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Maz Quinn claims his fourth New Zealand national title



Maz Quinn : photo courtesy Surfing NZ Magazine

Hyundai National Surfing Championships 2006

Surfing New Zealand
The Bluff, Ninety Mile Beach, Northland
7 - 14 January 2006


Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 January, 2006 : - - Today (Saturday), Maz Quinn (Gis) cemented himself further into the New Zealand Surfing record books by winning the Open Men’s Division of 2006 Hyundai National Surfing Championships.  The Men’s Division was held in the middle of the day to capitalise on the 1.0m swell, full tide and light winds that were on offer.  Quinn scored 15.85 for his total heat score which included an excellent backhand ride of 8.10 where he completed three huge turns on one of the biggest waves of the day.  The ocean almost went flat after his last wave and left the remaining three competitors struggling to make any head way. 

After the heat Maz Quinn commented that he felt the final went to his game plan.  “Yeah everything went to plan out there apart from falling off on my first wave.  I had to put that behind me and live in the now and concentrate on what was ahead.  I managed to stay patient and get the bigger waves that I knew I could get the scores on.  My last wave that I got, that bigger lefthander, was definitely a result of my patience”.  Posed the question of the highly touted match up with Daniel Kereopa, Quinn was unmoved, “It didn’t really play on my mind, we were on either side of the draw so we were never going to meet each other until the final.  This allowed me to concentrate on my own game plan the whole week and it has paid off. 

With his fourth title, Quinn equals two other surfers in Wayne Parkes and Alan Byrne and now only has to chase down one surfer - Iain Buchanan who has six to his name.  This is a goal that Quinn is ultimately looking to achieve “Yeah for sure, I will be going for as many as I can.  As long as I keep fit and am hungry to win I will be going for that record”. 

Coming home in second place was fellow Gisborne surfer Damon Gunness who led for the first half of the final.  Gunness finished with a total score of 12.90 ahead of Kereopa (Rag) of whom the Open Men’s title remains elusive.  Gunness opted to surf the longer lefthanders to the left of the other three surfers and the tactic almost paid off.  Kereopa had been the form surfer through the semi finals of the event but could not find the right waves in the final.  Dane Simpson (Gis) came in from the water in a respectable fourth place and while he didn’t get the rub of the green in the final he was happy to be amongst the surrounding company and has certainly made everyone take note of his performance in his comeback event. 

The highly anticipated Hyundai Longboard Division match up between Michael Fitzharris (Gis) and Daniel Kereopa (Rag) lived up to all expectations.  Tony Baker (Wellsford) and Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck) were not out of their league either and at one point it was Kibblewhite that stole the lead.  However, Fitzharris and Kereopa caught consecutive waves at the start of the heat with Daniel Kereopa notching up a brilliant 9.25 point ride to Fitzharris’ 8.50.  This allowed the two surfers to be selective with their wave selection and it was not until his final wave that Fitzharris rode a 6.76 point ride to steal the win.  A disappointed Kereopa came in ruing what could have been and the opportunities that he let slip. 

For defending champion Fitzharris it was jubilation at his sixth title and victory over Kereopa the part timer.  Fitzharris now takes the early lead on the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour winning the first of six events to be held throughout New Zealand this year. 


2006 New Zealand surfing champions : photo courtesy Surfing NZ Magazine


The Hyundai Open Women’s Division suffered a ‘lull’ in the surf and it left the girls scrambling for any waves they could get.  Seasoned campaigner and New Zealand’s sole female contesting the international tour, Lisa Hurunui of Gisborne, stole the victory with a calculated performance scoring 11.11 in the final.  This is the first National Champs that Hurunui has contested for the past several years and she made sure that she wasn’t going to let the opportunity to win a national title slip.  Paige Hareb (Tara) was penalised early in the final for interfering with another surfer however despite this she managed to remain in second place holding out Jessica Welch (Gis) in third and Kelly Clarkson (Rag) in fourth. 

