Longboarders enjoy their big day out at Makorori

First Light Longboard Surfing Classic.

First Light Longboard Surfing Classic.

WHETHER you love them, hate them, bear them or occasionally join them, longboarders had a big day out at the weekend.

They came from as far away as England, Australia, Germany, Holland, Northland and Hawke’s Bay to compete in the 23rd Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic.

Event organiser David Timbs was ecstatic with the turnout of over 70 competitors — possibly New Zealand’s biggest longboard gathering.

The open women’s and over-40 divisions sold out well in advance.

A revolutionary change that was trialled last year and looks set to stay was the altered judging system.

Instead of judges recording a score next to each surfer’s ride and taking their top two rides into consideration to find the winners, they simply observed the surfers performing over the entire 20-minute heat then ranked the four competitors against an announced criteria.

The first- and second-placed surfers progressed to the next round while third and fourth were relegated to a fold-out chair, a cool beverage and good company.

Head judge was Hamiora Gibson. Gibson worked tirelessly with his team and there were no questionable decisions.

The 28-year-old stepped up as the longboard representative on the Gisborne Boardriders Club committee last year and was elected representative again at this week’s annual general meeting.

The open women’s division of the Classic sold out the week before at the capped number of 16, making this easily the most popular division.

There have never been as many female competitors in the event’s history. The influx is a remarkable change and signals an exciting shift in women’s involvement in surfing in our district.

Abigail Daunton styled her way to victory with a polished display of traditional and conventional surfing. She won every heat and the final.

Nan Baker also showed excellent control and mastery of the longboard but was unable to produce her best in the final and had to settle for fourth.

Second-placed Sabine “Beans” Baumgartner was all class and what she lacked in competition experience she made up for in style, displaying cross-stepping and subtle turns with trips to the nose and back.

Wieteke Deuss surprised onlookers and must be acknowledged as one of the most improved women’s longboarders. She had the most fun, too, as she and her pit crew indulged in refreshments well before the semifinal stage.

Gisborne Boardriders Club juniors returned from the first Billabong Grom Series Competition at Mt Maunganui last weekend with a reasonable bag of results.

Finn Vette stole the show, surfing up a division in a huge and talented under-16 boys’ group.

Vette is eligible to compete in the u14 age group but is relishing the chance to whip boys older than him.

Vette’s maturity was evident not just in his surfing but in his winner’s speech. He delivered a clear and well-timed chat in which he thanked firstly his parents and organisers, and then acknowledged his fellow competitors for pushing his performance.

Finn Johnson, Asia Braithwaite and Daizee Rawls were Gisborne’s other finalists.

Gisborne are third in the club points race heading into the penultimate event in Whangamata this weekend.

Counting results for Gisborne Boardriders Club were: Finn Vette, 1st in under-16 boys; Finn Johnson, 4th in u16 boys; Daizee Rawls, 3rd in u14 girls; Asia Braithwaite, 4th in u14 girls; Saffi Vette, 5th in u18 girls; Jay Ryan, 5th in u14 girls; Hannah King, 5th in u16 girls.

Mourning loss of well-loved character

The Gisborne surfing community has been left stunned by the death of another unique and well-loved character.

Last week Tony Inglis passed away at only 58 years of age after complications arising from a heart attack.

Inglis came to our region driven by the surf over 30 years ago.

Originally from Otago, he surfed his way up the east coast, staying in Hawke’s Bay for a few years and living in a cave with friends in Mahia for a summer.

Once he discovered Gisborne’s good weather and waves, he was here to stay.

His love for great waves took him and many of his close friends on regular pilgrimages to Indonesia, often to the famous left-handers of Grajagan (G-Land).

Inglis was farewelled in the Pines carpark at Okitu last Monday.

Hundreds of surfers and friends came and went during the day. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

The outlook for the weekend

Are the waves on for the weekend?

It’s difficult to say at this point but if you’re hoping for a splash of rain you’ll get that.

The easterly flow that has been with us for the past few days will intensify, with increasing winds and swell shifting slowly to come from the north-east.

The swell is predicted to be moderate. If it gets big enough there may be options at beaches sheltered from the north-east wind. Otherwise we’ll be logging (longboarding) the tiny leftovers of south swell at northern ends of our beaches.

