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Maz Quinn takes New Zealand Champs title a third time

Watties Creamed Rice National Surfing Championships

Rating: 3A rated on SNZ Pro Circuit.

Dates: 3rd E10th January 2004

Location: Piha Beach, Auckland

Maz Quinn takes third national title

Maz Quinn took out the 2004 Watties Creamed Rice National Surfing Championships at Piha today. Quinn (Gis) won the final in good two metre waves at Piha Beach Auckland. Surfing in the final alongside brother Jay, Jos Kennings (WGM) and Bobby Hansen of Gisborne, Quinn started the final strongly with an 8.5 point ride. By the mid way point of the 30 minute final Quinn had bettered that score with a 9.0 and a near perfect 9.5 ride. He showed the crowd a full array of maneuvers that had a touch of international class. His vertical attack was unrivalled and the speed he generated was phenomenal enough for cheers from the crowd after each wave.

His outstanding performance early in the heat put pressure on the other surfers who were unable to deal with it, often falling off waves at crucial times. Jos Kennings managed to keep Quinn within firing distance early on in the heat scoring a 7.0 ride on his first wave but could not find the waves required for a good challenge and spent much of the last 15 minutes waiting out at sea. Jay Quinn fought hard in the later part of the heat surfing a 7.0 ride and then backing that up with an 8.5 pointer to move him into second. Ultimately, all three surfers still required a combination of scores for the win when the final hooter sounded.

Quinn walked up the beach to huge cheers and a standing ovation from the grandstand. “Hey this win is even better than the first twoEcommented Quinn when asked for a comparison between the three Open Men’s titles that he has won, the most recent being in 2000. “I’m stoked on this win, I have been waiting all week for this final, I surfed a good heat and came away with the winE Holding the trophy aloft from the winners podium the crowd could see what the win meant to Maz and this can only be described as the perfect start to the year for the newly crowned Open Men’s National Champion.

Quinn will now look to take this form on to the international stage as he makes another bid to qualify through to the World Championship Tour.

Earlier in the Open Women’s division, the record books were rewritten when 13 year old sensation Airini Mason won the Open Women’s division. Surfing in three finals at the National Titles, Mason convincingly won the Open Women’s division with a total heat score of 14.5. The youngest ever winner of the Open Women’s Division, Mason also won the Under 16 Girls and placed runner up in the Under 19 Girls. Her successes have come as a surprise to many that were unaware of the young girlsEimprovement in the last six months.

Kara Stephenson (Rag) finished in second position in her first ever National Championships final. Stephenson surfed into second with some big turns on the outside section but could not find the longer peeling waves that Mason surfed. Mischa Davis (Auc) was always in the hunt for a win with her aggressive approach but after scoring 7.0 on one wave, was unable to forge ahead and find the 7.51 required for the win. Under 19 Women Champion Jess Welch finished in fourth after being unable find any long waves or connect multiple moves together.

The Junior final was a more closely fought battle. Things were looking ominous at the start of the heat as New Zealand representative Morehu Roberts of Raglan posted the events first perfect ten-point ride. The wave was a lefthander that peeled all the way from the outside bank into the shore. Roberts held nothing back completing big critical snaps and re-entries as well as huge floaters. The crowd erupted after the wave and the judges rewarded him accordingly.

However, his fellow competitors didn’t let that affect them as they kept to their own strategies and continued to build scores. In the end it was Nathan Welch of Gisborne that scored a late 8.0 ride which was enough to snatch the win. Roberts was unable to find a good second scoring wave and was left requiring only a 4.51 for the win but the waves proved elusive.

Welch was in disbelief after the prize giving and was basically speechless only commenting that “he couldn’t believe itE “After Morehu scored that ten I thought I was doomed but it just goes to show that you should never give upE

After surfing earlier in the Under 16 Mens Richard Christie (Gis) challenged for the lead on occasions but came up short. Owen McMillan pulled off some huge moves but again was unable to connect more than two turns on his scoring rides and had to settle for fourth place.

Christie went one better in the Under 16 Mens Division taking out the title. The favourite right through the week, Christie produced the goods in the final of the cadets posting a total heat score of 15.1. His smooth style with a touch of flare made him stand out from the remainder of the finalists and leave him with a huge future both here in New Zelaand and on the international stage. In second place was Ryan Hawker who also rode some top scoring rides but could not match Christie’s power. Gauranga Ormond (WGM) finished in third and Jos Hadfield finished in fourth.

The Over 28 Senior Men’s showed that their age was no reason to shy away from the limelight as they impressed the crowd wave after wave. Larry Fisher, an ex-Piha local used his local knowledge to walk away with the title. One particular wave he surfed matched many in the Open Mens final. The judges scored it as a nine point ride and it set up his win. Matt Bennett (BOP) challenged Fisher for the lead also scoring highly on his rides one of which scored 9.0. Fishers total heat score of 16.65 was enough for the win over Bennett’s 16.0 total. Ruben Noble of Raglan finished third and Mark Dovey finished fourth.

