Storm-fed conditions perfect for surf champs

RIGHT UP THERE: Gisborne/Mahia surfer Ricardo Christie scored 14.67 out of 20 to advance through to the Round of 32 in the open men’s competition on the opening day of the National Surfing Championships at Midway Beach, Gisborne, yesterday. Picture by Cory/NZ Surfing Magazine
Damon Gunness crests a wave. Picture by Paul Rickard
Gisborne’s Damon Gunness (left) and good mate Chris Malone on the beach after going head-to-head in a round of 32 heat early this morning on day 2 of the national surfing championships. Gunness won the heat at Midway Beach’s Pipe break to advance to the round of 16 and Malone was third. Both men are former open champions — Malone claiming the coveted title in 1998 at Kaitaia and Gunness adding his name to the champions list at Raglan in 2003. The 2018 champs, which started yesterday, feature 300 entries over 29 divisions in age groups ranging from under-14 to over-60. Picture by Paul Rickard

LOCAL favourites Ricardo Christie and Maz Quinn dominated Day 1 of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships at Midway Beach, Gisborne, yesterday.

Christie justified his early favourite tag by posting a 14.67-point total to move through to the Round of 32 with Dylan Preston (Mt Maunganui).

Surfing at the national champs for the first time since 2014, Christie easily slipped back into the pace of the event. His surfing was well suited to the solid waves on offer.

He was to face fellow World Qualifying Series campaigner Elliot Paerata-Reid (Piha) in his next heat today.

Making a return to the national championships while they are contested in home waters, Quinn also looked impressive yesterday. He completed several big forehand turns to post 13.83 points in his heat.

Quinn was to meet No.2 seed Taylor Hutchison (Raglan) in the second round, as well as Sam Sands (Christchurch) and Jamie Andrews (Tara).

The storm that battered the country over the weekend generated a big two-metre south swell, perfectly directed at Midway Beach. Surface conditions remained perfect all day with barely a breath of wind all day.

Action was electric

The first round of the open men’s contest was without the top seeds, including defending champion Billy Stairmand (Raglan), but the action was electric as several top New Zealand surfers returned to the competitive arena.

Stairmand was to face junior surfers Elliot Brown (Dunedin), Thomas Harcourt (Chch) and Jack Lee (Whakatane) today. Stairmand is trying to win a fifth straight open men’s title and help his Point Boardriders Club defend the club title.

Other surfers to look impressive on the first day of the event included Gisborne’s Johnny Hicks, Hamilton’s Caleb Cutmore and Mt Maunganui’s Nick White.

Cutmore contested a second heat of the day in the under-18 division, where he placed second to an energised Ruben Peyroux (Dunedin), who finished with an 11.53-point heat total to advance to the last 16 surfers in the draw.

Another Dunedin surfer, Elliot Brown won his heat with a score of 15.7, the highest of the round.

While Brown, Conor McLennan (Chch) and Shane Kraus (Piha) won their heats, the division was filled with upsets as four highly touted seeds were eliminated in their first heat.

The upsets paved the way for heat wins for young guns Myka Black (Chch), Tom Butland (Taranaki) and Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai), all three competing up a division from their preferred u16 level.

Late in the day, the u16 boys division started. Raglan’s Josef Jungwirth, Whangarei’s Tom Robinson and Raglan’s Navryn Malone (son of former Gisborne national champion Chris) won their heats.

The event runs on the Gisborne coast until Saturday, and is the first leg of the 2018 New Zealand Surf Series.

Since their inception in 1963, the national championships have grown to encompass 29 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups from under-14 through to over-60 for male and female surfers, as well as longboard, kneeboard and paddleboard events. Over 300 entries have been received.

The event was last held in Gisborne in 2014 and is sponsored by Health 2000, Eastern Institute of Technology and Gisborne Boardriders Club.

LOCAL favourites Ricardo Christie and Maz Quinn dominated Day 1 of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships at Midway Beach, Gisborne, yesterday.

Christie justified his early favourite tag by posting a 14.67-point total to move through to the Round of 32 with Dylan Preston (Mt Maunganui).

Surfing at the national champs for the first time since 2014, Christie easily slipped back into the pace of the event. His surfing was well suited to the solid waves on offer.

He was to face fellow World Qualifying Series campaigner Elliot Paerata-Reid (Piha) in his next heat today.

Making a return to the national championships while they are contested in home waters, Quinn also looked impressive yesterday. He completed several big forehand turns to post 13.83 points in his heat.

Quinn was to meet No.2 seed Taylor Hutchison (Raglan) in the second round, as well as Sam Sands (Christchurch) and Jamie Andrews (Tara).

The storm that battered the country over the weekend generated a big two-metre south swell, perfectly directed at Midway Beach. Surface conditions remained perfect all day with barely a breath of wind all day.

Action was electric

The first round of the open men’s contest was without the top seeds, including defending champion Billy Stairmand (Raglan), but the action was electric as several top New Zealand surfers returned to the competitive arena.

Stairmand was to face junior surfers Elliot Brown (Dunedin), Thomas Harcourt (Chch) and Jack Lee (Whakatane) today. Stairmand is trying to win a fifth straight open men’s title and help his Point Boardriders Club defend the club title.

