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Surf stirs to life Day 3 of New Zealand Champs

Ella Williams © Col/



New Zealand National Surfing Championships

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

Williams Eases Through To Semifinals Of Open Women’s Division

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 January, 2014 - After a day of the Gisborne coastline resembling a lake on Monday, day three of the 2014 National Surfing Championships, held today kicked back into action in  early morning small waves. The swell built throughout the day allowing number one seed in the Open Women’s Division, Ella Williams (WGM) to breeze into the semifnals.

Despite the surf being a mere 0.5m early in the morning, the surf built throughout the day to 1.5m.  Along with the swell came a brisk onshore wind, challenging the competitors to find quality waves and good scoring rides.

The conditions were no determent for Williams who dominated her heat scoring 14.8 points out of a possible 20 points in the most anticipated performance of the day.  It was her first competitive outing in New Zealand since winning the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Title in Brazil back in November.

Williams powered through some big turns throwing spray on potent forehand turns to progress alongside Jasmine Smith (Gis), together the two surfers eliminating Claudia Fraser (Piha).

Williams was joined on the winner’s dais by twins Bianca and Gabriella Sansom (Auckland).  The twin surfers notched up wins in their respective heats to move through to the semifinals.  Raglan’s Alexis Poulter was the fourth surfer to win her heat to progress alongside Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis).

Many of the young surfers contesting the Open Women’s Division were also in action earlier in the day in the age group divisions.  The Sansom twins were again on top of their game progressing to the semifinals of the Under 18 Girls Division where they will meet each other alongside Claudia Fraser (Piha) and Jasmine Smith (Gis).

Smith along with Kea Smith (no relation) of Mount Maunganui both won their first round heats in the Under 18 Girls Division.  Jasmine is a national representative looking to be selected for the New Zealand team in early February while Kea is aiming for first-time selection before the team heads off to Ecuador in April.

In the Under 16 Girls Division it was near complete domination by the Mount Maunganui girls winning three of four heats, a full house only dodged by the performance of Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis). Kea Smith, Elin Tawharu and Maaia Reid – Bennett all won their respective early morning heats.

Day three also saw the introduction of the longboard divisions where defending champion Daniel Procter (Gis) kept his chances of back-to-back titles alive with a closely fought heat win over fellow local Sam Johnson who together eliminated late entrant Hone Douglas (Whakatane).  However, it was the last heat of the round that provided all entertainment with Raglan surfer Ben Poulter throwing up massive turns and getting the nod over two-time champion Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach).

Poulter will now meet Procter in one semifinal while Kibblewhite will meet Glen Johnson (Red Beach), Sam Johnson (Gis) and Zen Wallis (Piha) in the other semifinal.

Late in the day the first finalists of the event were determined in the Under 14 Boys Division where division standouts Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Tane Bowden (WGM) eased into the final four.  They will be joined by Jared Gerbert (Ohope) and Lee Ririnui (Mnt).

The surf is expected to hold its size overnight with more favourable and lighter southwest winds forecast for day four of the event. The long range forecast is also promising meaning that it may be a further day before we see the return of the premier Open Men’s Division hit the water.  Day four sees the introduction of the senior age group divisions and yet another massive day of surfing scheduled. 

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 three of the 2014 National Surfing Championships held at Makorori Beach, Gisborne today (Tuesday 14th January).

Open Women’s Round 1
Heat 1 Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 9.17, 1, Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 7.57, 2, Abigail Daunton (Gis), 6.83, 3, Jo Brebner (Ohope), 5.1, 4

Heat 2 Ella Williams (Whmata), 14.8, 1, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 7.83, 2, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 4.1, 3

Heat 3 Alexis Poulter (Rag), 4.6, 1, Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 3.6, 2, Marguerite Vujich (Napier), 0.33, 3

Heat 4 Bianca Sansom (Auck), 8.53, 1, Grace Spiers (Whmata), 7.97, 2, Britt Kindread (Muri), 7.9, 3, Nam Northcott (Tara), 4.43, 4

Under 18 Girls Quarterfinals
Heat 1 Kea Smith (Arataki), 11.53, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.17, 2, Nam Northcott (Tara), 7.1, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 5.4, 4

Heat 2 Jasmine Smith (Gis), 11.23, 1, Britt Kindred (Muri), 10.73, 2, Maaia Reid - Bennett (Mnt), 7.07, 3

Heat 3 Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis), 11.03, 1, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 10.07, 2, Tiana Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 3.9, 3

Heat 4 Bianca Sansom (Auck), 7.1, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 6.17, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 5.17, 3, Jennifer Rockwell (Auck), 2.77, 4

Under 16 Girls Quarterfinals
Heat 1 Abby Falwasser - Logan (Gis), 8.27, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 7.13, 2, Meg Grealish (Gis), 2.9, 3, Jennifer Rockwell (Auck), 2.7, 4

Heat 2 Kea Smith (Arataki), 9.17, 1, Ella Junwirth (Gis), 7, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 3.17, 3

Heat 3 Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 8.07, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 5.56, 2, Tiana Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 5.3, 3

Heat 4 Maaia Reid - Bennett (Mnt), 7.17, 1, Britt Kindred (Muri), 4.87, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 3.13, 3

Men’s Longboard Quarterfinals
Heat 1 Glen Johnson (Auck), 10.93, 1, Kayne Duncan (Rag), 7.8, 2, Jeremy Williams (Mnt), 3.97, 3, Michael Gray (Auck), 2.27, 4

Heat 2 Daniel Proctor (Gis), 11, 1, Sam Johnson (Gis), 10.17, 2, Hone Douglas (Ohope), 10.13, 3, Francis Quirk (Gis), 3.17, 4

Heat 3 Zen Wallis (Piha), 11.03, 1, Brian Young (Auck), 8.83, 2, James Atutahi (Mnt), 5.3, 3, Tim Renouf (Gis), 4.8, 4

Heat 4 Ben Poulter (Rag), 1, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 2, Addison Course (Whtane), 3, Moti Ian Procter (Gis), 4

Women’s Longboard
Heat 1 Ella Williams (WGM), 9.67, 1, Nam Northcroft (Tara), 4, 2, Penelope Strickland (Auck), 3.6, 3

Heat 2 Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 12.7, 1, Alexis Poulter (Rag), 10.3, 2, Marguarite Vujich (Nap), 2.5, 3

Under 18 Boys Longboard 
Heat 1 Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 13.8, 1, Ben McCulloch (Gis), 6.27, 2, Joshua Farr (Tara), 4.63, 3, Kobe Johnson (Gis), 4.5, 4

Heat 2 Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 6.7, 1, George Busby (Gis), 6.33, 2, Tanira Tamanui (Uawa), 4.23, 3, Samuel Sands (ChCh), 3.93, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1 Tane Bowden (Whmata), 13, 1, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 6.67, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 5.33, 3, Ollie Meadows (Waiheke), 2.7, 4

Heat 2 Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.8, 1, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 9.57, 2, Dylan Preston (Whmata), 4.5, 3, James Ririnui (Mnt), 4.1, 4

Complete lists of all National Champions are located on the Surfing New Zealand website. 

Ben Kennings

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