Our surf a field of sporting dreams

EDITORIAL

Gisborne’s beaches are bustling as holidaymakers and locals mingle with New Zealand’s top surfers competing in the national surfing championships, and surf lifesavers prepare for an inaugural combined senior regional champs with Bay of Plenty here this weekend.

Midway turned on a real surfing test for day two of the nationals on Monday, with elite surfers pumping while some competitors struggled to even catch the powerful waves. The 2.0 metre swell was described as some of the best surf at the city beach in a decade.

Competition moved to Makorori yesterday where a clean 1.0m swell in the morning turned patchy as the sea breeze picked up late-morning, contributing to a day of upsets in the open men’s contest.

Ricardo Christie and Johnny Hicks hold local hopes, with Christie now the firm favourite and only semi-finalist who is a previous winner — back in 2005, when he became the youngest ever title-holder at 16.

Saffi Vette yesterday earned the chance to surf for the open women’s crown. The talented young Gisborne surfer was one of three teens to progress to the final four in the open women’s division.

Mahia-Gisborne’s Airini Mason was the last local to win the open women’s title, in 2011.

Jay Quinn was the last Gisborne surfer to win the open men’s title, his third, in 2013.

The national surfing champs have run for 54 years now, with this the 14th time Gisborne has hosted the event — the most out of any location in the country. It was last held here in 2014.

Gisborne’s great beach and ocean environment helps create top surf lifesavers too. Midway Beach once again hosts the NZ Surf Lifesaving Championships in mid-March, and spectators can enjoy a trial run of top competition this weekend when our best senior surf lifesavers take on the Bay of Plenty’s finest.

The surf prospects do not look promising size-wise for the rest of the surfing nationals, but there should be enough to get the job done. Surf websites predict up to 1.0m of surf on the city and coast beaches through into Saturday when it will drop off to a nearly flat day on the city beaches on Sunday. A southeasterly change on Friday will affect wave quality.

Gisborne’s beaches are bustling as holidaymakers and locals mingle with New Zealand’s top surfers competing in the national surfing championships, and surf lifesavers prepare for an inaugural combined senior regional champs with Bay of Plenty here this weekend.

Midway turned on a real surfing test for day two of the nationals on Monday, with elite surfers pumping while some competitors struggled to even catch the powerful waves. The 2.0 metre swell was described as some of the best surf at the city beach in a decade.

Competition moved to Makorori yesterday where a clean 1.0m swell in the morning turned patchy as the sea breeze picked up late-morning, contributing to a day of upsets in the open men’s contest.

Ricardo Christie and Johnny Hicks hold local hopes, with Christie now the firm favourite and only semi-finalist who is a previous winner — back in 2005, when he became the youngest ever title-holder at 16.

Saffi Vette yesterday earned the chance to surf for the open women’s crown. The talented young Gisborne surfer was one of three teens to progress to the final four in the open women’s division.

Mahia-Gisborne’s Airini Mason was the last local to win the open women’s title, in 2011.

Jay Quinn was the last Gisborne surfer to win the open men’s title, his third, in 2013.

The national surfing champs have run for 54 years now, with this the 14th time Gisborne has hosted the event — the most out of any location in the country. It was last held here in 2014.

Gisborne’s great beach and ocean environment helps create top surf lifesavers too. Midway Beach once again hosts the NZ Surf Lifesaving Championships in mid-March, and spectators can enjoy a trial run of top competition this weekend when our best senior surf lifesavers take on the Bay of Plenty’s finest.

The surf prospects do not look promising size-wise for the rest of the surfing nationals, but there should be enough to get the job done. Surf websites predict up to 1.0m of surf on the city and coast beaches through into Saturday when it will drop off to a nearly flat day on the city beaches on Sunday. A southeasterly change on Friday will affect wave quality.

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