Ryan’s rating this weekend — 4/10.

WHETHER you love them, hate them, bear them or occasionally join them, longboarders had a big day out at the weekend.

They came from as far away as England, Australia, Germany, Holland, Northland and Hawke’s Bay to compete in the 23rd Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic.

Event organiser David Timbs was ecstatic with the turnout of over 70 competitors — possibly New Zealand’s biggest longboard gathering.

The open women’s and over-40 divisions sold out well in advance.

A revolutionary change that was trialled last year and looks set to stay was the altered judging system.

Instead of judges recording a score next to each surfer’s ride and taking their top two rides into consideration to find the winners, they simply observed the surfers performing over the entire 20-minute heat then ranked the four competitors against an announced criteria.

The first- and second-placed surfers progressed to the next round while third and fourth were relegated to a fold-out chair, a cool beverage and good company.

Head judge was Hamiora Gibson. Gibson worked tirelessly with his team and there were no questionable decisions.

The 28-year-old stepped up as the longboard representative on the Gisborne Boardriders Club committee last year and was elected representative again at this week’s annual general meeting.

The open women’s division of the Classic sold out the week before at the capped number of 16, making this easily the most popular division.

There have never been as many female competitors in the event’s history. The influx is a remarkable change and signals an exciting shift in women’s involvement in surfing in our district.

Abigail Daunton styled her way to victory with a polished display of traditional and conventional surfing. She won every heat and the final.

Nan Baker also showed excellent control and mastery of the longboard but was unable to produce her best in the final and had to settle for fourth.

Second-placed Sabine “Beans” Baumgartner was all class and what she lacked in competition experience she made up for in style, displaying cross-stepping and subtle turns with trips to the nose and back.

Wieteke Deuss surprised onlookers and must be acknowledged as one of the most improved women’s longboarders. She had the most fun, too, as she and her pit crew indulged in refreshments well before the semifinal stage.

Gisborne Boardriders Club juniors returned from the first Billabong Grom Series Competition at Mt Maunganui last weekend with a reasonable bag of results.

Finn Vette stole the show, surfing up a division in a huge and talented under-16 boys’ group.

Vette is eligible to compete in the u14 age group but is relishing the chance to whip boys older than him.

Vette’s maturity was evident not just in his surfing but in his winner’s speech. He delivered a clear and well-timed chat in which he thanked firstly his parents and organisers, and then acknowledged his fellow competitors for pushing his performance.

Finn Johnson, Asia Braithwaite and Daizee Rawls were Gisborne’s other finalists.

Gisborne are third in the club points race heading into the penultimate event in Whangamata this weekend.

Counting results for Gisborne Boardriders Club were: Finn Vette, 1st in under-16 boys; Finn Johnson, 4th in u16 boys; Daizee Rawls, 3rd in u14 girls; Asia Braithwaite, 4th in u14 girls; Saffi Vette, 5th in u18 girls; Jay Ryan, 5th in u14 girls; Hannah King, 5th in u16 girls.

Mourning loss of well-loved character

The Gisborne surfing community has been left stunned by the death of another unique and well-loved character.

Last week Tony Inglis passed away at only 58 years of age after complications arising from a heart attack.

Inglis came to our region driven by the surf over 30 years ago.

Originally from Otago, he surfed his way up the east coast, staying in Hawke’s Bay for a few years and living in a cave with friends in Mahia for a summer.

Once he discovered Gisborne’s good weather and waves, he was here to stay.

His love for great waves took him and many of his close friends on regular pilgrimages to Indonesia, often to the famous left-handers of Grajagan (G-Land).

Inglis was farewelled in the Pines carpark at Okitu last Monday.

Hundreds of surfers and friends came and went during the day. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

The outlook for the weekend

Are the waves on for the weekend?

It’s difficult to say at this point but if you’re hoping for a splash of rain you’ll get that.

The easterly flow that has been with us for the past few days will intensify, with increasing winds and swell shifting slowly to come from the north-east.

The swell is predicted to be moderate. If it gets big enough there may be options at beaches sheltered from the north-east wind. Otherwise we’ll be logging (longboarding) the tiny leftovers of south swell at northern ends of our beaches.

Ryan’s rating this weekend — 4/10.

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