Maz Quinn calls it quits

'I always said to myself if the fire stops raging in my belly then it's time to stop.' — Maz Quinn

'I always said to myself if the fire stops raging in my belly then it's time to stop.' — Maz Quinn

END OF QUINN ERA: Maz Quinn’s quest for a fifth men’s open title at the national surfing championships has come to an end. He has decided to pull the pin on his contest career although will appear at "the odd competition”. Quinn won open titles at Gisborne in 1996 and 2000 and at Piha in 2004 and 2006. He is pictured in action at Piha in 2015 (above). The 2017 nationals start at Piha on Sunday. Pictures by PhotoCPL (above) and NZ Herald.
Maz Quinn in in action at Piha in 2006. New Zealand Herald picture
Opening Night Stolen Girlfriends Club Flagship store, Newmarket. L to R. Lucinda Croft and Maz Quinn. 28 May 2015. Herald on Sunday. Photographed by Norrie Montgomery.

GISBORNE surfing son Maz Quinn is hanging up his competitive rashy and will not be joining the Gisborne team at the national championships starting at Piha on Sunday.

After a competitive career spanning more than 20 years, and being the first Kiwi to qualify for the World Championship Tour, Quinn decided the time was right.

“It was a big decision but I always said to myself if the fire stops raging in my belly then it's time to stop.”

After an epic career, including four national titles and in 2001 being the first Kiwi to win a World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, he says it feels like a good decision.

He is not sure of his plans yet but he will continue surfing, keeping fit and healthy, going on trips and doing photos.

While he might compete in the odd competition, he will not be going to the nationals this weekend.

The championships bring together New Zealand’s supreme domestic talent to compete over seven days.

The primary venue is the south end of Piha Beach, Auckland.

While the weather and westerly winds have made for a less than summery start to the year in the Auckland region, the sand banks at Piha have provided some great waves when conditions have suited.

The Gisborne contingent includes the Vette family. Andy will compete in the over-45 division, son Finn in under-14 boys and daughter Saffi the u16 girls.

Saffi will be looking to continue her winning ways after claiming the u16 girls title at the National Scholastic Surfing Championships at Makorori Beach in October last year.

Gisborne hopes will also be high in the over-60s, with surfing veterans John Gisby and Ross Moodie returning for another round.

The pair had planned to compete in the nationals last year in Dunedin but only got as far as Wellington in their drive down due to a faulty wheel bearing.

Gisby is eyeing his 36th national title. Since 1984, he has only failed to win at least one senior title at five national championships.

Defending champions Billy Stairmand (Raglan) and Ella Williams (Whangamata) spearhead the line-up in the open men’s and women’s divisions.

The pair rode to victory 12 months ago when the champs were contested at Dunedin’s St Clair Beach.

For Stairmand, it was his third straight title and record-equalling fifth of his career.

For Williams, it was a first title and one she had chased since a youngster.

Stairmand will attempt to secure a record-breaking sixth title — surpassing New Zealand greats Iain Buchanan (1983 to 1987) and Wayne Parkes ((1966 to 1970).

Stairmand goes into the week in good form, having finished his 2016 international campaign as the top-ranked Kiwi (54th) on the WQS.

Williams will be using the event as a build-up toward a string of international events in Australia from late January.

She ended 2016 ranked 29th on the women’s WQS and will look to make a big jump in 2017 in a bid to secure a top-six finish and qualification for the 2018 Championship Tour.

Mount Maunganui surfer Matt Hewitt go into this year’s champs as the top seed after finishing runner-up in the 2016 New Zealand Surf Series.

The absence of four-time champion Quinn has given pole position to Hewitt, who will look to reproduce the form that saw him burst on to the scene in 2009 with a national open title at just 17 years of age.

In the 54-year history of the event, the national championships has grown to encompass 22 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.

More than 200 entries have been received.

Additional divisions comprise of age groups from under-14 boys and girls through to over-60s and also longboard, stand up paddleboard and kneeboard disciplines.

This year marks the 12th time the event has been held at Piha, second only to Gisborne (13).

It was last held at Piha in 2015.

GISBORNE surfing son Maz Quinn is hanging up his competitive rashy and will not be joining the Gisborne team at the national championships starting at Piha on Sunday.

After a competitive career spanning more than 20 years, and being the first Kiwi to qualify for the World Championship Tour, Quinn decided the time was right.

“It was a big decision but I always said to myself if the fire stops raging in my belly then it's time to stop.”

After an epic career, including four national titles and in 2001 being the first Kiwi to win a World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, he says it feels like a good decision.

He is not sure of his plans yet but he will continue surfing, keeping fit and healthy, going on trips and doing photos.

While he might compete in the odd competition, he will not be going to the nationals this weekend.

The championships bring together New Zealand’s supreme domestic talent to compete over seven days.

The primary venue is the south end of Piha Beach, Auckland.

While the weather and westerly winds have made for a less than summery start to the year in the Auckland region, the sand banks at Piha have provided some great waves when conditions have suited.

The Gisborne contingent includes the Vette family. Andy will compete in the over-45 division, son Finn in under-14 boys and daughter Saffi the u16 girls.

Saffi will be looking to continue her winning ways after claiming the u16 girls title at the National Scholastic Surfing Championships at Makorori Beach in October last year.

Gisborne hopes will also be high in the over-60s, with surfing veterans John Gisby and Ross Moodie returning for another round.

The pair had planned to compete in the nationals last year in Dunedin but only got as far as Wellington in their drive down due to a faulty wheel bearing.

Gisby is eyeing his 36th national title. Since 1984, he has only failed to win at least one senior title at five national championships.

Defending champions Billy Stairmand (Raglan) and Ella Williams (Whangamata) spearhead the line-up in the open men’s and women’s divisions.

The pair rode to victory 12 months ago when the champs were contested at Dunedin’s St Clair Beach.

For Stairmand, it was his third straight title and record-equalling fifth of his career.

For Williams, it was a first title and one she had chased since a youngster.

Stairmand will attempt to secure a record-breaking sixth title — surpassing New Zealand greats Iain Buchanan (1983 to 1987) and Wayne Parkes ((1966 to 1970).

Stairmand goes into the week in good form, having finished his 2016 international campaign as the top-ranked Kiwi (54th) on the WQS.

Williams will be using the event as a build-up toward a string of international events in Australia from late January.

She ended 2016 ranked 29th on the women’s WQS and will look to make a big jump in 2017 in a bid to secure a top-six finish and qualification for the 2018 Championship Tour.

Mount Maunganui surfer Matt Hewitt go into this year’s champs as the top seed after finishing runner-up in the 2016 New Zealand Surf Series.

The absence of four-time champion Quinn has given pole position to Hewitt, who will look to reproduce the form that saw him burst on to the scene in 2009 with a national open title at just 17 years of age.

In the 54-year history of the event, the national championships has grown to encompass 22 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.

More than 200 entries have been received.

Additional divisions comprise of age groups from under-14 boys and girls through to over-60s and also longboard, stand up paddleboard and kneeboard disciplines.

This year marks the 12th time the event has been held at Piha, second only to Gisborne (13).

It was last held at Piha in 2015.

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Centremid - 4 months ago
Good read and thanks Maz for the awesome surfing - come back to the Kaikoura Classic next year!

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