A frustrating run of waves on the penultimate day of the 2016 Billabong National Surfing Championships presented by Health 2000 limited action to only nine heats being held at St Clair Beach, Dunedin today (Friday 15th January).
The day dawned with light winds and no swell in sight. With a southerly front forecast to blast through in the morning, the day’s surfing was put on hold, action eventually getting underway at 2:00pm before the incoming tide forced an early halt to proceedings.
Despite a strong southerly blowing all morning, the small wind swell of less than a metre did not last long.
Saturday will now see an expanded schedule of events that will run well in to the afternoon at St Clair Beach. The Open Men’s Division sees two surfers in Maz Quinn (Gis) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) hoping to equal a New Zealand record of five titles in the division, Stairmand also going for his third straight title. They will be joined by Luke Hughes (Rag) and JC Susan (Dun) who will look to upset the event favourites.
Today, the focus was on the oldest surfers in the event who managed to contest the only final of the day in the Over 60 Men’s Division. Orewa Beach surfer Michael Gray claimed the title over Clive Barron (Piha) in second and Ken Nicholson (Auck) in third.
Gray has spent the week at St Clair Beach, surfing several divisions and soaking in the performances of other surfers. He used the competitive knowledge of Daniel Kereopa (Rag) to formulate a plan for the final which clearly paid off. Kereopa himself is set to contest four finals on the last day of the event tomorrow.
From the oldest surfers in the event to the youngest, we saw the semifinals of the Under 14 Boys Division contested. The accolades were equally shared by both islands with Ruben Peyroux (Dun) winning the first semifinal progressing with Maddy Barclay (Oamaru). The second semifinal saw Thomas Robinson (Whangarei) advance along with Taylor O’Leary (Mur). The four surfers will contest one of the first finals on the last day of the event.
Mount Maunganui surfers Elin Tawharu and Kea Smith kept true to form advancing to their third final of the event, this time in the Under 16 Girls Division. Tahwaru was particularly impressive posting a 15.7 heat total to win her heat. The two surfers are joined by Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) and Tiana-Breeze De Mooij (Mnt) in the final.
Two senior men’s divisions were also completed before the tide filled in and stopped the waves from breaking. Jarred Hancox (Tara) continued his outstanding form winning through to the final of the Over 35 Men’s where he is joined by Daniel Kereopa (Rag), Craig Higgins (Dun) and Nick Black (Chch).
Christchurch surfer Patrick Bonner won his semifinal in the Over 45 Men’s Division as did Kaikoura’s Richard Baxter. The two surfers are joined by Morgan Cronin (Auck) and Andrew Christensen (Chch).
Please see below for results from day five of the 2016 Billabong National Surfing Championships presented by Health 2000 held at St Clair Beach, Dunedin today (Friday 15th January).
Under 16 Girls Division Semifinals
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 15.17, 1, Tiana – Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 6.37, 2, Tegan Bishop (Chch), 4.87, 3
Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 8.17, 1, Kea Smith (Arataki), 8.17, 2, Estalla Hungerford (Dun), 3.03, 3
Under 14 Boys Division Semifinals
Ruben Peyroux (Dun), 9.17, 1, Maddy Barclay (Oam), 8.5, 2, James Ririnui (Mnt), 5.37, 3, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 2.23, 4
Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 10.93, 1, Taylor O’Leary (Mur), 10.6, 2, Myka Black (Chch), 9.17, 3, Jai Oakley (Chch), 6.9, 4
Over 35 Men’s Division
Craig Higgins (Dun), 11.2, 1, Nick Black (Chch), 10.8, 2, Lyndon Fairburn (Dun), 9.8, 3, Al Temoananui (Kaik), 5.57, 4
Jarred Hancox (Tara), 17, 1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 11.4, 2, Scott James (Dun), 10.1, 3, Mike Christensen (Chch), 8.87, 4
Over 45 Men’s Division
Patrick Bonner (Chch), 9.57, 1, Morgan Cronin (Auck), 9.03, 2, Justin Summerton (Chch), 7.5, 3, John Roussey (Chch), 3.03, 4
Richard Baxter (Kaik), 13.8, 1, Andrew Christensen (Chch), 8.6, 2, Jaime Scott (Whangarei), 6.77, 3, Shane Wilson (Chch), 6.2, 4
Over 60 Men’s Division
Michael Gray (Auck), 8.43, 1, Clive Barron (Piha), 3.9, 2, Ken Nicholson (Auck), 1.07, 3
The championships are being held from the 11th – 16th January, the primary venue being St Clair Beach. It is the first time in five years that the event has been staged in the South Island and it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the host club South Coast Boardriders Association who are based at St Clair Beach. 2016 marks the seventh time the event has been held at Dunedin.
For further information on the 2016 Billabong National Championships presented by Health 2000 please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email [email protected]