Bay surfers edged at NZ champsSave
Raglan's talent-laden Point Boardriders Club conquered allcomers at the inaugural Hurley New Zealand Club Championships completed at Whangamata over the weekend, walking away with titles in the tag team, open men's and over-35s divisions.
The fresh event brought together top clubs from around New Zealand with surfers competing as a team rather than individuals. Despite the clean but small 0.5m - 1m waves, the teams enjoyed the new event format, cheering on teammates and
surfing for their respective clubs as much as themselves.
Point Boardriders cemented the win in the last event of the day, the tag team final, when they went head-to-head with Bay Boardriders of Mount Maunganui. Point got the nod 59.4 points vs the Bay's 54.35, the win enough to tip the overall result in their favour.
The Point Boardriders team included Billy Stairmand, Luke Hughes, Caleb Cutmore, Chris Malone and Brie Bennett.
The host Whangamata Boardriders Club finished third in the final, unable to match the firepower of the top two teams and also finished third overall, spurred on by local support that scattered across the sand dunes.
Lion Rock Boardriders surfing out of Piha finished fourth in the tag team event despite a late comeback with three big rides from their captain Zen Wallis as their last surfer. Their finals berth was not enough to hold down fourth overall at the event, Lion Rock ending in fifth with overall fourth place honours going to Bay Boardriders' second team.
Earlier in the day it was Point vs Bay going head-to-head again in the open men's division with national champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) up against Matt Hewitt (Mount). The exchange went down to the last ride of the final surfed by Hewitt who fell excruciatingly short, leaving the win to Stairmand.
The host Whangamata Boardriders Club had Gauranga Ormond in the final as well but with the tide approaching low both he and Luke Hughes (Rag) could not buy a wave and had to settle for third and fourth respectively.
Whangamata also fell short of a title in the open women's event, that honour going to Elin Tawharu (Mount) with Ella Williams finishing in second place ahead of Wini Paul (North Coast, Sandy Bay) and Gabrielle Paul (Lion Rock).
A second title went to the Tawharu family and the second Bay Boardriders team in the under-20 boys' division when Jonas Tawharu eclipsed the performances of Callum Chuter (Mount), Shane Kraus (Maori Bay Boardriders) and Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay) who finished second to fourth respectively.
Point Boardriders' first title of the day came via Chris Malone in the over-35 men's division. The dual national champion made easy work of the final getting two great rides in the first five minutes. Owen Barnes (Mount) finished second in the final ahead of Ben Kennings (WGM) in third and Sam Jackman (Muriwai) in fourth.