Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand lived up to his favourite tag at the 2015 Billabong National Surfing Championships driven by Subaru today (Saturday 17th January) winning the Open Men’s Division in ferocious conditions at Piha Beach.
The swell built throughout the day through until the final of the Open Men’s Division when the swell peaked over 2.0m making for a challenging showdown between New Zealand’s best surfers.
Stairmand claimed his fourth title in the division and equals Maz Quinn (Gis) who was also a finalist and placed second today. Stairmand is now one title behind record holders Wayne Parkes and Iain Buchanan who have five titles each.
Stairmand took a stranglehold of the final early posting a 9.6 point ride before surfing to another 9.0 point ride and an 18.6 out of 20 point heat total.
Stairmand defeated Maz Quinn (Gisborne) who scored 14.90 in second, Alex Dive (Mount Maunganui) on 11.6 in third and Tane Wallis (Piha) on 11.0 in fourth.
“I had my eyes on that title all week long” said Stairmand. “I felt confident in my surfing and I have a good board under my feet” added Stairmand who said that the conditions were crazy and he had no idea of how he was doing or what scores his opponents had until he exited the water.
“It is good to put my name on the trophy again and take it back to Raglan for another year. It is always amazing to win the Nationals, Maz was hunting for five titles and I was hunting for four and I got it. I am keen to get my name on there as much as possible.”
Auckland surfer Gabriella Sansom (Long Bay) won her first national title in the Open Women’s Division. As the surf built the female surfers had to battle massive waves, some of the finalists getting washed in before the final had started.
Sansom dealt with the conditions the best first picking off a 5.67 point ride before surfing to an excellent 8.33 point ride on her second scoring wave and a 14.0 point total.
“I planned to hug in close to the Beehive and try and get a few small waves” said Sansom in reference to the rock formation at the south. Her strategy worked well as she built her score line to a point that her opponents could not catch up.
Sansom defeated Muriwai surfer Britt Kindred who placed second ahead of Jessica Santorik (Rag) in third and Dayna Story (Gis) in fourth.
Two Mount surfers dominated the junior divisions. Kehu Butler claimed a double title with the Under 18 Boys Division and Under 16 Boys Division. Kea Smith claimed the Under 18 Girls Division and the Under 16 Girls Division. Both surfers excelled in the large conditions on the final day of the event.
Christchurch surfer Shayne Baxter defended his Stand Up Paddleboard Division title narrowly defeating Daniel Kereopa (Rag) who placed second ahead of Ben Poulter (Waihi Beach) and Lynden Kennings (WGM).
Baxter also placed runner up in the Paddleboard Race which was held at the peak of the swell and won by Armie Armstrong (Rag). Shane Murrell (Auck) placed third ahead of triple finalist Daniel Kereopa (Rag). Penelope Strickland (Auck) was the lone female that completed the race after several of her opponents succumbed to the big waves.
Kereopa added to his Stand Up Paddleboard trophies with wins in the Over 28 Men’s Division and Over 35 Men’s Division. By way of his finals day performance Kereopa claimed the Peter Byers Award for the Most Outstanding Performance for the event. The accolades continued with his Point Boardriders Club also winning the Interclub Championship.
On the penultimate day of the event on Friday, it was a day for the young and old with titles going to the likes of 13 year old Kaya Horne (Mnt) and 61 year old John Gisby (Gis).
Horne returned home from Australia where he has been based for the past several years. This week he has fit back in perfectly with his Bay of Plenty family enjoying being back in New Zealand and finishing the week of with a title.
The diminutive young natural foot surfer ran away with the final in the Under 14 Boys Division posting a 12.03 point heat title for the win. Horne defeated Dylan Preston (WGM), Tom Butland (Tara) and Caleb Cutmore (Ham).
Horne was ‘chaired’ up the beach by his mates to the waiting arms of a dozen ‘aunties.’
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Gisby claimed his 35th national title in the Over 60 Men’s Division. Gisby holds the New Zealand record for the most titles by any one individual and despite an injury lived up to his favourite tag.
Gisby posted a 16.6 point heat total to defeat Ken Nicolson (Auck), Michael Gray (Auck) and Mike Trianer (Auck).
In the senior men’s divisions titles went to Jeremy Williams (Mnt) in the Over 55s, Geoff Hutchison (Rag) in the Over 50s and Rick Lasch (Auck) in the Over 45s.
