Strong Gisborne showing at Midway

TOUGH HEAT: Johnny Hicks won his way into a quarterfinal against fellow Gisborne surfers Ricardo Christie and Bobby Hansen, and Raglan’s Taylor Hutchison. Cory/NZ Surfing Magazine picture

GISBORNE surfers continued to feature strongly in the open men’s contest at the national surfing championships at Midway Beach yesterday.

They won four of the eight heats contested in the division in clean two-metre surf yesterday.

Day 1 standouts Ricardo Christie and Maz Quinn looked near-unstoppable with winning heat scores of 16.97 and 17.0 respectively.

Johnny Hicks (13.5) and Damon Gunness (12.83) were the other Gisborne heat-winners.

Hicks faces a particularly tough quarterfinal. He will be in the water with Christie, 2017 runner-up Taylor Hutchison (Raglan) and Gisborne gun Bobby Hansen.

Piha surfer Elliot Paerata-Reid finished second to Christie in his heat, and used his backhand to good effect in the big waves to finish on 15.24.

In the quarterfinals, Paerata-Reid will be up against Quinn and Mt Maunganui surfers Nick White and Dylan Preston.

Other Round 2 standouts were Zen Wallis (Piha) and Keone Campbell (Taranaki). Both won their early-morning heats in convincing style.

Defending champion Billy Stairmand (Raglan) had a slow heat but managed to win.

Elin Tawharu contested two heats in the open women’s division and looked at home in the challenging conditions, finishing with 13.47 points to advance to the last eight.

Gisborne’s Saffi Vette showed glimpses of class with a few big turns to advance in second place.

Albany’s Gaby Sansom is the last surfer still in the draw to have secured an open women’s title (2015).

Yesterday she won her heat comfortably to advance to the semifinal. Twin sister Bianca also made the semis, finishing second in her heat to Taranaki’s in-form Zhana Hutchieson.

Others to advance were Tegan Bishop (Christchurch), Abigail Daunton (Gis) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt).

Dunedin’s Elliott Brown top scored in the under-18 men’s division. Other heat winners were Jay Piper-Healion (Whitianga), Shane Kraus (Piha) and Conor McLennan (Chch).

Under-16 competitors Tom Robinson (Whangarei), Myka Black (Chch), Finn Vette (Gis) and Luis Southwood (Whakatane) all advanced with heat wins.

The swell was expected to drop today and the event was likely to be moved to Makorori.

The senior men’s divisions were to enter the water for the first time, with a good chance that the open men’s and women’s divisions would be contested again today.

The event is scheduled to finish on Saturday.

Competition in the longboard divisions is expected to start tomorrow, with stand-up paddleboard events scheduled to start on Thursday.

Kneeboard events are set for Friday, and the schedule for Saturday will feature finals and a stand-up paddleboard race.

GISBORNE surfers continued to feature strongly in the open men’s contest at the national surfing championships at Midway Beach yesterday.

They won four of the eight heats contested in the division in clean two-metre surf yesterday.

Day 1 standouts Ricardo Christie and Maz Quinn looked near-unstoppable with winning heat scores of 16.97 and 17.0 respectively.

Johnny Hicks (13.5) and Damon Gunness (12.83) were the other Gisborne heat-winners.

Hicks faces a particularly tough quarterfinal. He will be in the water with Christie, 2017 runner-up Taylor Hutchison (Raglan) and Gisborne gun Bobby Hansen.

Piha surfer Elliot Paerata-Reid finished second to Christie in his heat, and used his backhand to good effect in the big waves to finish on 15.24.

In the quarterfinals, Paerata-Reid will be up against Quinn and Mt Maunganui surfers Nick White and Dylan Preston.

Other Round 2 standouts were Zen Wallis (Piha) and Keone Campbell (Taranaki). Both won their early-morning heats in convincing style.

Defending champion Billy Stairmand (Raglan) had a slow heat but managed to win.

Elin Tawharu contested two heats in the open women’s division and looked at home in the challenging conditions, finishing with 13.47 points to advance to the last eight.

Gisborne’s Saffi Vette showed glimpses of class with a few big turns to advance in second place.

Albany’s Gaby Sansom is the last surfer still in the draw to have secured an open women’s title (2015).

Yesterday she won her heat comfortably to advance to the semifinal. Twin sister Bianca also made the semis, finishing second in her heat to Taranaki’s in-form Zhana Hutchieson.

Others to advance were Tegan Bishop (Christchurch), Abigail Daunton (Gis) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt).

Dunedin’s Elliott Brown top scored in the under-18 men’s division. Other heat winners were Jay Piper-Healion (Whitianga), Shane Kraus (Piha) and Conor McLennan (Chch).

Under-16 competitors Tom Robinson (Whangarei), Myka Black (Chch), Finn Vette (Gis) and Luis Southwood (Whakatane) all advanced with heat wins.

The swell was expected to drop today and the event was likely to be moved to Makorori.

The senior men’s divisions were to enter the water for the first time, with a good chance that the open men’s and women’s divisions would be contested again today.

The event is scheduled to finish on Saturday.

Competition in the longboard divisions is expected to start tomorrow, with stand-up paddleboard events scheduled to start on Thursday.

Kneeboard events are set for Friday, and the schedule for Saturday will feature finals and a stand-up paddleboard race.

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