A packed house at Piha Beach, Auckland will play witness to the big showdowns looming at the 2021 National Surfing Championships presented by The trusts Community Foundation tomorrow (Saturday 16th January) when the event climaxes after seven days of fast paced action.
New Zealand’s best surfers will firstly vie for finals berths in the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions before the finals will be contested early afternoon.
Billy Stairmand (Rag) attempts to find a record-breaking eighth title in the Men’s Division while his younger New Zealand team mate Kehu Butler (Mnt) searches for his first. Multiple upsets could also be in the cards with six additional underdogs, many who have placed in finals, won national events in the past, but never a national title, wait for their opportunity.
In the Women’s Division, 15-year-old defending champion Ava Henderson (Chch) will be up against the immense experience of World Tour veteran Paige Hareb (Tara) who is contesting her first National Championships in 14 years. Hareb is joined by the likes of two-time champion Ella Williams as well as 2019 runner up Saffi Vette (Gis) who has come close in the past and will want to go one better tomorrow. Like the Men’s Division, the semifinals of the Women’s Division is filled with equally talented youngsters who will love nothing less than causing an upset to raise the prestigious trophy.
The men have had three days off to practice and prepare for the final day while the women have had four days off since they last competed on Monday.
On the penultimate day of the event today, a further nine titles were locked in place for 2021 spanning across junior and senior age groups as well as longboard and kneeboard.
The surf was the smallest of the six days to date with a small 1.0m swell and light onshore sea breezes throughout the day.
Mount Maunganui’s Tao Mouldey stormed to victory in the Under 14 Boys Division after looking unbeatable all week. A 16.75 point heat total in the final capped off a big week for Mouldey who will surf for the double on the final day in the Under 16 Boys Division. First time finalist Ashton Rogers (WGM) finished runner up in the final ahead of Indica Corcoran (Mnt) and Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM).
Piha surfer Leia Millar claimed a well received win in the Under 14 Girls Division to the cheer of family and friends. Millar navigated the line-up perfectly and, after opening with a 7.75 point ride, never relinquished the lead. Alani Morse (Orewa) finished in second ahead of Maya Mateja (Rag) and Ariana Walker (Mnt).
Two longboard titles were confirmed today with Gabi Paul (Piha) defending her title in the Open Women’s Division and Geordie Sawyer (Gis) in the Under 18 Longboard Division.
The finals in the senior men’s divisions provided fiercely contested encounters as predicted. Tairua surfer Sean Peggs got the win over Jarred Hancox (Tara) in the Over 30 Men’s Division after an 8.9 point ride early in the final. Peggs will look to take that form into the semifinals of the Open Men’s Division tomorrow in a bid to advance to the finals.
Hancox was again upset in the Over 40 Men’s Division after a major exchange in the dying minutes of their final with Chris Malone (Rag) stole the win on his last two rides. Malone finished with a 14.0 point heat total to Hancox’ 13.8 to leave him with two runner up finishes at the event.
Hamilton surfer Rick Lasch was too classy in the Over 50 Men’s Division where he surfed to a big 15.0 point heat total out of a possible 20.
In the Over 60 Men’s Division, John Gisby (Gis) secured his 39th national title but not before a major scare when he found himself well behind front runner Barry McCulloch (Tai) midway through the final. However, a change in tactics and positioning saw Gisby nab a nice 8.0 point ride for a lead that he never relinquished leaving McCulloch in second.
Auckland surfer Phil Stubbs claimed the Kneeboard Division in a tight battle over Kenton Osmond (Tai) with Kelvin Weir (Tara) in third and Mike Anderson (Tara) in fourth.
Action will take place from 9am – 2pm on Saturday. Finals of the Open Men’s and Women’s Division will commence at 1:00pm 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, Friday 15th January.
