Boardrider clubs from around the country are currently formulating teams to challenge one another at the 2021 Hurley Club Championships slated for Whangamata this weekend (8-9 May 2021).
As the domestic event season reaches a crescendo, the Hurley National Club Championships adds to the mix, a team event pitting Aotearoa’s best surfers against one another, not only for themselves but for the pride of the boardrider club they surf for.
The unique event morphs surfing into a team concept where surfers compete for their club across standard heats as well as the incredibly exciting tag team format. Results from the tag team and heats are tallied to find an overall club champion.
Clubs from Northland to Christchurch have lined up for the event and with a timely northeast swell arriving on Friday and running through the weekend, action is expected to be fast-paced for the two day event.
Olympic qualifiers Ella Williams (WGM) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) will headline their respective teams. Raglan Point Boardriders are the defending champions of the event which was last held in 2017. With dominant domestic performances from a number of their club members all season, they are expected to push for the title again this year.
The Whangamata team will include Ella’s older brother Braedon as well as ex New Zealand representative Rangi Ormond.
North Wai, based out of Christchurch will be led by Ava Henderson who only this past weekend completed the double at Taranaki winning the Open Women’s Division and Under 18 Girls Division at the Backdoor Pro presented by Billabong.
“We integrate certain team aspects into several events such as the National, Scholastic, Primary and Maori Championships where a team points system is used but the Hurley National Club Champs is the only event to include the exciting tag team format” Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings said.
“The aim is to bring clubs together to participate in a team environment, an aspect which is so often missing in standard surfing events. This gives clubs an event to target and then test themselves against the rest of the country as they cheer on their teammates for provincial glory” he added.
Teams comprise two men, one woman, one junior (under 28) and one senior (over 40).
The tag team event is a relay-styled format where teammates have a total of one hour to go out and catch three waves each in succession with the team’s total points tallied to find an overall winner against the other clubs.
On top of the tag team event, each surfer will compete in their age group in standard heats to find division winners with the points for a win in the tag team worth four times that of an individual title.
The 2021 Hurley National Club Championships will take place at Whangamata from 8:00am – 4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday at Beach Access 8.
For further information on the 2021 Hurley New Zealand Club Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com.
Web clips will be distributed free of charge from each event. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge.
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated at approximately 7am Saturday morning with venue, divisions contested and conditions for the day.
Generous support from Hurley and host club Whangamata Boardriders has made this event possible.
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Author: Ben Kennings