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Semifinalists Confirmed for Premier Divisions at National Surfing Championships

The fields of the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions have been whittled down to a combined fourteen surfers at the 2022 National Surfing Championships after another massive action packed day of surfing that ended in the twilight of the evening today (Thursday 13th January).

Eight surfers remain in the men’s field with the form book holding true leading into the semifinals scheduled for Friday.

Today’s action took place at Tauranga Bay for the third consecutive day in clean 1.0m – 1.5m swell and light sea breeze winds.

Stairmand continued his impressive run and while the Raglan surfer is still one heat away from the finals, it appears to be a race to find his three opponents in the final.  One of the big semifinal match ups sees Stairmand face off against Caleb Cutmore (Rag), Daniel Farr (Tara) and Piha’s Zen Wallis with the top two advancing to the final for a shot at the title.

Cutmore is the only goofyfoot surfer between the four and will look to accentuate that point of difference in his semfinal after looking sharp in his heat today.  Cutmore is searching for his first finals berth at the Nationals as is Zen Wallis.

The second semifinal sees Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach), take on Jay Piper – Healion (Whitianga), Reuben Woods (Mnt) and local surfer Jai Earnshaw.  The match up has been touted as the young bucks against the seniors with both Earnshaw and Woods having contested multiple senior age group heats as well as the Open Men’s Division over the past two days.

The semifinalists in the Open Women’s Division take on a youthful look with five of the six surfers in their teenage years.  Raglan’s Brie Bennett is the oldest at 18 years of age with Whangamata’s Pia Rogers being the youngest at 15.  The five surfers will take on 31-year-old Paige Hareb (Tara).  Hareb continued to impress on Day 3 surfing to a 15.8 point total on the way to a an excellent heat win, advancing alongside Ava Henderson (Chch) who finished in second.

Open Women’s semifinalists Ava Henderson and Liv Haysom (Piha) qualified for the Under 18 Girls Division final today and Pia Rogers qualified for the Under 16 Girls Division final, both finals being contested on Saturday.

Late in the day the semifinals of the Under 18 and 16 Boys Divisions were contested with Tao Mouldey surfing to a 17.1 point heat total to win his Under 16 Boys Division heat.  Jack Tyro (Chch) won the second semifinal with a 12.6 point heat total thanks to a clean air reverse in his heat.

Christchurch surfer Rakiatea Tau surfed his way into two junior finals today with some powerful surfing and Spencer Rowson (Tara) managed to make the Under 18 Boys Division final but missed out on the Under 16 Boys Division.

The Volkswagen x Skinnies Wave of the Day went to local surfer Jai Earnshaw who posted a 9.5 point ride in the senior divisions using his vast experience of the break to find a solid lefthand runner that he belted several times.

The swell is expected to decrease overnight and into day four of the event.  Light winds should prevail throughout the day.  The forecasted conditions will likely see us back at Tauranga Bay for the fourth straight day with the semifinals of all divisions hitting the water to set up a finals day on Saturday.

See below for results from Day 3 of the 2022 National Surfing Championships held at Tauranga Bay, Westport today (13 January 2022).  A full draw and results can be viewed here – https://surfingnz.co.nz/event-enter-calendar/.

Open Men’s Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Reuben Woods (Mnt), 13.8, 1, Jay Piper – Healion (Whiti), 13.67, 2, Nick Tuhikarama (Chch), 9.26, 3, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 9, 4
Heat 2
Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 12.2, 1, Jai Earnshaw (W.C), 11.7, 2, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 9.84, 3, Max de Groot (Hbay), 8.5, 4
Heat 3
Caleb Cutmore (Rag), 13.67, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 11.1, 2, Jack Wilson (Chch), 9.06, 3, Jake Owen (Dun), 6.13, 4
Heat 4
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 12.9, 1, Zen Wallis (Piha), 12.36, 2, Jai Oakley (Chch), 9.4, 3, Sam Sands (Chch), 8.33, 4

