The South Island Championships will take place from the 29th March through until the 31st March in the Dunedin area with the primary venue being Saint Clair Beach. The event will have a 3-star rating with $9,000 in prizes and cash up for grabs and will be co sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association.
For the past six years the South Island Championships has been part of the South Island Circuit and has attracted a strong field of surfers both from around the South Island as well as a handful of keen North Island surfers looking for competitive opportunities.
Otago University student JC Susan (Mnt) is the defending champion in the Open Men's Division. Susan, a former New Zealand Junior Surfing Team member has been studying at Otago University for the past two years and is pleased to see the event gain national sanctioning.
"That is great, it will hopefully bring more guys down to compete in the event, it was pumping last year so hopefully it is pumping again this year and everyone gets some good waves"
said the defending event champion. Susan has enjoyed his time, and the waves, in Dunedin so much so that he remained down there for the whole summer only returning up north to contest the National Championships in January.
Christchurch surfer Hayden Brain won the South Island Circuit in 2012 but missed the 2012 edition of the South Island Champs to simply 'take a break'. This year he will be heading back down to the event and relishes the chance to surf against any of the surfers travelling from the North Island. "It is definitely a good thing having the event co-sanctioned. We enjoy all the guys coming down and surfing down here. Guys like Luke Cederman (Rag) have been down here the past few years and they bring a high calibre of surfing to the event" said Brain.
The event will include Open Women's and Under 20 Men's Divisions which will also be nationally sanctioned as well as a further seven divisions ranging from Under 14 Grommets through to Over 45s.
Host Club, South Coast Boardriders Association have run the event since the early 1970s, The club has been working hard in recent months to make the event as successful as possible and they are heartened to see the event take on additional meaning.
"South Coast Board Riders are pleased to be able to host a fully sanctioned SNZ/SISA event this year" said club president Mark Stevenson. "Our primary contest site at St Clair is a natural amphitheatre for a surfing event and will always provide a variety of contestable conditions over the course of even a one day event. With many other world class surf breaks within a 30 minute drive there is always the option to relocate quickly should conditions allow. We welcome all surfers to this year's event and will endeavor to continue our proud tradition of providing a fun and enjoyable weekend for you all" added Stevenson.
In 2006, the last year the event was sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand, the event was won by Jai Earnshaw (Kaikoura).
The amazing coastline and endless opportunities to score perfect waves in the region mean that many surfers combine the event with a genuine surf expedition to score pumping waves. The coastline has featured in magazines and movies throughout the world, most recently playing host to surfing phenomenon Dane Reynolds (USA). Prior to Reynolds visit, waves in the region have also been included in the New Zealand surf movie Under the Weather, Drive Thru - New Zealand and numerous international surfing publications.
Entry forms for the event will be available from the 4th of March via the Surfing New Zealand and South Island Surfing Association websites as well as the South Coast Boardriders Facebook page.
For further information on the 2013 South Island Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand's Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact South Coast Boardriders - email@example.com / Mark Stevenson on 0212980326.