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New Zealand National Champs name final eight surfers

Maz Quinn © Mark Stevenson




Billabong National Surfing Champs
Presented by Health 2000

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

Clean swell builds over the afternoon at St Clair Beach

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 January, 2016 - The final eight surfers in the premier Open Men’s Division were determined at the 2016 Billabong National Surfing Championships presented by Health 2000 contested at St Clair Beach, Dunedin today (Tuesday 12th January).

A clean 1.0m swell built to over two metres in the afternoon with light winds all day long providing perfect conditions for New Zealand’s top surfers.

The experience of Gisborne surfer Maz Quinn shone through as he secured a quarterfinal win with an explosive performance over defending Champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) who also progressed to the semifinals in second place.

Quinn posted a 15.83 point heat total compared with Stairmand’s 13.93 points, the two looking like the form surfers of the event to date.

Quinn won his first title in 1996 and won a further three after that (2000, 2004, 2006) while Stairmand has also won four and is looking to go three in a row.  A win from either surfer would see them match the all-time records of Wayne Parkes and Iain Buchanan with five titles each.

Quinn spends a lot of time surfing the Otago region and was clearly in sync with the waves during his heat today.

“I was lucky to get in to some good waves” said Quinn.  “At St Clair it is a matter of being patient and ‘snagging them off the end’, it is all about getting the right wave.

Quinn was also happy to get a win over Stairmand after a slight slip up in the first round that saw him place second and lose his top seeding.  “Any time you beat Billy is good and it is a good confidence boost going in to the semis later in the week.

Local surfer JC Susan kept Dunedin hopes alive in a close scoring heat to finish the round.  Susan, a New Zealand representative, along with Raglan surfer Luke Hughes edged out 2014 finalist Alex Dive (Mnt).  Dive was left stranded with a lack of waves in the dying stages of the heat with Susan and Hughes advancing to the semifinals where they will meet the Taranaki paring of Daniel Farr and Keone Campbell.

Farr is the youngest competitor in the semifinals at the age of 16.  Advancing to the semifinals has already produced a career best result in the Open Division and Farr’s powerful surfing will see him make a serious push toward the final.

Matt Hewitt (Mnt) was the fourth heat winner in the round advancing to the semifinals alongside Sean Kettle (Tara).  Both surfers were semifinalists in 2014.  Hewitt is also a past champion having won the event in 2012.

The age group girls divisions saw stand out performances from Kea Smith (Mnt) who won both of her heats in the Under 18 and Under 16 Girls Divisions.  Smith was particularly powerful in the Under 18s posting a 15 point heat total as were her Mount Maunganui mates Elin Tawharu and Tiana Breeze – De Mooij who also advanced to the semifinals in both divisions.

Taranaki surfer Zhana Hutchieson was another to advance her cause in both divisions after a successful first day of the event that also saw her move in to the semifinals of the Open Women’s Division.

Late in the day, the senior men’s divisions got their chance to compete.  The swell built throughout the day until the event had to be called off late in the afternoon, not before the first round of the Over 35 Men’s Division was contested and the first two heats of the Over 45 Men’s Division.

Defending champion in the Over 35s, Daniel Kereopa (Raglan), got his campaign back on track after a loss in the Open Men’s Division yesterday, posting a 13.6 point heat total.  He was only outscored by Jarred Hancox (Tara) who posted a round-high 14.7 point heat total.  Other division winners included Alan Te Moananui (Kaik) and local Dunedin surfer Lyndon Fairburn.

In the first two heats of the Over 45 Men’s Division, it was John Rousey (Chch) and Richard Baxter (Chch) that took wins before the final two heats of the day were rescheduled until tomorrow.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate on day three with a southerly blowing through.  The swell is expected to remain in the 1.5m – 2.0m range.  The Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions will not be contested until Thursday at the earliest.

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 50th anniversary 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.

Please see below for results from day two of the 2016 Billabong National Surfing Championships presented by Health 2000 held at St Clair Beach, Dunedin today (Tuesday 12th January).

Open Men’s Quarterfinals
Heat 1 Maz Quinn (Gis), 15.83, 1, Billy Stairmand (Rag), 13.93, 2, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 10.33, 3, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 0.73, 4

Heat 2 Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 12.03, 1, Sean Kettle (Tara), 10.67, 2, Jack Wilson (Chch), 10.05, 3, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 9, 4

Heat 3 Daniel Farr (Tara), 13.57, 1, Keone Campbell (Tara), 12.43, 2, Luca Brunotti (Dun), 6.83, 3, Cain Aldridge (Tara), 5.9, 4

Heat 4 JC Susan (Dun), 12.3, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 12.23, 2, Alex Dive (Mnt), 11.67, 3, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 6.8, 4

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

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