WAVESKI MAESTRO RETURNS

2007: Rees Duncan is carried shoulder-high up the beach at Makorori to be crowned waveski world champion.
Rees Duncan performs the moves that helped win him the waveski world champion title in 2007.

Twelve years ago Australian waveski surfer Rees Duncan was carried shoulder-high up the beach at Makorori to be crowned a world champion.

This weekend the 47-year-old returns to the scene of his success at the Gisborne-hosted 2007 world titles . . . still world champion and still ripping after an illustrious career following on from his first world title as a teenager. He has now been open world champion nine times.

The Queenslander and four other leading Australian surfers will feature in Gisborne at the 2019 New Zealand Open Waveski Surfing Titles, an event hosted here every Easter by Turanganui Waveski Club.

Duncan, Dale Randahl, Francisco Nascimento, Steve Sargent and accomplished female surfer Jackie Dillon are crossing the Tasman to give solid competition to this country’s best. They are long-time top competitors and exponents in all conditions, and give the lie to any theory that age dulls surfing skills.

Most of them are familiar with Gisborne — Randahl, of Sydney, is one of Australia’s best and was the fourth-placed world finalist here in 2007. Dillon has also competed here over the past couple of decades.

A legend in the sport, Duncan does not just do great things on a waveski. He designs and makes them, too, under his RD brand.

He came back from the wilderness here at 35, surprised and delighted to claim the world crown in Gisborne . . . 15 years after he had last won it.

His first world title as a teen in 1989 came at the expense of a young Kiwi called Dave Mitchell.

Mitchell just happens to be the many-times and reigning New Zealand champion . . . at 48. He will be back in Gisborne this weekend to defend his title against more old friends and foes than usual.

Has waveski surfing become a sport for old blokes? It might look that way when you add in 40-something former New Zealand champions Nigel Bryant of Napier and Justin Parry of Auckland, both in the mix this weekend to put the heat on sponsor AJ Hackett Bungy manager Mitchell, who makes the trip from inland Queenstown each year to Gisborne’s waves.

The years will peel back, though, when they are in the water for the Saturday/Sunday contest.Throw in Aucklanders Vince Gardner, Gary Storms and Pey Geldenhuys, with Gisborne’s Ike TeAhorangi and Derek Solomon, and the birth certificates start to look quite yellow. However, they are mere chickens, the lot of them, alongside world veteran champion Steve Gibbs and fellow-Gisborne veteran age-group pretenders Chris Vincent, Dave Conway and Aucklander Chris Swales.

With open and age-group heats ahead of them, plus a coaching session on Friday with world champ Duncan, they will be busy. And hoping for better surf than 12 years ago, so that this time the full range of world-class waveski surfing tricks can be let out of the bag.

Twelve years ago Australian waveski surfer Rees Duncan was carried shoulder-high up the beach at Makorori to be crowned a world champion.

This weekend the 47-year-old returns to the scene of his success at the Gisborne-hosted 2007 world titles . . . still world champion and still ripping after an illustrious career following on from his first world title as a teenager. He has now been open world champion nine times.

The Queenslander and four other leading Australian surfers will feature in Gisborne at the 2019 New Zealand Open Waveski Surfing Titles, an event hosted here every Easter by Turanganui Waveski Club.

Duncan, Dale Randahl, Francisco Nascimento, Steve Sargent and accomplished female surfer Jackie Dillon are crossing the Tasman to give solid competition to this country’s best. They are long-time top competitors and exponents in all conditions, and give the lie to any theory that age dulls surfing skills.

Most of them are familiar with Gisborne — Randahl, of Sydney, is one of Australia’s best and was the fourth-placed world finalist here in 2007. Dillon has also competed here over the past couple of decades.

A legend in the sport, Duncan does not just do great things on a waveski. He designs and makes them, too, under his RD brand.

He came back from the wilderness here at 35, surprised and delighted to claim the world crown in Gisborne . . . 15 years after he had last won it.

His first world title as a teen in 1989 came at the expense of a young Kiwi called Dave Mitchell.

Mitchell just happens to be the many-times and reigning New Zealand champion . . . at 48. He will be back in Gisborne this weekend to defend his title against more old friends and foes than usual.

Has waveski surfing become a sport for old blokes? It might look that way when you add in 40-something former New Zealand champions Nigel Bryant of Napier and Justin Parry of Auckland, both in the mix this weekend to put the heat on sponsor AJ Hackett Bungy manager Mitchell, who makes the trip from inland Queenstown each year to Gisborne’s waves.

The years will peel back, though, when they are in the water for the Saturday/Sunday contest.Throw in Aucklanders Vince Gardner, Gary Storms and Pey Geldenhuys, with Gisborne’s Ike TeAhorangi and Derek Solomon, and the birth certificates start to look quite yellow. However, they are mere chickens, the lot of them, alongside world veteran champion Steve Gibbs and fellow-Gisborne veteran age-group pretenders Chris Vincent, Dave Conway and Aucklander Chris Swales.

With open and age-group heats ahead of them, plus a coaching session on Friday with world champ Duncan, they will be busy. And hoping for better surf than 12 years ago, so that this time the full range of world-class waveski surfing tricks can be let out of the bag.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Colin Samways, Newcastle - 7 days ago
Rees's commitment to the sport is second to none. He has worked tirelessly in the sport, not only competing but also organising and promoting the sport.
If he commits to an event he is going to be hard to beat.
He is a true Legend of the sport.
Good luck with the competition. Hope there is great waves and good times.

Steve Gibbs - 1 day ago
It was a great pleasure to be able to host the current world Open and Masters champion to a surf event hosted on our local Gisborne beaches. World class Australian Waveski surfers Rees Duncan and Dale Randahl showed their class in being a cut above their Kiwi counter parts in the Open and Masters events at this year's NZ Open championships. Duncan dominated in every heat leading up to the open final, demonstrating his freakish talents in this sport that sees him as a real legend having won 11 world titles.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you think more or less of Jacinda Ardern after the Prime Minister ruled out a capital gains tax under her leadership?