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Finalists named for bulk of Kiwi National Champs divisions

Elin Tawharu. Image courtesy of Mark Stevenson




Billabong National Surfing Champs
Presented by Health 2000

Surfing New Zealand
St Clair Beach, Dunedin New Zealand
11 - 17 January 2016

St Clair Beach Dunedin hosts Day Four action

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 January, 2016 - Defending National Champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) has again faced off against Gisborne’s Maz Quinn at the 2016 Billabong National Surfing Championships presented by Health 2000.  This time Stairmand levelled the ledger with a heat win in the semifinals as both surfers progressed to the ultimate final showdown scheduled to take place on Saturday.

Day four of the event was held at St Clair Beach Dunedin in clean 1.5m waves that slowly deteriorated as the northeast wind strengthened in the afternoon. Stairmand posted an 18.07 point heat total which included a near perfect 9.80 point ride.  

Stairmand stroked in to a long running right-hander that walled up all the way down the beach.  As he neared the inside section, he raced through a clean tube exiting only to complete several more turns.

“That wave was crazy, I did a little carve down and saw that section loom up and I pulled in” explained Stairmand.  “I couldn’t believe the start Maz got but after the 8.27 on my first wave I knew I was in the hunt and that 9.80 I got was so good and luckily gave me the heat win.”

It was Quinn that got the semifinal off to the best start scoring an 8.5 point ride in the first two minutes and then another 7.0 point ride before any surfer had caught a wave.  The lead looked daunting but Stairmand was able to come back for the heat win.  

Mount Maunganui surfer Matt Hewitt had his chances but fell on two of his best waves finishing in third place while Taranaki surfer Sean Kettle finished in fourth place.

JC Susan (Dun) again provided the local surfers with hopes of a title, winning the second semifinal with a 12.67 point heat total.  Susan surfed to the best single wave score of the heat, a long righthander that he belted several big backhand turns on for an 8.17 point ride.



Progressing to the final with Susan was Raglan’s Luke Hughes who admitted he didn’t have the best heat but was happy to get through after posting an 11.83 point heat total.

Eliminated from the event were the Taranaki pairing of Daniel Farr and Keone Campbell.

The Open Women’s Division immediately followed the Open Men’s Division and it was a battle of the youngsters in the first semifinal.  Elin Tawharu (Mnt) got the nod progressing to the final alongside Kea Smith (Mnt).  Tawharu looked strong in the heat combining some great turns to post a 14.10 point heat total.  Meanwhile Kea Smith used her power to complete big explosive turns, her best wave netting 6.83 for one big turn.

The second semifnal saw the defending champion Gabriella Sansom (Auck) eliminated from the event at the hands of her sister Bianca who placed second behind Ella Williams (WGM).  Williams took a close win scoring 10.83 compared with Bianca Sansom’s 10.13 point heat total.

“There were pumping waves all morning and in my heat it was kinda slow but I found one wave at the start and I am stoked to make final” said Williams.

“I have always dreamed of gaining an Open Women’s Division national title so for me I am stoked and I am now looking to win it – that is ultimate goal and I want to make it happen.

The Open Women’s Division will also be contested on Saturday giving the girls a day to practice and take in some Dunedin sights.

“If you know me, you know I like chocolate so a visit to the chocolate factory is on the cards, after an early surf of course” added Williams.

The junior girls also had an early match up contesting the Under 18 Division where Tawharu and Smith were again successful.  They were joined by Raiha Ensor (Mnt) and Billie Scott (Whangarei) who progressed through to the final.

The first 2016 champion was crowned in the Kneeboard Division with Kelvin Weir (Opunake) defending his title.  Kelvin defeated local Dunedin surfer Malcolm Diack who finished in second, Greg Bell (Dun) in third and Murray Weir in fourth.  

Conditions are expected to deteriorate on day five with a south-westerly blowing through.  The swell is expected to remain in the 1.5m range.  

The championships are being held from the 11th – 16th January, the primary venue being St Clair Beach.  It is the first time in five years that the event has been staged in the South Island and it coincides with the 50thanniversary of the host club South Coast Boardriders Association who are based at St Clair Beach. 2016 marks the seventh time the event has been held at Dunedin.

Open Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1 Billy Stairmand (Rag), 18.07, 1, Maz Quinn (Gis), 15.67, 2, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 11.77, 3, Sean Kettle (Tara), 5.57, 4

Heat 2  JC Susan (Dun), 12.67, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 11.83, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 9.00, 3, Keone Campbell (Tara), 8.40, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Semifinals
Heat 1 Kaya Horne (Mnt), 13.83, 1, Jack McLeod (Dun), 11.63, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 10.1, 3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 0.97, 4

Heat 2 Jared Gebert (Ohope), 14, 1, Joel Clegg (Tara), 12.63, 2, Elliot Brown (Dun), 12.53, 3, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 5.03, 4

Open Women’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1 Elin Tawahru (Mnt), 14.1, 1, Kea Smith (Mnt), 11.4, 2, Britt Kindred (Mur), 11, 3, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 5.3, 4

Heat 2 Ella Williams (Whmata), 10.8, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 10.1, 2, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 7.93, 3, Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 5.1, 4

Under 18 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1 Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 15.33, 1, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 6.6, 2, Britt Kindred (Muri), 6.53, 3, Tiana - Breeze de Mooij (Mnt), 5.87, 4

Heat 2 Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 11.53, 1, Kea Smith (Mnt), 11.1, 2, Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 8.13, 3, Maaia Reid - Bennett (Mnt), 5.07, 4

Kneeboard Division Final
Kelvin Weir (Tara), 13.17, 1, Malcolm Diack (Dun), 9.93, 2, Greg Bell (Dun), 6.63, 3, Murray Weir (Tara), 5.9, 4

Billabong National Surfing Champs, New Zealand, Kiwi, Billy Stairmand, Nationals, Champs
Ben Kennings

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