Source: Surfing New Zealand
The 2015 Billabong National Surfing Championships have been confirmed for Piha this January with the seven day event scheduled to take place from the 11th – 17th. Regarded as New Zealand’s most prestigious surfing event, the competition attracts the best surfers the country has to offer and 2015 will be no different with all of the top Kiwi athletes converging on Piha.
In the 52 year history of the event the National Championships has grown to encompass 21 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups making for a largely inclusive event filled with high level surfing as well as good times in and out of the water. It is this unique event atmosphere and gathering of the New Zealand surfing community that has attracted new sponsor Billabong to back the event.
“We are stoked to come on board with this iconic event” said Billabong Event Manager Keone Campbell. “The New Zealand National Championships has a lot of heritage and always boasts the biggest field of the country’s best surfers. We want to be part of that heritage as well as bring some fresh new activities to the week-long event” added Campbell.
Surfing New Zealand CEO Greg Townsend is pleased to see the event take place at Piha – one of New Zealand’s famous surf locations.
“Piha is never short of swell so it is a great location to run the event” said Townsend. We generally receive excellent entry numbers across all divisions at National Championships held at Piha and the surf on offer provides an excellent platform for the best surfers to shine” he added.
Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand claimed his third Open Men’s Division title in January this year. He first won the event at Gisborne in 2010 and then again at Piha in 2012. Stairmand has alternated titles with Jay Quinn (Gis) for the past five years, Quinn having won in 2011 (Dunedin) and 2013 (Piha).
Stairmand is currently within reach of qualifying for the 2015 World Surfing League (previously the ASP World Tour) and should he make the World Surfing League (WSL), will become ineligible for the 2015 National Surfing Championships as a contracted WSL surfer.
Grace Spiers (WGM) claimed the Open Women’s Division title at Gisborne at the start of the year, a win that set her on a phenomenal streak of three straight wins at New Zealand Pro Series events this summer. Spiers will be competing at the 2014 ISA 50th Anniversary World Surfing Games in Peru at the end of October as part of the New Zealand Team before coming back to contest the National Championships.
Over 250 entries are expected for the event which caters for every surfing discipline and age group on offer.
Titles will go up for grabs in 21 divisions at the Billabong National Championships come January. Additional divisions comprise of age groups from Under 14 through to Over 60s and also Longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard and Kneeboard disciplines.
It will be the eleventh time the event has been held at Piha. The event will be hosted by Lion Rock Boardriders Club.
Set out below are winners of the major divisions contested for the past five years.
2010 – Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2011 – Jay Quinn (Gis)
2012 – Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2013 – Jay Quinn (Gis)
2014 – Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2010 – Laura Rishworth (Mnt)
2011 – Airini Mason (Chch)
2012 – Thandi Durham (Tara)
2013 – Mischa Davis (Piha)
2014 – Grace Spiers (WGM)
Junior Men (U/18)
2010 – Johnny Hicks (Gis)
2011 – Ben Poulter (Rag)
2012 – Tane Wallis (Auck)
2013 – Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
2014 – Dune Kennings (WGM)
2010 – Dylan Barnfield (Ohope)
2011 – Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck)
2012 – Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck)
2013 – Daniel Procter (Gis)
2014 – Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck)
Entry into the 2015 Billabong National Championships can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under events from 1st December.