New year, new comp season - Kiwis kick it off
Hyundai Tour event #1
Surfing New Zealand
Manu Bay Raglan, New Zealand
5 - 6 January 2013
Raglan Set To Kickstart 2013 Hyundai Tour
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 January, 2013 : - - An unruly swell currently hitting the West Coast of New Zealand is expected to clean up and provide some classic point break waves to usher in the first event of the 2013 Hyundai Tour set to commence at Manu Bay, Raglan this weekend (5th - 6th January). The Raglan event marks the eighth year of the Hyundai Tour and New Zealand longboarders are keen to start the competitive season in some clean waves.
This year's Raglan leg of the Hyundai Tour has attracted a full field of surfers hunting a slice of the idyllic lefthand point break. 2012 Hyundai Tour runner up and this weekend's number one seed, Zen Wallis (Piha) will aim for consecutive event wins after clinching the 2012 tour finale in March last year.
Traditionally more at home on his shortboard, Wallis will go head-to-head with a number of the country's best. This includes 2010 Tour winner Dylan Barnfield (Ohope) and 2008 Tour winner Daryn McBride (Mnt) who is making a comeback to the competitive arena for this event. Both surfers are exceptional proponents of traditional longboard surfing and if Manu Bay offers up it's long running waves, expect some dazzling performances.
The Open Men's Division also plays host to a raft of other top surfers including Ant McColl (Mnt), Matt Cockayne (Mangawhai), Daniel Procter (Gis) and Phil Morris (Auck).
Defending women's event and tour champion Mischa Davis (Piha) will want to get the year off to the best possible start and will go up against the likes of local surfers Alexis Poulter and Belinda Goodwin who know the Raglan break better than most.
In the Stand Up Paddleboard Division, local favourite Daniel Kereopa (Rag) will recommence his fierce rivalry with Shayne Baxter (Chch). Kereopa didn't disappoint in 2012 winning the first event which set him up for a narrow overall tour title. Baxter will look to reverse roles this weekend and cause a major upset over Kereopa who surfs Manu Bay daily, a win that would help Baxter's search for his first overall tour title.
As usual the Over 40 and Over 50 Men's Divisions have attracted high quality fields with the older guys enthusiastic about spending some time in an uncrowded Manu Bay line up whilst competing.
Local surfing icon and longboard shaper Michael Thomson will play host to handful of his long time surfing mates. The defending event and two-time tour champion won out in a tight battle with Mark Hoyle (Auck) in 2012 with the two surfers set to commence the battle again this weekend.
The Over 40 Men's Division will be hotly contested with only one surfer in the field - Guy Rencher (Mnt) - having won a tour event in 2012. The absence of a dominant Brian Young (Orewa), who won three of four events in 2012, will make many of his past rivals happy and ready to pounce on a top placing.
Surfing action will take place at Manu Bay from 8:00am on Saturday and Sunday. The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at approximately 7:00am with venue, divisions contested and conditions.
A new addition to the 2013 Hyundai Tour is the 'logger' expression session for the traditionalists of longboarding. This will add to the excitement factor along with the highly entertaining Stand Up Paddleboard Race.
The 2013 Open Men's Division Tour winner will receive a return airfare to Australia and entry into one of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series events. The prize was claimed by Auckland's Thomas Kibblewhite in 2012. Kibblewhite is absent from the first two events this year ruling him out of any chance of retaining his title.
Overall the Hyundai Tour boasts $12,000 in prize money which is boosted to $20,000 with approximately another $8,000 distributed to boardrider clubs and community groups at locations the tour frequents.
Hyundai have teamed up with Global Surf Industries and Starboard to provide boards to raffle off at each event location. All proceeds from this weekend's raffles go back to Point Boardriders Club to help develop surfing in the region.
The complete calendar of events for the 2013 Hyundai Tour follows:
Hyundai Tour Event 1, 5-6 January, Raglan (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 2, 13-19 January, Piha (5-star) - National Championships
Hyundai Tour Event 3, 1-3 February, Sandy Bay (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 4, 16-17 February, Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 5, 1-2 March, Mount Maunganui (4-star)
Entry into the events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under "events." Entry into each event closes on the Monday prior to the event commencing. Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in.
The past five years of Hyundai Tour champions for their respective divisions are listed below.
2008 - Daryn Mcbride (Mnt)
2009 - Michael Burling (Gis)
2010 - Dylan Barnfield (Ohope)
2011 - Josh Constable (Australia)
2012 - Thomas Kibblewhite (Auckland)
2008 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2009 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2010 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2011 - Shelley Jones (Auck)
2012 - Mischa Davis (Piha)
2008 - Michael Thomson (Rag)
2009 - Lynden Kennings (WGM)
2010 - Grant Cochrane (Chch)
2011 - Brian Young (Orewa)
2012 - Brian Young (Orewa)
2008 - Viv Treacy (Whangarei)
2009 - David Storck (Piha)
2010 - Michael Thomson (Rag)
2011 - Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach)
2012 - Mike Thomson (Rag)
2008 - Sam Guthrie (Mnt)
2009 - Sam Guthrie (Mnt)
2010 - Jackson Winter (Noosa, Aus)
2011 - Hone Douglas (Whtane)
2012 - Sam Poulter (Rag)
Stand Up Paddleboard
2011 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
2012 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
Stand Up Paddleboard Race
2011 - Armie Armstrong (Rag)
2012 - Armie Armstrong (Rag)
Source: Surfing New Zealand
Author: Ben Kennings
Tags: SUP, Hyundai Tour, New Zealand