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 290 entries were received for the event. The event was hosted by Lion Rock Boardriders Club.
Please see below for final results from the 2015 Billabong National Surfing Championships driven by Subaru.
Open Men’s Division Final
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 18.6, 1, Maz Quinn (Gis), 14.93, 2, Alex Dive (Mnt), 11.63, 3, Tane Wallis (Piha), 11, 4
Open Women’s Division Final
Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 13.7, 1, Britt Kindred (Mur), 7.3, 2, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 6.9, 3, Dayna Story (Gis), 2.57, 4
Under 18 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 17.1, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 13, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 7.33, 3, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 5.33, 4
Under 16 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 15.67, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 13.2, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 12.23, 3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 10.47, 4
Under 14 Boys Division Finals
Kaya Horne (Aus), 12.03, 1, Dylan Preston (Whmata), 10.57, 2, Tom Butland (Tara), 7.4, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 6.4, 4
Under 18 Girls Final
Kea Smith (Arataki), 13, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.6, 2, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 5.63, 3, Dayna Story (Gis), 3.07, 4
Under 16 Boys Dvision Finals
Kea Smith (Arataki), 12.47, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 9.83, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 8.33, 3, Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 7, 4
Men’s Longboard Final
Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach), 18.1, 1, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 10.8, 2, Tane Wallis (Piha), 8.13, 3, Andrew Robinson (Auck), 6.7, 4
Women’s Longboard Final
Alexis Poulter (Waihi Beach), 12.3, 1, Anna Jolly (Piha), 7.3, 2, Renee Davenport (Rag), 5.73, 3, Hannah Kibblewhite (Red Beach), 3.5, 4
Junior Longboard Final
Henry Hawke (Chch), 9.17, 1, Liam Kessner (Piha), 8.4, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 5.03, 3, Cory Wood (Piha), 4.93, 4
Over 28 Men’s Final
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 15.2, 1, Matt Scorringe (WGM), 14.2, 2, Andrew Robinson (Auck), 12.8, 3, Motu Mataa (Tara), 2.07, 4
Over 35 Men’s Final
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 15.57, 1, Scott Casey (Auck), 12.93, 2, Andrew Robinson (Auck), 9.63, 3, Nat Barron (Piha), 7.43, 4
Over 40 Men’s Final
Scott Casey (Auck), 13.4, 1, Jean Paul – Knight (Piha), 10.2, 2, Deane Hishon (Rag), 6.5, 3, Motu Mataa (Tara), 0, 4
Over 45 Men’s Final
Rick Lasch (Auck), 14.17, 1, Peter Harding (Piha), 8.83, 2, Jeremy Williams (Mnt), 8.47, 3, Phil Wallis (Piha), 8.23, 4
Over 50 Men’s Final
Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 9.43, 1, Jeremy Hughes (Rag), 7.6, 2, Jack Griffith (Auck), 4.97, 3, Phil Wallis (Piha), 3.98, 4
Over 55 Men’s Final
Jeremy Williams (Mnt), 8.8, 1, Mike Trainer (Auck), 7.67, 2, Ken Nicolson (Auck), 4.43, 3, Alistair Goodwin (Piha), 4.23, 4
Over 60 Men’s Final
John Gisby (Gis), 16.6, 1, Ken Nicolson (Auck), 5.83, 2, Michael Gray (Auck), 5.5, 3, Mike Trainer (Auck), 4.83, 4
Senior Women’s Division Final
Anna Jolly (Piha), 11, 1, Carolyn Millar (Piha), 4.23, 2, Stephanie Leece (Pjha), 3.53, 3, Fleur Blackie (Auck), 2.93, 4
Kelvin Weir (Tara), 9.73, 1, Craig MacDonald (Auck), 6.97, 2, Phil Pickering (Auck), 6.5, 3, Murray Weir (Tara), 6.23, 4
Stand Up Paddleboard Final
Shayne Baxter (Chch), 14.4, 1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 14, 2, Ben Poulter (Waihi Beach), 9.5, 3, Lynden Kennings (WGM), 8.27, 4
Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard Race
1st Armie Armstrong (Rag), 2nd Shayne Baxter (Chch), 3rd Shane Murrell (Auck), 4th Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard Race
1st Penelope Strickland (Auck)
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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