The Billabong Junior Men’s had all the elements of a classic duel between four of the most competitive young surfers in New Zealand.  Dean Amess (WGM) opened up with a 5.50 and then backed that up with a 6.50 to take a strong lead.  Kierin Van Der Helder (Rag) fought back with two mid range waves but could not find the bigger waves that had a workable face until late in the heat.  As Amess waited patiently for the bigger waves Van Der Helder snuck two waves from under his nose, including a 6.8 and snatched the lead with a 12.3 total.  From their Van Der Held sat in the box seat and instantly went out the back and ‘sat’ on Amess for the final two minutes ensuring that he could not catch another wave and aptly aided by a flat ocean.  Dunedin’s Lynden Hutton and Bodhi Whitaker (Gis) struggled for waves until late in the heat and finished in third and fourth bring to an end their great campaigns. 

The Rip Curl Under 16 Boys was won by local Northland surfer Paco Divers (Whangarei) who stunned the crowd with an awesome 9.50 point wave.  From there he never let the title go and further increased his lead with a last wave of 4.35.  The young surfer is only small in stature but his style suited the waves and he was able to fly across sections that other competitors could not.  Ryan Hawker (Piha) opened up with a 6.25 and looked solid but could not secure that big score required to catch Divers ultimately requiring a 7.86 for the win.  Taranaki’s Keone Campbell placed a close third and will be happy with this result to begin the year while another local surfer Oliver Bone (Whangarei) placed fourth. 

The Under 18 Girls went to Christchurch’s Daisy Thomas, the only title that went to the South Island.  Thomas lead for much of the final but her last wave of 7.75 made the victory convincing, leaving all other surfers requiring excellent scores to get close.  Thomas won the Under 18 Scholastic Champs in 2005 and this title will sit comfortably beside her first.  Paige Hareb could not improve on her second placing in the Open Women’s finishing second again with Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) in third and double finalist Grace Spiers (WGM) in fourth.  

The Over 28 Men’s title went through all finalists sets of hands before defending champion Ben Kennings (WGM) stole the victory on his last wave scoring a 7.20 to back up his 8.50 from earlier in the final.  Mark Dovey (Mnt) held the lead for much of the heat surfing fast and solid to score 14.35 before being pipped at the post.  Scott Casey (Auck) secured one excellent scoring ride of 7.75 but was unable to back it up with a second and placed third ahead of Matt Hishon (Rag). 

Shawn Collier (Gis) took out the Over 35 Men’s title ahead of Seth Matthews (Tara), Rick Lasch (Auck) and local Billy Hale but it was Matthews that got one back in the Over 40s to take the title over a disappointed Geoff Hutcheson (Rag), Teddy Colbert and Rod Welch both of Gisborne.  In a recurring pattern Rod Welch went three places better in the Over 45s to win over John Gisby (Gis), Brendon Young (Whan) and Peter Bramble (Waihi Beach).  Again John Gisby while not being able to secure a title in the Over 45s, managed to win the Over 50s and walk away with title number 24.  Gisby won out over Tony Ogilvy, Viv Tracey (Whan) and Paul Atkin (Kait). 

The Open Bodyboard final was a very close encounter with Hawkes Bay’s Hayden Middleton scoring 5.55 on his last wave for a 13.10 total and the win.  Only 0.20 separated second from third with Richard Mckenna (Wanagnui) getting the nod over Floyd Smith who was unable to complete the double with his Junior win.  Raglan’s Graeme Reid came through in fourth.  

Floyd Smith (Piha) defended his Junior Bodyboard title scoring 12.25 in the final.  The current Under 18 Australasian Junior Champion showed some real class setting the early pace never relinquishing the lead.  Steve Abraham (Auck) came home in second place ahead of Taranaki’s Wesley Sayer and Byron Sean in fourth. 

