Nine titles were confirmed at the 2021 National Championships presented by The Trusts Community Foundation held at Piha Beach today (Thursday 14th January) including the first ever Adaptive Division title.
As the event edges closer to finals day on Saturday, the field of surfers shortens across multiple divisions and today, the 1.0m swell and midday full tides provided the perfect platform for a number of participants that had been waiting for the smaller conditions.
The Adaptive Division was contested for the first time ever at the National Championships with local Piha surfer Luke Darby winning the title on his last scoring ride. Darby finished with an 8.0 point heat total for the win over his two opponents Kenton Osmond (Tai) and Bruce Campbell (Rag).
Darby has been working with Adaptive Surfing New Zealand for several years delivering learn to surf days and promoting the adaptive surfing community. He has also represented New Zealand at the ISA World Adaptive Championships.
“It’s a novelty being the first one today, it was awesome, you get really competitive in the heat of the moment, I thought it was going to be more of an expression session but when they start calling out scores and positions, it gets you going” Darby said.
“Hopefully more people enter next time, if they are interested, they should get in touch with us and join in on the fun” he added.
With surfing now part of the Olympic programme through to Paris 2024, it is hoped that surfing will be added to the Paralympic programme in the near future, a goal that Darby and his fellow competitors clearly have in their sights.
Standup Paddleboard titles went to New Zealand representatives Sean Hovell (Gis) in the Men’s Division and Billie Scott (Whngrei) in the Women’s. Scott only recently returned from a year studying in Hawaii where she further honed her stand up paddleboarding skills amongst the mecca of the discipline.
Several senior women’s division titles were confirmed going to Renee Ruddell (Whngrei) in the Over 30s, Stephanie Leece (Piha) in the Over 35s, Jane Schofield (Dun) in the Over 40s, Anna Jolly (Piha) in the Over 45s and Marguerite Vujcich (HBay) in the Over 60s.
Gisborne’s Jay Ryan claimed the Under 18 Girls Longboard Division.
Early in the day the Under 14 Girls finally got to contest the event for the first time this week with Leia Millar (Piha), Alani Morse (Orewa), Ariana Walker (Mnt) and Indi-Lee Ruddell (Whngrei) all getting good heat wins as they line up the semifinals and finals on the penultimate day of the event.
The Under 18 Longboard Division also got their campaigns off to a start with Nat Fitt (Auck) again looking impressive along with Geordie Sawyer (Gis) and Ben Counsell (Auck) who also got heat wins.
Rick Lasch dominated the Over 50 Men’s Division in the morning posting a 14.3 point heat total to advance to the finals. Dunedin’s Simon Brennan was equally impressive with a 12.4 heat total in his semifinal.
Francois Sneedon (HBay) and Rick Griffith (Auck) were the dominant forces in the Over 55 Men’s Division advancing to the finals where they will be joined by Geoff Hutchison (Rag) and David Mann (Auck).
Day six will see a number finals contested as well as the Kneeboard Division who will surf for the first time this week.
Action will take place from 8am – 4pm daily with the primary venue being at the southern end of Piha Beach.
Please see below for the results from day six of the 2021 National Surfing Championships pres by The Trusts Community Foundation held at Piha Beach Auckland today, Thursday 14th January.