Other surfers to look impressive on the first day of the event included Gisborne’s Johnny Hicks, Hamilton’s Caleb Cutmore and Mt Maunganui’s Nick White.

Cutmore contested a second heat of the day in the under-18 division, where he placed second to an energised Ruben Peyroux (Dunedin), who finished with an 11.53-point heat total to advance to the last 16 surfers in the draw.

Another Dunedin surfer, Elliot Brown won his heat with a score of 15.7, the highest of the round.

While Brown, Conor McLennan (Chch) and Shane Kraus (Piha) won their heats, the division was filled with upsets as four highly touted seeds were eliminated in their first heat.

The upsets paved the way for heat wins for young guns Myka Black (Chch), Tom Butland (Taranaki) and Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai), all three competing up a division from their preferred u16 level.

Late in the day, the u16 boys division started. Raglan’s Josef Jungwirth, Whangarei’s Tom Robinson and Raglan’s Navryn Malone (son of former Gisborne national champion Chris) won their heats.

The event runs on the Gisborne coast until Saturday, and is the first leg of the 2018 New Zealand Surf Series.

Since their inception in 1963, the national championships have grown to encompass 29 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups from under-14 through to over-60 for male and female surfers, as well as longboard, kneeboard and paddleboard events. Over 300 entries have been received.

The event was last held in Gisborne in 2014 and is sponsored by Health 2000, Eastern Institute of Technology and Gisborne Boardriders Club.

National championship results

Open men, Round of 48, Heat 1: William Van Der Beek (Mt Maunganui) 8.93, 1; Kaya Horne (Mnt) 7.37, 2; Jack Rosewarne (Te Awamutu) 5.6, 3; Luke Jenssen (Hawke’s Bay) 5.53, 4.

Heat 2: Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) 17.8, 1; Keone Campbell (Taranaki) 12, 2; Jeremy Grainger (Tara) 6.77, 3; Ihaia Ngata (Mnt) 4.1, 4.

Heat 3: Damon Gunness (Gisborne) 11, 1; Jack Lee (Whakatane) 9.9, 2; Larry Fisher (Raglan) 7.83, 3; Waretini Wano (Piha) N/S.

Heat 4: Thomas Harcourt (Christchurch) 8.73, 1; Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay) 8.2, 2; George Busby (Gis) 6, 3; Duncan Milne (Gis) 4.27, 4.

Heat 5: Maz Quinn (Gis) 13.8, 1; Caleb Cutmore (Hamilton) 13.1, 2; Che Whitaker (Gis) 6.17, 3; Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai) 5.57, 4.

Heat 6: Nick White (Mnt) 13.4, 1; Jamie Andrews (Tara) 9.63, 2; Jay Piper-Healion (Whitianga) 8.77, 3; Jonas Te Aho (Gis) 6.77, 4.

Heat 7: Johnny Hicks (Gis) 13.1, 1; Jarred Hancox (Tara) 12.5, 2; Luke Griffin (Mnt) 8.93, 3; Tom Norton (Whangarei) N/S.

Heat 8: Richard Christie (Gis/Mahia) 14.7, 1; Dylan Preston (Whangamata) 11.8, 2; Dune Kennings (Whmata) 11.5, 3; Shane Kraus (Piha) 7.73, 4.

Under-18 men, Round of 32, Heat 1: Taylor O’Leary (Mur) 12.4, 1; Josef Jungwirth (Rag) 10.8, 2; Dylan Preston (Mnt) 8.9, 3; Corban Grainger (Tara) 5.23, 4.

Heat 2: Elliot Brown (Dunedin) 15.7, 1; Jay Piper-Healion (Whiti) 12.1, 2; Neko Tohiariki (Chch) 6.33, 3; James Ririnui (Mnt) 3.1, 4.

Heat 3: Tom Butland (Tara) 10.73, 1; Tom Norton (Waipu) 8.9, 2; William Van Der Beek (Mnt) 8.33, 3; Jayden Willoughby (Rag) 7.1, 4.

Heat 4: Ruben Peyroux (Dun) 11.5, 1; Caleb Cutmore (Ham) 11.2, 2; Tom Robinson (Whngrei) 8.43, 3.

Heat 5: Jared Gebert (Ohope) 14, 1; Luis Southwood (Whaka) 8.7, 2; Jack Rosewarne (Te Awamutu) 7.07, 3; Jacob Buckle (Whngrei) 5.1, 4.

Heat 6: Shane Kraus (Piha) 15, 1; Kaya Horne (Mnt) 11.43, 2; Luke Griffin (Mnt) 9.46, 3; Angus Mossman (Chch) 6.67, 4.

Heat 7: Conor McLennan (Chch) 13.2, 1; Max Brunker (Whngrei) 8.84, 2; Jack Lee (Whaka) 7.03, 3; Mitchell Dalley (Mnt) 6.5, 4.

Heat 8: Myka Black (Chch) 12.2, 1; Kora Cooper (Rag) 12.2, 2; Lee Ririnui (Mnt) 9.4, 3; Jack Hinton (Mnt) 6.2, 4.

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