Under 18 Boys Division Semifinals
Kora Cooper (Rag), 11.95, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.15, 2, Thomas Charlesworth (Auck), 10.6, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), 9.95, 4
Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 13.15, 1, Finn Vette (Gis), 12.9, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 10.95, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 9.9, 4
Under 16 Boys Division Semifinals
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 14.9, 1, Rakiatea Tau (Chch), 9.65, 2, Tai Murphy (Whaka), 9.15, 3
Navryn Malone (Rag), 7.65, 1, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 5.55, 2, Bill Byers (Piha), 2.35, 3
Under 14 Boys Division Semifinals
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 12.4, 1, Ashton Rogers (WGM), 9.1, 2, Gabriel Lobb (Gis), 5.3, 3, Lewis Murphy (Dun), 0
Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 9.65, 1, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 9.5, 2, Ezekiel Wyper (Tai), 9.4, 3, Zak Becroft (Auck), 5.23, 4
Under 14 Boys Division Final
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 16.75, 1, Ashton Rogers (WGM), 9.05, 2, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 8, 3, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 6, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Semifinals
Alani Morse (Orewa), 14.3, 1, Leia Millar (Piha), 9.7, 2, Chloe Groube (Pau), 8.75, 3, Lola Groube (Pau), 8.65, 4
Maya Mateja (Rag), 10.9, 1, Ariana Walker (Mnt), 4.8, 2, Isabella Milne (WGM), 3.69, 3, Indi-Lee Ruddell (Whngrei), 2.5, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Leia Millar (Piha), 11.3, 1, Alani Morse (Orewa), 10.3, 2, Maya Mateja (Rag), 9.8, 3, Ariana Walker (Mnt), 7.55, 4
Over 40 Men’s Division Semifinals
Patrick Braithwaite (Gis), 12.5, 1, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 11.6, 2, Mike Mulcahy (Piha), 7.15, 3, Chris Fougere (Piha), inj
Rian Boyd (Auck), 10.8, 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 10.2, 2, Marc Moore (Auck), 8.9, 3, Jeremy Grainger (Tara), 7.35, 4
Over 45 Men’s Division Semifinals
Marc Moore (Auck), 10.8, 1, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 9.05, 2, Patrick Braithwaite (Gis), 6.6, 3, Stu Millar (Piha), 5.1, 4
Lyndon Fairbairn (Dun), 9.45, 1, Morgan Cronin (Auck), 8.85, 2, Deane Hishon (Rag), 7.85, 3, Mike Mulcahy (Piha), 4, 4
Over 60 Men’s Division Final
John Gisby (Gis), 10.75, 1, Barry McCulloch (Tai), 10, 2, Michael Gray (Orewa), 7.45, 3, Ben Hutchings (Gis), 7.05, 4
Over 50 Men’s Division Final
Rick Lasch (Ham), 15, 1, Simon Brennan (Dun), 11, 2, Phil Wallis (Piha), 5.05, 3, Chris Ryan (Auck), 3.45, 4
Over 40 Men’s Division Final
Chris Malone (Gis), 14, 1, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 13.8, 2, Rian Boyd (Auck), 10.4, 3, Patrick Braithwaite (Gis), 8.6, 4
Over 30 Men’s Division Final
Sean Peggs (Tai), 14.9, 1, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 14.45, 2, Jason Ruddell (Whgrei), 8.25, 3, Patrick Braithwaite (Gis), 4.6, 4
Under 18 Longboard Division Final
Nat Fitt (Auck), 14.4, 1, Jack Tyro (Chch), 8.05, 2, Hawke Edwards (Whngrei), 7.45, 3
Geordie Sawyer (Gis), 9.85, 1, Ben Counsell (Auck), 7.15, 2, Reef Barrett (Auck), 3.6, 3
Under 18 Men’s Longboard Division Final
Geordie Sawyer (Gis), 12.3, 1, Ben Counsell (Auck), 9.3, 2, Nat Fitt (Auck), 8.8, 3, Jack Tyro (Chch), 8.05, 4
Women’s Longboard Division Final
Gabi Paul (Piha), 8.8, 1, Donna Henderson (Chch), 7.15, 2, Anna Jolly (Piha), 6.2, 3, Margurite Vujcich (Hbay), 2.35, 4
Kneeboard Division Semifinals
Kelvin Weir (Tara), 5.25, 1, Mike Anderson (Tara), 4.9, 2, Gary Sawyer (Auck), 3.5, 3, Craig Hooper (Mnt), 2.95, 4
Kenton Osmond (Tai), 12, 1, Phil Stubbs (Auck), 11.7, 2, Craig McDonald (Auck), 2.15, 3
Kneeboard Division Final
Phil Stubbs (Auck), 10.95, 1, Kenton Osmond (Tai), 10.5, 2, Kelvin Weir (Tara), 5.4, 3, Mike Anderson (Tara), 5.1, 4
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