Source: Surfing New Zealand
The 2014 National Scholastic Surfing Championships are set for action in Taranaki next week (29th September – 3rd October) with the event now starting to usher in a second generation of contestants that are progressing through the scholastic pathway.
Dating back to 1989 when the first event was held at Raglan, regional teams of surfers from throughout New Zealand have come together to contest the esteemed event.
Next week surfers will vie for individual titles across eight divisions as well as the all-important teams trophy that has been awarded 25 times.
A first time competitor at the event will be local Taranaki surfer Zhana Hutchieson from Waitara. She will be contesting the Under 14 Girls Division. Hutchieson joins a select few surfers who have a parent that has also contested the event.
Hutchison is a top national competitor within the domestic junior ranks, much like her dad who also won several national events including the National Championships held in Taranaki in 1995 and represented New Zealand.
Hutchieson will surf as part of the strong home Taranaki Team. Despite the dominance of their surfers throughout the years, they are still in search of the team’s title that has eluded them to date.
The Taranaki team will need to rise above the likes of Auckland who finished runner-up in 2013 and also the seasoned Canterbury Team that is making its way north for the event. However the biggest challenge will come from that of the defending champion Bay of Plenty Team that have won the event four of the past five years and again look like favourites on paper.
The Adam Clegg Trophies for the most improved male and female surfers at the event will be handed out for the second time at the National Scholastic Championships. After being named to compete for Taranaki in 2014, Clegg’s life was tragically cut short by a debilitating virus. In 2013 the combined award, handed out in Adam’s honour, was won by Gisborne’s Ben McCulloch after being voted most improved by his fellow competitors.
Nine regional teams from around the country will attend the 2014 event next week. They include Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Canterbury and Dunedin/Southland. After team registration on Sunday night, the action will kick off first thing on Monday.
The swell forecast for the week looks promising with a solid but fading swell to start the event before an increase through the middle of the week. This precedes the next major westerly storm. With offshore winds forecast for the first part of the week, the surfing will roll out thick and fast.
It is the sixth time the National Scholastic Surfing Championships have ventured to the Taranaki region and tasted some quality West Coast waves.
The event was first hosted in the region in 1993 before returning in 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2012.
The prestigious five-day surfing event caters for the most talented school-based surfers in New Zealand and takes place from the 30th of September and will run through until the 4th of October. There are eight divisions contested – Under 18, 16 and 14 Boys and girls as well as Under 18 Longboard and Under 18 Bodyboard.
The National Scholastic Championships uses a second chance format where all surfers get the opportunity to compete at least twice before facing elimination from the event.
Please see below for results from the National Scholastic Surfing Championships over the past five years.
2008 – Waikato
2009 – Bay of Plenty
2010 – Bay of Plenty
2011 – Gisborne
2012 – Bay of Plenty
2013 – Bay of Plenty
Under 18 Boys
2009 – Alex Dive (BOP)
2010 – JC Susan (BOP)
2011 – Ben Poulter (Wai)
2012 – Jules Craft (Gis)
2013 – Elliot Paerata – Reid (Auck)
Under 16 Boys
2009 – Todd Doyle (BOP)
2010 – Sean Kettle (Tara)
2011 – Adam Grimson (Gis)
2012 – McKenzie Bowden (Coro)
2013 – Manu Scott – Arrieta (Nrthlnd)
Under 14 Boys
2009 – Peri Matenga (BOP)
2010 – Te Rapai Barbarich-Love (Tara)
2011 – Harrison Whiteside (Chch)
2012 – Manu Scott – Arrieta (North)
2013 – Daniel Farr (Tara)
Under 18 Girls
2009 – Nicola Colson – Koster (Auck)
2010 – Grace Spiers (WGM)
2011 – Kristi Zarifeh (Chch)
2012 – Ella Williams (Coro)
2013 – Gabriella Sansom (Auck)
Under 16 Girls
2009 – Alexis Poulter (Wai)
2010 – Ella Williams (WGM)
2011 – Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis)
2012 – Bianca Sansom (Auck)
2013 – Jasmine Smith (Gis)
Under 14 Girls
2009 – Ella Williams (WGM)
2010 – Gabriela Sansom (Auck)
2011 – Jasmine Smith (Gis)
2012 – Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis)
2013 – Raiha Ensor (BOP)
Under 18 Bodyboard
2009 – Vaughn Rhind
2010 – Jamee Smith (BOP)
2011 – Jamee Smith (BOP)
2012 – Jack Blackman (Chch)
2013 – Harry Bell (W.C)
Under 18 Longboard
2009 – Sam Guthrie (BOP)
2010 – Luke O’Neill (Chch)
2011 – Sam Poulter (Wai)
2012 – Hone Douglas (BOP)
2013 – Luke O’Neill (Cant)
For more information on the National Scholastic Surfing Championships please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com. Media releases will be distributed at the end of each days surfing.