 5.9, 3, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 5.03, 4
Tane Wallis (Piha), 16.17, 1, Matt Scorringe (Whmata), 11.23, 2, Marc Moore (Auck), 8.83, 3, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 8.03, 4
Zen Wallis (Piha), 10.67, 1, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 6.5, 2, Richard Dowsett (Wahngarei), 6.2, 3, Tyler Anderson (Tara), 6, 4
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 13.17, 1, Liam Joyce (Piha), 9.27, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 6.47, 3, Andrew Robinson (Auck), 6.03, 4
Ben Poulter (Rag), 12.33, 1, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 11.17, 2, Chris Malone (Gis), 9.37, 3, Deane Hishon (Rag), 2.47, 4
Open Men’s Quarterfinals (Yet to be surfed)
Dune Kennings (Whmata), Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), JC Susan (Dun), Maz Quinn (Gis)
Alex Dive (Mnt), Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), Sean Kettle (Tara)
Tane Wallis (Piha), Liam Joyce (Piha), Zen Wallis (Piha), Sean Peggs (Tairua)
Billy Stairmand (Rag), Matt Scorringe (Whmata), Ben Poulter (Rag), Ben Kennings (Whmata)
Over 35 Men’s Quarterfinals
Marc Moore (Auck), 11.27, 1, Scott Casey (Auck), 10.43, 2, Karlos Aarsen (WGM), 7.87, 3, Mike Mulcahy (Piha), 4.7, 4
Andrew Robinson (Auck), 14.67, 1, Justin Bambery (Auck), 8.93, 2, Shaun Coffey (Auck), 5.8, 3, Kayne Duncan (Coro), 3.7, 4
Nat Barron (Piha), 13.3, 1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 11.83, 2, Motu Mataa (Tara), 3.7, 4, Khan Butler (Mnt), 11.53, 3
For further information on the 2015 Billabong National Championships driven by Subaru please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web clips and newsfeeds will be distributed free of charge from the event. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge upon request.
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.
The National Champs Blog will take you behind the scenes with some commentary that doesn’t make the traditional media release. View the National Champs Blog.
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