Michael Fitzharris ran away with the Open Longboard final after scoring a whooping 17.9 total heat score. This being the fourth title for Fitzharris, he showed that he was still at the top of his game after leaving the remaining three surfers requiring a combination of scores for the win. Lynden Kennings placed second after surfing in the middle of the beach but he could not find the length of ride to produce the big scores. Darryn McBride and Kelly Ryan were in the same situation as wave selection was the key and they finished in third and fourth positions.

Geoff Hutchison of Raglan won the Over 35 Masters Division in a tough battle that went back and forth with Matt Bedford of Piha. It wasn’t until late in the final that Hutchison sealed the victory, his second national title. Gary Ewing finished in third and Andrew Mann finished in fourth.

Glenn Shuker was the soul South Island surfer to win a title at the 2004 National Championships. It came in the form of the Over 40 Vetrans title. It has been 13 years since Shuker won his previous title, that time in the Longboard division. The final was one of the tightest of the day with Gary Pike finishing in second, Trevor Medcalf third and Geoff Hutchison in fourth.

In the last of the age group divisions it was John Gisby who managed to pick up his second national title from the event. In the five man final, Gisby cleaned up all comers to take the title leaving the remaining four surfers requiring more than a perfect ten point ride to beat him. Ross Moody finished in second with Mike Jolly, Paul Brown and Clive Barron rounding out the minor placings.

The Open Bodyboard final was the making of another double title winner, the third of the event. Floyd Smith of Piha won the final with a total heat score of 17.5 easily beating his opponents. Gavin Murdoch, Robert Banfield and Sam Forgie finished in second through fourth respectively.

Results of all divisions surfed to date follow.


Semi one

Jay Quinn, Gis, 1, Bobby Hansen, Gis, 2, Daniel Kereopa, Rag, 3, Justin Souter, Bop, 4

Semi two

Maz Quinn, Gis, 1, Jos Kennings, Cor, 2, Brent Rasby, Gis, 3, Owen McMillan, Gis, 4


Maz Quinn, Gis, 1, Jay Quinn, Gis, 2, Jos Kennings, Cor, 3, Bobby Hansen, Gis, 4


Nathan Welch, Gis, 1, Morehu Roberts, Rag, 2, Richard Christie, Mah, 3, Owen McMillan, Gis, 4


Richard Christie, Mah, 1, Ryan Hawker Auc, 2, Gauranga Ormond, WGM, 3, Jos Hadfield, 4 BOP


Airini Mason, Tara, 1, Kara Stevenson, Rag, 2, Mischa Davis, Auck, 3, Jessica Santorik, Rag, 4


Larry Fisher, Auc, 1, Matt Bennet, Bop, 2, Rueben Noble, Rag, 3, Mark Dovey, Bop, 4


Geoff Hutchison, Rag, 1, Matt Bedford, Piha, 2, Gary Ewing, Waihi, 3, Andrew Mann, Piha, 4


John Gisby, Gis, 1, Ross Moody, Gis, 2, , Mike Jolly, Piha, Paul Brown, Piha, 4, Clive Barron, Piha, 5


Glenn Shuker, Chch, 1, Gary Pike, Piha, 2, Trevor Medcalf, Waihi, 3, Geoff Hutchison, Rag, 4


Floyd Smith, Piha, 1, Gavin Murdoch, Auck, 2, Robert Banfield, Auck, 3, Sam Forgie, 4


Michael Fitzharris, Gis, 1, Lynden Kennings, Piha, 2, Daryn McBride, Mnt, 3, Kelly Ryan, Gis, 4

The 2004 Watties Creamed Rice National Championships is being held at Piha Beach Auckland for the first time in 13 years. The championships run from the 3rd E10th of January. This will be the 7th time the event has been held at Piha in its 41 year history, the last time being in 1991.

Piha is one of New Zealand’s most famous beaches and often boasts big west coast waves. Conditions at this time of the year provide excellent waves allowing competitors to show a full repertoire of maneuvers in front of the huge summer crowds on the beach.

Previous reports:

# 1 : Surfers to converge on Piha for National Championships

# 2 : Early rounds completed at NZ Surfing Championships

# 3 : Open Mens Division dominates the NZ National Champs

# 4 :
Daniel Kereopa on fire at NZ National Surfing Champs

# 5 :
Tension builds as open surfers reach NZ Champs semis

More Aussie Surfing News available here

Check the latest Aussie Surf Reports and Forecasts

For more information on the event please contact

Ben Kennings on 0274 787369

Greg Townsend E0274372146

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