Under 14 Girls Division Round 1
Alani Morse (Orewa), 9.55, 1, Isabella Milne (WGM), 3.8, 2, Jess Sinton (Mur), 3.5, 3, Kyra Wallis (Piha), 2.4, 4
Leia Millar (Piha), 12.1, 1, Maya Mateja (Rag), 10.45, 2, India Kennings (WGM), 9.35, 3, Keana Hofmann (Auck), 0, 4
Ariana Walker (Mnt), 9.2, 1, Chloe Groube (Pau), 8.7, 2, Talia Da Silva (Whngrei), 6.1, 3, Tessa Gabbott (Dun), 2.5, 4
Indi-Lee Ruddell (Whngrei), 7.15, 1, Lola Groube (Pau), 5.05, 2, Ruby Milne (WGM), 4.7, 3, Mahia Braithwaite (Gis), 4.45, 4
Over 50 Men’s Division Round 2
Simon Brennan (Dun), 12.4, 1, Phil Wallis (Piha), 7.85, 2, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 7.7, 3, Jeremy Williams (Auck), 6.85, 4
Rick Lasch (Ham), 14.3, 1, Chris Ryan (Auck), 10.7, 2, Morgan Cronin (Tairua), 8.55, 3, Clinton Ashill (Whngrei), 7.35, 4
Over 55 Men’s Division Round 1
Francios Sneedon (Hbay), 12.9, 1, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 11.15, 2, Mark Hoyle (Orewa), 6.95, 3, Ken Nicholson (Auck), 2.05, 4
Jack Griffith (Auck), 13.6, 1, David Mann (Auck), 11.6, 2, Phil Wallis (Piha), 11.35, 3, Michael de Groot (Hbay), 9.2, 4
Under 18 Longboard Division Round 1
Geordie Sawyer (Gis), 14.5, 1, Jack Tyro (ChCh), 10.3, 2, Jai Wallis (Piha), 6.38, 3
Nat Fitt (Auck), 8.5, 1, Hawke Edwards (Whngrei), 3.5, 2, Will Hardie (Piha), 3.33, 3
Ben Counsell (Auck), 10.1, 1, Reef Barrett (Auck), 5.05, 2, Bill Byers (Piha), 4.25, 3
Under 14 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Ashton Rogers (WGM), 8.8, 1, Gabriel Lobb (Gis), 8.15, 2, Sam Frazerhurst (Auck), 7, 3, Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 4.15, 4
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 12.25, 1, Lewis Murphy (Dun), 11, 2, Cooper Roberts (Mnt), 4.5, 3, Kauai Rahui (Whgrei), 2.7, 4
Zak Becroft (Auck), 10, 1, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 7.65, 2, Maceo Thompson (Piha), 5.55, 3, Remy Sale (Auck), 4.1, 4
Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 10.6, 1, Ezekiel Wyper (Tai), 8.15, 2, Theo Morse (Orewa), 7.55, 3, Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck), 3, 4
Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard Division Final
Sean Hovell (Gis), 11.3, 1, Jamie Scott (Whngrei), 10.8, 2, Curtis Nuu (Gis), 10.1, 3, Karl Arsene (Whngmata), 8.75, 4
Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard Division Final
Billie Scott (Whngrei), 10.6, 1, Amelie Wink (Chch), 8.5, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 7.55, 3, Marguirite Vujcich (Hbay), 3.73, 4
Senior Women’s Divisions
Over 30 Women’s Division – Renee Ruddell (Whngrei)
Over 35 Women’s Division – Steph Leece (Piha)
Over 40 Women’s Division – Jane Schofield (Dun), 4.0, 1, Katrina Millar (Whmata), 3.15, 2nd
Over 45 Women’s Division – Anna Jolly (Piha), 12, 1, Carolyn Millar (Piha), 6, 2, Steph Leece (Piha), 4.15, 3
Over 60 Women’s Division – Marguerite Vujcich (Hbay)
Men’s Bodyboard Division Final
Adrian Bray (Piha), 15.5, 1, Gavin Murdoch (Piha), 13.25, 2, Jeff King (Piha), 7.7, 3, Hawk Edwards (Whngrei), 6.2, 4, Dan ‘Native’ Haimoana (Piha), 3.2, 5
Women’s Bodyboard Division Final
Ana Lucena (Piha), 13, 1, Marguerite Vujcich (Hbay), 12.5, 2
Luke Darby (Piha), 8, 1, Kenon Osmond (Tai), 7.85, 2, Bruce Campbell (Rag), 6.25, 3
The National Surfing Championships mark the first of several domestic events this season which will climax with a finale for the top 16 males and 8 females across the Open Men and Women’s Divisions.
2021 marks the thirteenth time the National Championships has been held at Piha with the consistent waves of Auckland’s West Coast making the venue a good location for the seven-day event.
The longest running surfing event in New Zealand has a 57-year history and encompasses 29 divisions spread across all disciplines and age groups making for a largely inclusive event, filled with high level surfing as well as good times in and out of the water. Over 320 entries have been received for the event.
For further information on the 2021 National Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge upon request.
Live scoring of the event will be on www.compusurf.com.au.
The final day of the event will be broadcast live on Sky Sport Channel 9. The event will also be webcast live on Sky Sport Next.
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #Nats2021 to follow the story.
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Author: Ben Kennings