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Special Kiwi longboard & SUP event fires at Papamoa Beach

Glen Johnson © Col/



Coast Papamoa Beach New Zealand Open

Surfing New Zealand
Papamoa Beach, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
20 - 21 February 2016

Mangawhai’s Johnson and Piha’s Paul Claim Titles at NZ Longboard and SUP Open

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 February, 2016 - Mangawhai surfer Glen Johnson claimed his first career win at the Coast Papamoa New Zealand Longboard and SUP Open held at Papamoa Beach. Johnson was joined by another first time winner in young Piha surfer Gabrielle Paul who won the Women’s Longboard Division.

The surf remained around the 1.0m mark all day with moderate cross-offshore winds at Papamoa Domain.  Varying tides made for an array of conditions ranging from long peeling waves on the outer banks over the low tide to short and sharp beach break waves on the full tide.

Johnson went one better than the 2015 event where he finished runner up to another finalist today, Owen Barnes (Mnt).  Today it was Johnson that chose to surf down the beach from his competitors and capitalised on the empty waves to notch up an 11.5 point heat total for the win.

The stylish natural foot surfers picked off some perfect runners on his forehand managing to get to the nose on several occasions despite the incoming tide making conditions tricky. 

Gisborne’s Sam Johnson placed second in the final, less than a point behind Glen with Paul Culpan (Auck) in third and 2015 winner Owen Barnes in fourth place.

Piha’s Gabrielle Paul claimed a tight win in the Women’s Longboard Division pushing defending champion Alexis Poulter (Waihi Beach) back in to second place despite a late charge for the lead which came up short by less than 1.0 point.  Paul finished with a 7.87 point heat total to defeat Poulter, Kiri Binnersley (Mnt) finishing in third and Kelsi McKenney (Mnt) finishing in fourth.

The senior experience of Shane Murrell (Auck) saw him clinch a last minute victory in the Starboard Men’s SUP Division.  Murrell placed third at the National Championships in January and continued his excellent form with a win at today’s event. 

Murrell was sitting in third place for much of the final before he edged over a set late in the final where heat leader Karl Aarsen (WGM) could not.  Murrell went on to score a 6.33 point ride which was enough to elevate him to first, bumping Aarsen back to second.  Ollie Houghton (Auck) placed third in the final with Murrell’s son Oscar finishing in fourth.

Like 14-year-old Paul, Gisborne’s Stella Smith, who is only 13, won the Starboard Women’s SUP Division.  It was Alexis Poulter that again played bridesmaid gunning for a late win but coming up short by less than 0.50.  Smith is an all-round waterman having only last week taken back-to-back national wins on her shortboard as well as successfully competing in surf lifesaving events.  Auckland’s Pea Strickland placed third in the final ahead of Naiomi Madeiros (Auck) in fourth.

Previous to Owen Barnes finishing fourth in the Open Men’s Division final, he defended his title in the Over 40 Longboard Division.  Barnes crushed his competitors in the final posting a 13.17 point heat total out of a possible 20.  Orewa surfer Brendon Callaghan finished in second place ahead of Mal Brady (Mnt) in third and James Atutahi (Mnt) in fourth.

It was another local surfer in Jeremy Williams that claimed the On The Way RV Over 50 Longboard Division title.  Williams defeated Mark Hoyle (Orewa) who finished in second ahead of double finalist Brendon Callaghan in third and Peter De Mooij (Mnt) in fourth.

Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach) won the Logger Expression Session.

Ollie Houghton (Auck) won the Starboard King of the Waves race which comprised three laps of the 1.0km course in and out of the waves.  Houghton opened up a massive lead of the first leg which he held throughout the race.  Armie Armstrong (Auck) finished in second place ahead of Jeremy Stephenson (Auck) in third.    

The Coast Papamoa NZ Longboard and SUP Open brings together longboard and stand up paddleboard surfers from around New Zealand eyeing wins across the eight divisions contested over one day.

This is the third year the Open has been held at Papamoa Beach. Coast Papamoa Beach development manager Kranish Reddy says it is a fantastic event for surfing and for Papamoa.

“We are proud to sponsor an event that embraces the spirit of this wonderful beachside community that we live in. As a popular surf beach, Papamoa is the perfect location,” he says. “It is a great opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy some action on the water, while soaking up some beautiful Bay of Plenty scenery.”

Coast Papamoa Beach is a premium, masterplanned, coastal development, at Papamoa, spanning 24 hectares.

Men’s Longboard Division Final
Glen Johnson (Auck), 11.5, 1, Sam Johnson (Gis), 10.7, 2, Paul Culpan (Auck), 9.67, 3, Owen Barnes (Mnt), 9.43, 4

Starboard Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard Division Final
Shane Murrell (Auck), 12.4, 1, Karl Aarsen (WGM), 11.2, 2, Ollie Houghton (Auck), 10.7, 3, Oscar Murrell (Auck), 5.07, 4

Duck Point Wines Women’s Longboard Division Final
Gabi Paul (Piha), 7.87, 1, Alexis Poulter (Waihi Beach), 6.9, 2, Kiri Binnersley (Mnt), 6.23, 3, Kelsi McKenny (Mnt), 5.33, 4, Marguerite Vujcich (Napier), 4.6, 5

Starboard Women’s Stand Up Paddleboard Division Final
Stella Smith (Gis), 8.6, 1, Alexis Poulter (Waihi Beach), 8.37, 2, Pea Strickland (Auck), 8.33, 3, Naiomi Madeiros, 3.6, 4, Katie-Marie Jervis, 1.6, 5

Over 40 Men’s Longboard Division Final
Owen Barnes (Mnt), 13.2, 1, Brendon Callaghan (SAF), 7.5, 2, Mal Brady (Mnt), 5.63, 3, James Atutahi (Mnt), 4.1, 4

Glen Johnson, Longboard, SUP, Coast Papamoa Beach New Zealand Open Surfing New Zealand, Papamoa Beach, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Ben Kennings

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