Open Women’s Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Paige Hareb (Tara), 15.8, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 15.5, 2, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 8.67, 3, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 8.3, 4
Heat 2
Pia Rogers (WGM), 9.4, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 9.1, 2, Gabi Paul (Piha), 8.53, 3, Asia Braitwaite (Gis), 5.8, 4
Heat 3
Liv Haysom (Piha), 12.6, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.7, 2, Billie Scott (Whngrei), 8.2, 3, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 6.77, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Rakiatea Tau (Chch), 12.2, 1, Mathias Thompson (Piha), 11.8, 2, James Millar (Chch), 9.57, 3, Jai Oakley (Chch), 8.24, 4
Heat 2
Kalani Louis (Tara), 14, 1, Jack Tyro (Chch), 12.8, 2, Will Hardie (Piha), 12.5, 3, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 10.8, 4
Heat 3
Spencer Rowson (Tara), 11.9, 1, Lewis Murphy (Dun), 11.5, 2, Jake Owen (Dun), 11.4, 3, Koby Cameron (Chch), 10.4, 4

Under 18 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Anna Brock (Mnt), 12.8, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.1, 2, Leia Millar (Piha), 10.1, 3, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 4.1, 4
Heat 2
Ava Henderson (Chch), 15, 1, Liv Haysom (Piha), 12.2, 2, Skylar Mcfetridge (Tara), 12, 3, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 5, 4

Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Rakiatea Tau (Chch), 13.4, 1, Tai Murphy (Whaka), 10.4, 2, Christian Fougere (Piha), 7, 3, Riku Gordon (Mahi), 4.25, 4
Heat 2
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 15.9, 1, Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 8.33, 3, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 11.7, 2, Manu Roberts (Tai), 8.3, 4
Heat 3
Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 11.3, 1, Alexis Owen (Dun), 9.77, 2, Tom Robertson (Chch), 6.4, 3, Remy Sale (Mnt), 5, 4
Heat 4
Jack Tyro (Chch), 12.7, 1, Mathias Thompson (Piha), 11.3, 2, Beau Woods (Mnt), 8.67, 3, Will Hardie (Piha), 8.33, 4

Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Skylar Mcfetridge (Tara), 9, 1, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 8.7, 2, Leia Millar (Piha), 7.7, 3, Lenka Cargill (W.C), 4.94, 4
Heat 2
Pia Rogers (WGM), 14.7, 1, Poppie Entwistle (Chch), 12.8, 2, Tessa Gabbott (Dun), 10.5, 3, India Kennings (WGM), 9.4, 4

Over 35 Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Jai Earnshaw (W.C), 15.4, 1, Reuben Woods (Mnt), 13.6, 2, Sean Hovell (Gis), 7.67, 3
Heat 2
Josh Thickpenny (Dun), 12.5, 1, Kane Rowson (Tara), 11.1, 2, Luke Murphy (Dun), 8.74, 3

Over 40 Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Jai Earnshaw (W.C), 12.9, 1, Reuben Woods (Mnt), 11.9, 2, Patrick Braithwaite (Gis), 7.4, 3, Kane Rowson (Tara), 6.57, 4
Heat 2
Phil Morris (Auck), 12.3, 1, Stephen Lee (W.C), 10.9, 2, Luke Murphy (Dun), 10, 3, Jeremy Grainger (Tara), 9.7, 4

Over 45 Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Patrick Braithwaite (Gis), 14.7, 1, Neal Pullen (Tara), 10.4, 2, Alan Te Moananui (Kaik), 7.03, 3, Chris Luke (Tara), 2.7, 4
Heat 2
Morgan Cronin (Auck), 12.1, 1, Lyndon Fairbairn (Dun), 11.5, 2, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 9.1, 3, James Washer (Grey), 7.83, 4

Over 50 Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Neal Pullen (Tara), 11.4, 1, Morgan Cronin (Piha), 10.6, 2, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 9.4, 3, Jonathan Harris (W.C), 7.03, 4
Heat 2
Lee Morris (Chch), 11.7, 1, Richard Ayson (Dun), 9.6, 2, Chris Luke (Tara), 8.93, 3, Neill Robb (Chch), 6.5, 4

Over 55 Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Jonny Fenton (W.C), 11.2, 1, Doc Dougherty (Chch), 8.83, 2, Grant MacKinnon, 4.74, 3
Heat 2
Neill Robb (W.C), 11.8, 1, Francois Sneedon (Hbay), 11.2, 2, Michael De Groot (Hbay), 2.7, 3

Over 320 entries have been received for the event.  A total of 29 divisions are being contested including the premier Open Men and Women plus additional divisions comprising of age groups from Under 14 boys and girls through to Over 60s for males and females and Longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard, Bodyboard and Kneeboard disciplines.

Further Information
For further information on the 2022 National Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Imagery
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge upon request.

Event Hotline
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506.  This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.

Social Media
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Use the hashtag #Nats2022 to follow the story.

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Author: Ben Kennings