Maz Quinn (Gis) heads south this weekend with numerous tags to his name as he steps into the competitive arena at the Go Pro Men’s Canterbury Champs.
The three-day event takes place from Saturday through until Monday (23rd – 25th April) along the Christchurch coastline and is sanctioned by both Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association making for a high calibre field of surfers from around New Zealand.
Quinn, only last weekend, won the Rip Curl Pro to extend his lead on the New Zealand Pro Series. He has placed in the final of the first three events of the year securing a first, second and third and to top it off, he is the defending champion of this weekend’s event.
This kind of territory is common for the Gisborne surfer having won the series seven of the last eight years.
Quinn is part of a competitive field that comprises six of the top ten surfers on the rankings. Three of those surfers are young local surfers on the rise – Harrison Whiteside, Jack Wilson and Sam Sands who will all push for an appearance in the finals. Whiteside is the top ranked of the tree surfers currently sitting in fifth place overall.
The Christchurch surfers will be joined by those who have travelled from the North Island including Matt Hewitt (Mnt), Zen Wallis (Piha), Taylor Hutchison (Rag) and Daniel Farr (Tara).
The surfers will be vying for $4,000 prize money in the Fussion Solutions Open Men’s Division.
The junior divisions make a return to the competitive arena this weekend with the Under 20, 17 and 14 Boys Divisions being contested.
Raglan’s Taylor Hutchison, carrying out dual duties in the Open and the Mike Pero Real Estate Under 20 Boys Divisions, will take on a swag of South Island talent. Hutchison, the number one seed for the division, will face tough competition in Christchurch’s Harrison Whiteside and Jack Wilson plus those young surfers from the division below looking to step it up against the older surfers – the likes of Dunedin pairing Elliot Brown and Jack McLeod or Taranaki surfer Daniel Farr.
Elliot Brown goes in to this weekend’s event as the top seed of the Under 17 Boys Division and will be hoping to make a climb up the rankings from his current position of fourth.
Earlier in the year, Brown claimed the Under 18 Boys national title and backed that up with a win in the South Island Championships last month. He will be joined by Sam Sands (Chch), Connor Mclennan (Chch), Jack McLeod (Dun) and Daniel Farr (Tara) as surfers to watch at the event. Farr has returned from competing in Australia all summer and finished 2015 as the number one ranked surfer in the Under 17 Boys Division.
In the Under 14 Boys, it will be local surfer Myka Black that goes in to the event as the number one seed. Black needs a runner up placing or better to leap frog Tom Robinson (Whangarei) and gain the number one ranking heading in to the final two events of the year. Other surfers to watch include Ruben Peyroux (Dun), Maddy Barclay (Oamaru), Neko Tohiariki (Chch) and Jai Oakley (Chch).
The Go Pro Men’s Canterbury Championships also features senior divisions – Over 28 Men’s, Over 35 Men’s and Pier Lodge Over 45 Men’s plus the Longboard Division.
Pier Lodge is also offering up a $250 prize for the best Father/Son result of the event with a number of Christchurch families expected vie for the title.
The surf is forecasted to remain small throughout the weekend with neighbouring Taylors Mistake and Gore Bay possible location options over the three day event.
Action will take place from 8am each day and finals are scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Please see below for the current New Zealand Pro Series rankings after three of five events.
Open Men’s Division Top 10
1, Maz Quinn (Gis)
2, Billy Stairmand (Rag)
3, JC Susan (Dun)
4, Luke Hughes (Rag)
5, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
6, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt)
7, Buck Woods (Gis)
8, Jack Wilson (Chch)
9, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
10, Sam Sands (Chch)
Under 20 Boys Division Top 5
1, Callum Chuter (Tau)
2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
3, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
4, Jack Wilson (Chch)
5, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
Under 17 Boys Division Top 5
1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)
2, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
3, Dylan Preston (Whmata)
4, Elliot Brown (Dun)
5, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)
Under 14 Boys Division Top 5
1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei)
2, Myka Black (Chch)
3, Taylor O’Leary (Mur)
4, James Ririnui (Mnt)
5, Tom Butland (Tara)
For more information on the Go Pro Canterbury Championships please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email [email protected]. Alternatively contact Russell Ritchie on 0274325972 – [email protected].