Health 2000 National Surfing Championships 2018
Small Waves See Longboard and Junior Divisions Contested At Half Way Mark of Champs
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 January, 2018 - New Zealand’s elite surfers were given a day off today at the halfway mark of the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships being held at Gisborne this week. With the swell at its lowest point of the week at 0.5m – 1.0m a lay day was called for the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions leaving the likes of the Longboard and the youngest Under 14 Boys and Girls Divisions to be contested.
Despite the small waves on offer, the surface conditions were perfect all day with variable winds and a clean peak at Makorori Beach that gave all surfers plenty of opportunities.
Local Gisborne surfers dominated the Men’s Longboard Division with six of eight semifinalists hailing from the region. They were led by two-time champion (2009 and 2013) Daniel Procter who was competing in the event despite expecting his third child later in the day. Procter will face off in an all-Gisborne semifinal including Sam Johnson, Kelly Ryan and Geoff Pardoe when he enters the water next.
The second semifinal will feature another standout Gisborne surfer in Guy Burns who top-scored for the round with a 15.0 point heat total. Burns will compete against defending champion Zen Wallis (Piha) in the semifinal.
Wallis is one of four surfers flying to China immediately after the event to compete at the ISA World Longboard Championships as part of the New Zealand Team.
Sasha Brownlie (Auck) is another surfer to head off to China next week and today she posted the highest heat score in the Women’s Longboard Division scoring 13.83 points to advance to the final of the division. Brownlie will be joined by Estella Hungerford (Chch), Ariana Shewry (Tara) and Donna Henderson (Chch) with the final being held on Thursday.
With the swell at its smallest for the week, participants in the Under 14 Boys and Girls Divisions had to endure up to three rounds of competition today with both divisions being contested down to the final four surfers.
The Boys Division dished up a familiar four in the final with three surfers from Raglan in Jayden Willoughby, Kora Cooper and Navryn Malone who will face off against Gisborne surfer Finn Vette.
Despite the favourites advancing through to the final, there were some great performances from the likes of Ryder Pennington (Tara), Reef Newdick (Mnt) and Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whangarei).
For the girls it was Natasha Gouldsbury (Levin) and Liv Haysom (Piha) that claimed two heat wins for the day and advanced through to the finals. They will be joined by the impressive Ava Henderson (Chch) and local surfer Daizee Rawls.
Both Henderson and Gouldsbury were also in action in the Under 16 Girls Division successfully advancing through to the semifinals against their older opponents. Henderson top scored in the division posting a 12.43 point heat total to advance to the semifinals where she will meet up with Brie Bennett (Rag) and Stella Smith (Gis). Gouldsbury will face off against Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and Estella Hungerford (Chch).
The swell is expected to remain around the 1.0m mark for day five of the event on Thursday potentially building in the afternoon. The stand up paddleboard divisions will be added to the agenda as well as the first finals of the event being contested.
The draw for the premier Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions plus juniors can be found on the Surfing New Zealand website.