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Kibblewhite slides to the podium at New Zealand Longboard Open

Thomas Kibblewhite © Surfing New Zealand



New Zealand Longboard Open

Surfing New Zealand
Papamoa Domain, Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand
5 - 6 April, 2014

Thomas Kibblewhite claims 2014 New Zealand Longboard Open

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 April, 2014 - Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach) claimed the 2014 New Zealand Longboard Open today (Sunday 6th April) in a second day of stunning waves at Papamoa Domain, Mount Maunganui.  He was joined by Piha surfer Mischa Davis who won the Women’s Longboard Division.

For the start of daylight savings, Mount Maunganui put on yet another amazingly warm sunny day and the cyclone waves continued to pump all day in the 1.0m range with light variable winds.

Kibblewhite claimed the Copious Men’s Longboard final with a 16.8 point heat total, clear of second placed surfer Zen Wallis (Piha) by 1.8 points.  He started the final blazing a perfect right hander to jump out into the lead scoring an 8.8 point ride.  In the final stages of the final he went on to complete three big forehand turns on a larger set wave to score another 8.0 point ride and secure a final that never looked in doubt.

Wallis tried valiantly to catch up but could not match the world-class performance of Kibblewhite, Wallis still ending the final with a respectable 15.0 point heat total.

Double finalist Daniel Kereopa (Rag) placed third in the final opting to surf the lefthanders up the beach and finished with a 13.3 point heat total ahead of the top ranking local surfer, and fellow double finalist Craig Anderson who scored 9.57 points.

Kibbelwhite’s win is his fifth straight at a national level, the Red Beach surfer having not been beaten in New Zealand waters in over twelve months.

The Women’s final was the closest of the day with Mischa Davis making a late comeback to snatch the victory off Papamoa surfer Kelsi Efford.  Both surfers, traditional in style, were split by 0.17 points.  With the swell pulsing on the outgoing tide, it was the tactical option of Davis that eventually paid off as she hunted her scores on the lefthanders compared with Efford who stayed on the rights in front of the event site.

Placing third in the final was Alexis Poulter (Rag) narrowly finishing behind the first two place getters on 10.30 points with Hannah Kibblewhite (Red Beach) in fourth.
A trio of Mount surfers dominated the On The Way RV Over 40 Men’s Division, Daryn Mcbride emerging with the spoils and a well-deserved win.  Mcbride surfed to a 14.7 point heat total outclassing his opponents with his magical footwork and classy nose riding.  Craig Anderson went two places better than his men’s longboard result finishing runner up on 13.0 points.  The lone out-of-towner Mark Hoyle (Orewa) finished third in the final ahead of Whare Heke (Mnt) in fourth.

A heart-warming win came in the Over 50 Men’s Division when Grant Corchrane (Chch) finished the final victorious.  Corchrane was heading north from Christchurch to see his ill brother this weekend.  Unfortunately his brother passed away late last week and with the funeral taking place tomorrow, Corchrane aptly dedicated this weekend’s win to his brother.

For the record, Corchrane finished the final with an 11.7 point heat total, 0.2 points ahead of Mount Maunganui surfer Phill Griffin in second place.  Placing third was David Storck (Piha) ahead of Mark Hoyle (Orewa) in fourth.

The Junior Longboard Division featured a new crop of talent and it was William Barnes (Mnt) that took home the win.  After his Dad enticed him into the event as a late entry, Barnes finished with an 11.0 point heat total walking away with a new Sector 9 skateboard.  Placing second was Ahren Watene – Jones (Waihi) with Taylor Griffin (Mnt) in third and Tanera Tamanui (Tologa Bay) in fourth.
Shayne Baxter (Chch) went back-to-back today winning the Starboard Men’s Paddleboard Division after winning the national championships earlier in the year.  Baxter totalled 15.37 points after starting the final with an excellent scoring ride in the first few minutes.

Baxter has been out of the water for over two months with injury but that did not look to have any effect on his powerful style.  Kereopa fought hard to beat Baxter going wave for wave on the northern peak with lefthanders rattling down the bank.  On a ride in the dying stages of the final, Kereopa fell just short of the required score and ended up with 15.23 points.  Armie Armstrong (Rag) placed third in the final ahead of Gisborne surfer Geoff Pardoe who was contesting his first national level final.

Annabel Anderson led the Starboard Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard Division from start to finish scoring 9.40 points in the final.  The result is a reverse of the National Championships where today’s runner up Alexis Poulter (Rag) defeated Anderson at Gisborne in January.  Today Poulter finished with an 8.0 point heat total ahead of third placed Renee Davenport (Rag) and Hiria Rolleston (Mnt) in fourth.

The Starboard Battle of the Paddle saw Armie Armstrong (Rag) edge out Jeremy Stephenson (Auck) and Shayne Baxter (Chch) for the top placings.  Stephenson led for much of the race that went through the waves on two laps of the course.  However, as they were neck and neck heading into the final leg, Armstrong rounded the last buoy and latched on to a wave practically from the turn, riding it to the beach for a big advantage.  Annabel Anderson (Wanaka) claimed the win for the females.
The Lifestyle Imports Logger Session went to Christchurch surfer Ambrose McNeill again throwing buckets of style on every wave to claim the prize.  McNeill edged out Branko Vela (Auck) who placed second while Mischa Davis (Piha) claimed the top spot for the girls.

Ambrose McNeill was also awarded the male’s Wairua Award which was awarded to the surfer that best spent the weekend in the spirit of surfing.  And it was Kelsi Efford that was awarded the Wairua Award for the females.  The astounding trophies were crafted by Moananui Designs.

The five day camper trip thanks to Mighty Campers went to Phil Griffin and his family after being picked out of the hat from all entrants at the event.

Ben Kennings

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