South Island Champs
Surfing New Zealand
Blackhead Beach, South Island New Zealand
19 - 20 April 2014
South Island Champs Finalists Found in Flawless Blackhead
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 April, 2014 - The finalists of the 2014 South Island Champs were found in flawless Blackhead Beach waves as the event narrows down to the final stages to be contested today. Honours were split across both islands for the Open Men’s Division with top seeds Maz Quinn (Gis) and Tane Wallis (Piha) being joined by local surfer Jamie Civil and Christchurch surfer Hugh Ritchie in the final.
Quinn was again outstanding in the clean 1.5m consistent and often heavy waves at Blackhead posting the day’s highest heat score in the division of 14.6 in the semifinals progressing alongside Civil on 11.27.
In the second semifinal Wallis stretched out a good lead to comfortably progress through to the final on 11.63 points alongside Ritchie on 8.03.
Ritchie broke his board in his semifinal but managed to get a back-up board before paddling back into the line-up snatching a wave in the dying stages of the heat to progress. It will be the second finals placing of the season for Ritchie after he finished third at the Cape Classic at the first of five events on the South Island Circuit.
The final four surfers will ensure that a new winner will be found for the season on both the New Zealand Pro Series and the South Island Circuit, the South Island Champs being a dual sanctioned event.
Honours in the Open Women’s Division will be split between Dunedin and Christchurch with two surfers a piece set to battle it out in the final. Star of day two was Hayley Coakes (Dunedin) who posted a 7.67 point ride in the semifinals – one of the top single wave scores of the day. Coakes finished with an 11.33 point heat total will be joined by Dunedin surfer Nicola Jones in the final as well Alethea Lock and Lucy Hodgson both of Christchurch.
Tane Wallis (Piha) finds himself in two finals after also dominating play in the Under 20 Boys Division. Wallis posted a 13.83 point heat total in the semifinals advancing with Max Marshall (Chch). Harrison Whiteside (Chch) was also impressive with his win in the semifinals to advance to the final four surfers together with Nick Tuhikarama (Chch).
Wallis currently leads the Under 20 Boys rankings for New Zealand with Whiteside ranked third. Whiteside also leads the South Island Circuit after two wins and a runner up finish at the first three events and will extend his lead regardless of his placing in the final today.
Heats were also contested across the board of all other divisions which saw some fascinating results. Dark horse Anthony Walker (Dun) progressed to the final of the Over 35 Men’s Division as did Steev Peyroux (Dun) as a double finalist in the Over 45 Men’s and the Longboard Division. The Longboard Division which was dominated by Zen Wallis (Piha) who posted a 14.67 point heat total in the semifinals.
A southerly change is expected this morning with a likely move to Aramoana Spit to capitalise on the north east swell. All finals will be contested this morning.
The South Island Champs is dual sanctioned as the fourth event of the New Zealand Pro Series and the South Island Circuit. The event comprises nine divisions including the Open Men’s and Women’s as well as the Under 20 Boys, Longboard, Under 17 Boys, Under 14 Boys, Over 28s, Over 35s and Over 45s.
The South Island Champs has received great support to get the 2014 edition up and running. Event partners include: Corona, Rip Curl, Insight, Quarry Beach, Boardbase, Arnette, the Southern Trust, Rusty, Gorilla, Brixton, Pitch Design, Matunas, Mason, Sitka, FCS, Something to crow about and Aloe Up and Hydro Surf.
The event is proudly hosted by the South Coast Boardriders Association.