Dune Dogz hit the mark with Dunga Derby

COMPETITION FOCUSED ON GOOD TIMES: Dunga Derby surfer Abi Daunton in style mode. Pictures by Shaun Tunny
ON THE NOSE: Guy Edge Burns makes riding old gear look easy.

Despite cold temperatures and flood-inducing rainfall, a surf competition with a difference was held over the weekend.

The Dunga Derby is a concept event dreamed up by the Dune Dogz, a group of Gisborne surfers who enjoy riding alternative surf craft. It had already been postponed once because the weather didn’t suit.

“We were really lucky with the weather this time round,” event organiser Hamiora Gibson said.

“The wind and rain held off for most of the day and we had a perfect two-foot swell at Pipe that suited the vintage boards well.

“It was great to see everyone turn out on a cold winter’s day to celebrate our surfing history.

“We had competitors from as far away as Hawaii.”

The event was the first Dunga Derby held in Gisborne and attracted around 30 entrants ranging in age from 12 to over 65.

With a focus on good vibes, boards over eight feet called “logs” and a minimal level of competition, the event was a world away from most surf contests.

The organisers took inspiration from the Moananui Longboarders, who held similar events during the 1980s and ’90s.

The Dune Dogz approached James Newby, an avid surfboard collector, who offered boards from yesteryear to be ridden in the event.

“James is such a legend allowing us to use his boards so freely,” Gibson said.

“Most collectors are really protective of their gear, so to let us have access to some rare equipment was amazing.”

The event was also supported by Gisborne Boardriders Club, Sunshine Brewery and Far East Coffee, who offered refreshments throughout the day.

Gibson said he appreciated how the local business community got in behind these “low-key” events.

“We are so lucky in Gisborne to have this level of involvement from local businesses who get behind surfing because they are a part of the community and so is surfing.”

Fifth-placed surfer Troy Conole said the relaxed approach made it an enjoyable event.

“Even though it was chilly, no one cared about points so there was no pressure,” he said.

“We were all just stoked trying to dominate those massive boards and it will be even better when it runs in summer.”

The event highlight was the seven-man open final, which showcased some of the best local longboard talent.

Dan Croskery was awarded first place ahead of Guy Edge Burns, Blair Lambert, David Timbs, Conole, George Thorpe and Kelly Geiseler.

The junior final also showcased some fine talent. Ben Kassel edged out Stella Smith, George Thorpe, Hugh Cowie and Cruz Williams.

“Watch this space,” Gibson said.

“A summer event is also planned, as well as a big international longboard event next year.”

Despite cold temperatures and flood-inducing rainfall, a surf competition with a difference was held over the weekend.

The Dunga Derby is a concept event dreamed up by the Dune Dogz, a group of Gisborne surfers who enjoy riding alternative surf craft. It had already been postponed once because the weather didn’t suit.

“We were really lucky with the weather this time round,” event organiser Hamiora Gibson said.

“The wind and rain held off for most of the day and we had a perfect two-foot swell at Pipe that suited the vintage boards well.

“It was great to see everyone turn out on a cold winter’s day to celebrate our surfing history.

“We had competitors from as far away as Hawaii.”

The event was the first Dunga Derby held in Gisborne and attracted around 30 entrants ranging in age from 12 to over 65.

With a focus on good vibes, boards over eight feet called “logs” and a minimal level of competition, the event was a world away from most surf contests.

The organisers took inspiration from the Moananui Longboarders, who held similar events during the 1980s and ’90s.

The Dune Dogz approached James Newby, an avid surfboard collector, who offered boards from yesteryear to be ridden in the event.

“James is such a legend allowing us to use his boards so freely,” Gibson said.

“Most collectors are really protective of their gear, so to let us have access to some rare equipment was amazing.”

The event was also supported by Gisborne Boardriders Club, Sunshine Brewery and Far East Coffee, who offered refreshments throughout the day.

Gibson said he appreciated how the local business community got in behind these “low-key” events.

“We are so lucky in Gisborne to have this level of involvement from local businesses who get behind surfing because they are a part of the community and so is surfing.”

Fifth-placed surfer Troy Conole said the relaxed approach made it an enjoyable event.

“Even though it was chilly, no one cared about points so there was no pressure,” he said.

“We were all just stoked trying to dominate those massive boards and it will be even better when it runs in summer.”

The event highlight was the seven-man open final, which showcased some of the best local longboard talent.

Dan Croskery was awarded first place ahead of Guy Edge Burns, Blair Lambert, David Timbs, Conole, George Thorpe and Kelly Geiseler.

The junior final also showcased some fine talent. Ben Kassel edged out Stella Smith, George Thorpe, Hugh Cowie and Cruz Williams.

“Watch this space,” Gibson said.

“A summer event is also planned, as well as a big international longboard event next year.”

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