Mihi Wells (Auck) continued her good run of form in the Women’s Bodyboard winning the three girl final.  Wells, a national rep and current World Amateur Champion scored 8.4 in the final to out class Andrea Willets (Tara) in second and Pearl Hippolite (Otoranga) in third. 

Auckland’s Ben Subritzky made his travels worth while coming up trumps in the final of the Dropknee Bodyboard.  Subritzky scored a 6.0 on his last wave to take the title ahead of Graham Reid (Rag), Ryan Kendall (Kerikeri) and Oliver Simpson (Dun).


Results of the Hyundai National Surfing Championships 2006

Hyundai Open Men’s Finals
Maz Quinn (Gis), 1, Damon Gunness (Gis), 2, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 3, Dane Simpson (Gis), 4

Hyundai Open Women Finals
Lisa Hurunui (Gis), 1, Kelly Clarkeson (Rag), 2, Jessica Welch (Gis), 3, Paige Hareb (Tara), 4

Hyundai Open Longboard Finals
Michael Fitzharris, (Gis), 1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 2, Thomas Kibblewhite (Akl), 3, Tony Baker (Wellsford), 4

Billabong Junior Men’s Finals
Kieran Van Der Helder (Rag), 1, Dean Amess (Whmata), 2, Bodhi Whitaker (Gis), 3, Lyndon Hutton (Dun), 4 

Rip Curl Under 16 Boys Finals
Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 1, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 2, Keone Campbell (Tara), 3, Oliver Bone (Sandy Bay), 4

U18 Women Final
Daisy Thomas (Can), 1, Paige Hareb (Tara), 2, Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 3, Grace Spiers (WGM), 4

Senior Over 28 Finals
Ben Kennings (WGM), 1, Mark Dovey (Mnt), 2, Scott Casey (Auck), 3, Matt Hishon (Rag), 4

Masters 35+ Finals
Shawn Collier (Gis), 1, Seth Matthews (Tara), 2, Rick Lasch (Auck), 3, Billy Hale (Kait), 4

Veterans 40+ Finals
Seth Matthews (Tara), 1, Geoff Hutcheson (Rag), 2, Teddy Colbert (Gis), 3, Rod Welch (Gis), 4 

Grandmasters 45+ Finals
Rod Welch (Gis), 1, John Gisby (Gis), 2, Brendon Young (Whan), 3, Peter Bramble (Waihi Bch), 4 

Legends 50+ Finals
John Gisby (Gis), 1, Tony Ogilvy (Ohope), 2, Viv Tracey (Whan), 3, Paul Atkin (Kait), 4

Open Men Bodyboard Finals
Hayden Middleton (HBay), 1, Richard McKenna (Wanganui), 2, Floyd Smith (Piha), 3, Graeme Reid (Rag), 4 

Women Bodyboard Finals
Mihi Wells (Auck), 1, Andrea Willetts (Tara), 2, Pearl Hippolite (Otorahanga), 3 

Junior Bodyboard Finals
Floyd Smith (Piha), 1, Steve Abraham (Auck), 2, Wesley Sayer (Tara), 3, Byron Sean (Auck), 4 

Drop Kneebodyboard Finals
Ben Subritzsky (Aucks), 1, Graeme Reid (Rag), 2, Ryan Kendall (Kerikeri), 3, Oliver Simpson (Dun), 4



Previous reports:
# 1 :
Hyundai Surfing Championships draws top NZ surfers 
# 2 : Pines turns it on for Hyundai National Surfing Champs  
# 3 : Jay Quinn leads hot round 2 action at NZ Nat'l Champs
# 4 : Fitzharris pushes boundaries at Hyundai Longboards.. 
# 5 :
Hyundai NZ Nat'l Surfing Champs as good as it gets...
# 6 : Kereopa and Quinn showdown ontrack at NZ Champs
# 7 : Final 4 determined at the Hyundai Nt'l Surfing Champs

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