New Zealand National Scholastic Surfing Championships
Bay of Plenty Win National Scholastic Surfing Championships
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 October, 2017 - Bay of Plenty has claimed the tightest ever title race at the 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships completed at Makorori Beach defeating host region Gisborne.
The resurgent Bay of Plenty Team posted 7,790 points to Gisborne’s 7,715 points to claim gold with Canterbury finishing in third place on 7,045 points. It is the sixth time they have won the team title in the last eight years.
The team results came down to the last heat of the event – the Under 18 Boys Division where a number of outcomes could have eventuated had results been different.
Otago surfer Elliott Brown (Dun) claimed the Under 18 Boys Division while Bay of Plenty surfer Raiha Ensor won the Under 18 Girls Division, the two premier divisions at the event.
Brown was unstoppable in the final posting a 15.53 point heat total and all but putting his opponents in ‘combination’ requiring them to post two scoring rides to take the lead.
Brown is fresh back from representing New Zealand at the World Junior Championships in Japan and his performances looked world class today with impressive speed and power on both his forehand and backhand.
The Bay’s Lee Ririnui and Jared Gebert along with Shane Kraus (Auck) traded the minor placings throughout the final with Ririnui eventually finishing runner up, Gebert placing third and Kraus in fourth.
Ensor was involved in a much closer final for the Under 18 Girls Division. It wasn’t until the last five minutes where she extended her lead and finished with a 10.30 point heat total to win. Ensor beat teammate Elin Tawharu (Mnt) who finished runner up with Aimee Brown (Auck) in third and Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) in fourth.
Waikato surfer Caleb Cutmore secured his team’s second title of the event after Brie Bennett won the Under 14 Girls Division. Cutmore kicked off his final with a 6.10 point ride and followed that up with another pair of higher six point rides to finish with a 13.27 point heat total and a lead that never looked in danger.
Bay of Plenty again featured in the final finishing in second and third via Dylan Preston (Mnt) and Jack Lee (Whaka). Northland’s sole finalist, Max Brunker (Whangarei), finished in fourth overall.
The Under 16 Girls Division was the most closely contested final of the day with all four surfers struggling to find the form that got them to the final day.
Tegen Bishop (Cant) started the final with an early wave and lead for 20 minutes followed closely by teammate Estella Hungerford who opted so surf the lefthanders. However, it was local girl Saffi Vette that posted a 5.2 point ride to jump from third to first with five minutes to go.
Bishop had one final dig at the title posting a 3.5 on her final wave, 0.3 short of the requirement for victory leaving her in second place with Hungerford in third and Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in fourth.
The Under 14 titles went to Finn Vette (Gis) and Brie Bennett, both contesting the event for the first time this year. Vette went on a rampage from start to finish leading the whole way while Bennett worked her way to the front of the final before surfing to an excellent 8.33 point ride to put the result beyond doubt.
Matt Newdick (Auck) defended his title in the Under 18 Longboard Division posting a 13.73 point heat total in the final. Canterbury surfer Casper McCormick was Newdick’s closest challenger but required an eight point ride to catch the Auckland surfer. The Gisborne pairing of George Zame and Brie Ryan finished in third and fourth respectively.
The Adam Clegg Trophies for breakthrough performances of the event went to Jack Lee (Whaka) for his third place in the Under 16 Boys Division and Brie Bennett (Rag) for winning the Under 14 Girls Division. The trophies are voted in by the entrants in the event.
1, Bay of Plenty, 7790
2, Gisborne, 7715
3, Canterbury, 7045
4, Auckland, 6970
5, Taranaki, 6535
6, Northland, 6320
7, Coromandel, 5493
8, Waikato, 5448
9, Otago, 5365
10, West Coast, 2255
11, Wellington, 1280