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Longboard & SUP circuits thrive in New Zealand

Thomas Kibblewhite © PhotoCPL



Mount Maunganui Showdown

Surfing New Zealand 
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
5 - 6 April 2014

One-Off Mount Maunganui Showdown Event Invigorates Circuit

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 March, 2014 - In just over a week, the country’s best longboarders will hit the water at Mount Maunganui in a one-off national longboarding event. Scheduled to take place at Papamoa Domain from the 5th – 6th April, the two day event will highlight the talent-laden pool of longboard and stand up paddle surfers in New Zealand with a full field of surfers expected to be in attendance.

Leading the field of surfers will be three-time and current national champion Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach).  Kibblewhite is undefeated at a national level for the past twelve months winning the final three events of the New Zealand Longboard Tour in 2013 as well as the National Championships at Gisborne this January.  

On top of that, Kibblewhite placed ninth at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Championships last November, the best result achieved by a Kiwi surfer at the event. Kibblewhite will be joined by an array of top level surfers from around the country eager to contest the Mount Maunganui event and try and get a slice of the prize pool totalling over $8,000.

The Women’s Division will see a field of surfers from around the country compete with local surfers such as Ann Snyder who is set to defend her Mount Maunganui title she won in 2013.  

Other surfers are likely to include 2013 Tour Champion Belinda Goodwin (Rag) and current national champion for both longboard and stand up paddleboard Alexis Poulter also of Raglan. The event will see age group divisions with an Under 18 Longboard Division for the youngsters and Over 40 and Over 50 Divisions for those with a few more years under their belts. It is the age group divisions where match ups are as hotly contested as ever, if not more so.  

The defending Over 40’s champion is local surfer Craig Anderson while Orewa surfer Mark Hoyle claimed the Over 50s in 2013, both surfers winning by considerable margins. The Life Style Imports Logger Session will make a return and will see an ‘all-in’ 30 minute expression session take place with a ‘winner-takes-all’ award for the best single wave during the 30 minutes.

Stand Up Paddleboard Divisions will include surfing for both men and women as well as a battle of the paddle style race through the line up at Papamoa Domain. Defending champion in the surfing division is Daniel Kereopa (Rag).  Kereopa will be pushed by several of the fresh faces emerging from the relatively new sport.  These include the likes of Regan Fairlie (Tologa Bay), Ben Poulter (Rag) and Braedon Williams (WGM).  

They will be surfing in the absence of current national champion Shayne Baxter (Chch) who is out of competition with injury. Stand Up Paddleboarders will use this event as a warm up for the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships which take place in Nicaragua from the 3rd – 12th May.  The New Zealand team includes Daniel Kereopa (Rag), Regan Fairlie (Tologa Bay) and Alexis Poulter (Rag) in the surfing divisions and Annabel Anderson (Wanaka) and Bruce Climo (Fiji) in the racing events.  

New Zealand will also send two prone paddlers – Sam Shergold in the long distance and Andrew Newton in the short distance races. Entries can be completed online at Surfing New Zealand until Wednesday 2nd April.

The event has seen exceptional support from a wide range of partners - Corona, Isaacs Cider, Creatures of Leisure, UE Boom, Futures Fins, Copious, Starboard, Sector 9, Mophie, Mount Surf Shop, Phoenix Organics, Life Style Imports, On the Way RV, Surf2Surf, Pacific Longboarder, Mount Mellick and Bay Boardriders. The Saturday night function will be held at Mount Mellick where everyone will be able to relax after a long first day of surfing before the final day commences early on Sunday morning with the finish of daylight saving. 


Ben Kennings

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