New Zealand National Champs kick off
Hyundai National Surfing Championships
Surfing New Zealand
Piha Beach, Auckland
13 - 19 January 2013
New Zealand's Best Tackle Opening Day Of National Champs
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 January, 2013 : - - The country's top surfers opened the seven-day 2013 Hyundai National Championships today (Sunday 13th January) as they surfed their way through to the final sixteen surfers of the Open Men's Division.
The premier division made the most of the decreasing 1.5m swell at Piha Beach, Auckland with high tide conditions remaining good all day with light sea breezes. In front of busy summers crowd on the beach, the top seeds made their move through the field with the Quinn brothers of Gisborne, Alex Dive (Mnt) and Leon Santorik (Rag) dominating their match ups.
Santorik top scored in the Round of 32 posting 15.0 out of a possible 20 points to eliminate one of the pre-event favourites Richard Christie (Gis). Santorik opened his 20 minute heat with a 7.0 point ride for three big turns on his forehand. "That is the best heat I have had in a long time, it just felt like everything was going good for me" said a content Santorik. "After I got that first seven point ride I paddled out and got another good wave then another, the waves followed me where ever I was, I like it when that happens" added Santorik.
Santorik progressed alongside Dune Kennings (WGM) who scored 12.0 points narrowly nudging Christie out of the event after scoring 11.4 points.
Alex Dive (Mnt) was the first surfer to progress through to the quarterfinals after winning his heat ahead of fellow Mount Maunganui surfer Matt Hewitt. Dive posted a 14.70 point heat total and looked strong on his forehand to get one up on Hewitt. Hewitt placed second in the heat and remains in the hunt for an elusive second national title after winning his first here at Piha in 2009.
Four-time National Champion Maz Quinn went about his work quietly to notch up an easy heat win scoring 13.5 points. His patented forehand hack suited the right handers in the middle of the beach at the south end of Piha. Quinn has gone six years since his last title in the Open Men's Division and with the spotlight firmly on the young up and coming surfers, Quinn could well be one to watch at the end of the week when the swell is expected to build significantly for the end of the event.
Jay Quinn, who resides in Australia, returned to New Zealand on Saturday and surfed through two heats today winning his second heat scoring 12.0 points. Other standouts included defending champion Billy Stairmand (Rag). Young Taranaki surfer Sean Kettle posted the highest single wave score of the day - 9.17 out of a possible ten points for one big turn and an air reverse late in his heat. Kettle progressed alongside Jarred Hancox (Tara) in second place.
Late in the day the Under 18 Boys Division hit the water as the tide went out. Female Whangamata surfer Ella Williams caused a stir surfing an amazing heat to progress through to the quarterfinals. Williams got one long lefthander completing three big turns to score 8.33 points. Williams progressed alongside local Piha surfer Waretini Wano in second place. Other heat winners included Australian based Korbin Hutchings, Jules Craft (Gis), McKenzie Christie (Mnt) and Sean Kettle (Tara).
The surf is expected to decrease further for day two (Monday 14th January). Winds will swing to the northwest and increase throughout the day. Competition will commence at 8:00am on Sunday 13th January.
Source: Surfing New Zealand
Author: Ben Kennings
Tags: National Champs, Hyundai, New Zealand