Waikato claimed their first National Scholastic Surfing Championships title in eleven years today (Friday 11th October 2019) with the team claiming two of seven titles and boasting six surfers in the finals.
The five-day event wrapped up at Manu Bay, Raglan in the biggest surf of the week with a solid 1.5m swell and light onshore winds, the morning rain giving way to clear skies in the afternoon.
Waikato took the points lead early on the final day after a battle with Taranaki and Auckland who finished in second and third respectively. Waikato eventually surged ahead with close to a 1,000 point lead. The points difference between second through sixth was just 300 points, the equivalent of one placing in any of the finals.
Waikato’s two titles came from Kora Cooper in the Under 16 Boys Division and Navryn Malone in the Under 14 Boys Division.
Taranaki and Canterbury also claimed two titles apiece and the regions both shared the coveted Under 18 Division titles which went to Tom Butland (Tara) and Estella Hungerford (Chch).
Butland surfed up a division at the event allowing his team to have a more even spread of athletes and the tactical decision paid off for Taranaki.
“I’m pretty stoked aye, I wasn’t expecting to make the Under 18 Boys Final, everyone is so good in this division” said Butland.
Butland was trailing for much of the heat but posted an 8.15 point ride taking off 15 seconds before the hooter and his score not coming through until after the heat had finished flipping the final on its head.
“I asked Luke Griffin how much time there was left and Caleb what score I needed, I didn’t really know how long was left so I just gave it my all, I had really weak legs when I took off on that last wave, I was really nervous but I was pretty happy to clutch up and win” said Butland.
Butland’s wave pushed Caleb Cutmore (Rag) back into second place with Luke Griffin (Mnt) in third and Neko Tohiariki (Chch) in fourth.
Estella Hungerford put on a commanding performance in the Under 18 Girls Division Final finishing with a 16.0 point heat total, well out of reach for her opponents.
“I’m pretty stoked, I still can’t really believe it. I didn’t have much confidence going into this national event but the win is awesome and it will help me out going into the World Junior Championships at the end of the month too, so I’m looking forward to it now” said Hungerford.
Her big heat total came by way of some aggressive surfing in the big waves early in the heat.
“I hadn’t caught a wave then, so I was a bit stressed but I managed to land that big turn so I was stoked. I still can’t really believe it, it’s crazy, I didn’t really know I could surf like that in a comp” she added.
Hungerford’s opponents had to battle for the minor placings with Kai Woolf (Rag) claiming the runner up position ahead of Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in third and Gabrielle Paul (Auck) in fourth.
Kora Cooper (Rag) and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) claimed the Under 16 Division titles, Cooper having a good battle with Tom Robinson (Whngrei) who placed second. Gouldsbury fought hard against Brie Bennett (Rag), holding down a slender lead for much of the final.
In the youngest divisions, Navryn Malone used his knowledge of Manu Bay to edge past Ryder Pennington (Tara) for the win while Ava Henderson (Chch) ran away with the Under 14 Girls Division title.
Auckland took two finalists into the longboard final and walked away with a first and a third, Ben Counsell getting the nod over Billy Whelan (Nrthlnd), Natt Fitt finishing in third and Sonny Eades (Mnt) finishing in fourth place.
The Adam Clegg Breakthrough Performance of the Event Award went to Ava Henderson (Chch) and Kalani Louis (Tara). Henderson was dominant throughout the week and took it all the way to the final with her first scholastic title. Louis also advanced through to the final of the Under 14 Boys Division and placed third behind Navryn Malone (Rag) and Ryder Pennington (Tara).
Please see below for final results from the 2019 National Scholastic Surfing Championships completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Friday 11th October).
1, Waikato, 8463
2, Taranaki, 7485
3, Auckland, 7305
4, Canterbury, 7265
5, Bay of Plenty, 7233
6, Northland, 7213
7, Gisborne, 6289
8, West Coast, 5133
9, Coromandel, 4959
10, Wellington, 4503
11, Hawkes Bay, 4025
Under 18 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.4, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 10.5, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 9, 3, Billy Gilbert (Nrthlnd), 6.35, 4
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 13.75, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.25, 2, Luis Southwood (Whaka), 8.46, 3, Josh Sheridan (Nel), 6.8, 4
Max Brunker (Nrthlnd), 7.55, 1, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.36, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 6.75, 3, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 6.15, 4
Under 18 Boys Division Semifinals
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 17.9, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 12.75, 2, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 7.75, 3
Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.8, 1, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 8.25, 2, Max Brunker (Nrthlnd), 5.75, 3
Under 18 Boys Division Final
Tom Butland (Tara), 16.4, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.0, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 11.7, 3, Neko Tohiariki (Chch)11.5, 4
Under 16 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Rag), 13.75, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 11.95, 2, Myka Black (Chch), 9.95, 3, Finn Vette (Gis), 9.55, 4
Under 14 Boys Division Final
Navryn Malone (Rag), 13.9, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 13, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 9.25, 3, Izaak Hayes (Whngrei), 9.15, 4
Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Kai Woolf (Rag), 14.25, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 10.4, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 7.8, 3
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10.36, 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 9.75, 2, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 5.7, 3
Under 18 Girls Division Final
Estella Hungerford (Chch), 16.0, 1, Kai Woolf (Rag), 10.4, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 8.4, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 6.75, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Semifinals
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.75, 1, Leah Wilson (Chch), 9, 2, Hannah King (Gis), 7.6, 3, Daizee Rawles (Gis), 6.46, 4
Brie Bennett (Rag), 13, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 10.15, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 8.65, 3, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 8.25, 4
Under 16 Girls Division Final
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.25, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 10.25, 2, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 7.5, 3, Leah Wilson (Chch), 6.3, 4
Under 14 Girls Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 12.75, 1, Anna Brock (Mnt), 8.5, 2, Amelie Brady (Mnt), 4.4, 3, Luka Glover (Rag), 0.04, 4
Under 18 Longboard Division Final
Ben Counsell (Auck), 13.1, 1, Billy Whelan (Nrthlnd), 10.65, 2, Nat Fitt (Auck), 9.85, 3, Sonny Eades (BOP), 6.3, 4
The National Scholastic Surfing Championships began in 1989. The event, which has unearthed two generations of top Kiwi talent, takes place all week at the famed Manu Bay location, home to the perfect left-hand point break.
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