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Old Guys Rule, sort of, at Kiwi National Champs

Chris Malone © Col/


New Zealand National Surfing Championships

Surfing New Zealand
Gisborne, New Zealand
12 - 18 January, 2014

Old Boys Revive Their Competitive Spirit At Gisborne

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January, 2014 - Day four of the 2014 National Surfing Championships held today (Wednesday 15th January) saw the introduction of the older age group divisions.  A swag of ex-national champions and hopefuls entered the water reviving their competitive spirit against one another but also catching up with life-long mates and having a great day out of the water.

The ocean was friendly to the elder surfers of New Zealand who contested age groups from Over 28s through to Over 60s in clean 1.5m waves affected by a light onshore sea breeze that built considerably throughout the afternoon.

Auckland’s Rick Lasch was a standout surfer in his heats.  As defending champion in the Over 45 Men’s Division, Lasch was quick to knock up a 15.33 point heat total in his Over 40 Men’s Division heat before nailing back-to-back heat wins with a 14.5 point heat total in his Over 45 Men’s Division heat.

Lasch was one dozens of surfers that opted to compete in multiple divisions today.  They included Geoff Hutchison (Rag) and Shaun Coffey (Auck) himself attempting to defend the Over 40 Men’s Division title.

Hutchison placed first in the Over 50 and 45 divisions and also progressed through his Over 40 Men’s Division heat to stay alive in three semifinals.  Coffey was not so successful winning through his Over 40 Men’s Division heat but losing out in the Over 35s to local surfers Damon Gunness and Clint Daly.

Gunness and Daly themselves progressed through their heats today and along with the massive turn out of local surfers that keep Gisborne hopes alive in in almost every division at the event.

Gisborne’s favourite son, John Gisby, who holds the most titles of any surfer in New Zealand, advanced through both of his Over 55 and Over 60 Men’s Division heats scoring 12.5 out of a possible 20 points in his Over 60s heat.

Christchurch surfers Glen Shuker and John Roussey kept hopes alive for the South Island, the two surfers progressing to the semifinals of the Over 50 Men’s Division where they will go head-to-head alongside Darrell Cox of Piha.

Late in the day the event switched focus back to the junior divisions where it was Kehu Butler (Mnt), Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) and Isaac Kettle (Tara) that progressed through to the final of the Under 16 Boys Division.  Butler placed third in the division in 2013 but this will be the first national championship final for the other three surfers.

In the Under 16 Girls Division it was Elin Tawharu (Mnt), Britt Kindred (Mur), Raiha Ensor (Mnt) and Kea Smith (Mnt) that progressed through to the final with all four surfers searching for their first national title.

The last heats of the day saw the Under 18 Girls Division get shaved down to the final four surfers with Britt Kindred again making the final alongside Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis) who missed out in her preferred Under 16 Girls Division.  The two surfers were joined by defending champion Jasmine Smith (Gis) and Gabriella Sansom (Auck).

Wainui Store Performance of the Day went to Rick Lasch for two comprehensive heat wins, Lasch walking away with a $50 meal voucher to help him fuel up for his pending semifinals heats. 

The surf is expected to decrease slightly overnight with winds forecast to turn offshore for the entire day on Thursday.  With the favourable conditions on offer, the Open Men’s Division will be back in the water as will the semifinals of the Open Men’s Division and the Under 18 Boys Division. 

The 2014 National Surfing Championships schedule of events sees a staggered start to several divisions and categories:

12 Jan – Open Men’s and Junior Men’s Divisions
13 Jan – All of the above
14 Jan – All of above plus Women’s Shortboard Divisions
15 Jan – All of the above plus Longboard and older age group divisions
16 Jan – All of the above
17 Jan – All of the above plus SUP (Men and Women) and Kneeboard
18 Jan – All of the above plus SUP Race

Set out below are the results from day four of the 2014 National Surfing Championships held at Makorori Beach, Gisborne today (Wednesday 15th January).

Over 35 Men’s Division
Heat 1 Damon Gunness (Gis), 14.6, 1, Clint Daly (Gis), 12.4, 2, James Fowell (Gis), 6.97, 3, Shaun Coffey (Auck), 4.7, 4
Heat 2 Ben Kennings (Whmata), 15.4, 1, Kelly Ryan (Gis), 11.5, 2, Scott James (Dun), 8.67, 3
Heat 3 Chris Malone (Rag), 15.1, 1, Sam Johnson (Gis), 13.7, 2, Matt Groube (Pauanui), 12.3, 3, Brad Seaman (Auck), 5.13, 4

Over 40 Men’s Division
Heat 1 Matt Groube (Pauanui), 8.93, 1, Brian Young (Auck), 7.77, 2, Tunis Harrison (Gis), 5.53, 3, Andrew Mcculloch (Gis), 5.27, 4
Heat 2 Kelly Ryan (Gis), 12.2, 1, Shaun Coffey (Auck), 7.27, 2, Jono Paul (Piha), 4.63, 3, Kevin Stanley-Hunt (Auck), 4.5, 4
Heat 3 Rick Lasch (Auck), 15.3, 1, Morgan Cronin (Auck), 9.1, 2, Gary Smith (Gis), 5.13, 3, Phil Allen (Gis), 4.97, 4
Heat 4 Clint Daly (Gis), 10.5, 1, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 8.8, 2, Scott Braithwaite (Whtane), 5.2, 3, Armie Armstrong (Auck), 3.5, 4

Over 45 Men’s Round 1
Heat 1 Tim Madsen (Gis), 9.1, 1, Sam Mottart (Gis), 8.1, 2, Andrew Vette (Gis), 6.4, 3, Andrew Mcculloch (Gis), 6.17, 4
Heat 2 Rick Lasch (Auck), 14.5, 1, Teddy Colbert (Gis), 6.23, 2, Richard Page (Gis), 6.07, 3
Heat 3Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 9.63, 1, John Roussey (ChCh), 9, 2, Noel Francis (Gis), 8.1, 3, Morgan Cronin (Auck), 7.63, 4
Heat 4Andrew Mann (Auck), 9, 1, Brian Young (Auck), 7.83, 2, Glenn Shuker (Chch), 5.33, 3, Shane Wilson (ChCh), 4.83, 4

Over 50 Men’s Division
Heat 1 Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 8.57, 1, Glenn Shuker (Chch), 7.9, 2, Gary Mckenzie (Gis), 6.2, 3, Michael Yukich (Gis), 3.63, 4
Heat 2 John Roussey (ChCh), 10.8, 1, Darrell Cox (Piha), 8.57, 2, Barry MacCulloch (Tairua), 7.9, 3, Jeremy Williams (Mnt), 7.03, 4
Heat 3 Bruce Collier (Tara), 10.2, 1, Rodney Welch (Gis), 8.87, 2, Noel Francis, 7.07, 3, Ngatu Paul Mason (Gis), 3.57, 4

Over 60 Men’s Division
Heat 1 Graham Breckell (Gis), 7.17, 1, Chris Ransley (Gis), 3.37, 2, Ross Moodie (Gis), 2.83, 3
Heat 2 Larry Foster (Gis), 8.17, 1, Michael Gray (Auck), 8, 2, Clive Barron (Auck), 4.23, 3
Heat 3 John Gisby (Gis), 12.5, 1, Spring Thompson (Gis), 5.93, 2, Ben Hutchings (Gis), 3.97, 3

Ben Kennings

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