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Canterbury out in front at New Zealand Primary School Champs

Liam Wright © Cory Scott / NZ Surfing Magazine.




New Zealand Primary School Champs

Surfing New Zealand
Makorori Beach, Gisborne New Zealand
28 September - 2 October 2015

Canterbury Lead Surfing Teams Into Penultimate Day of Event

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 September, 2015 - The Canterbury Junior Surfing Team made big inroads into their quest to claim their first ever scholastic title today.

Day three of the National Scholastic Surfing Championships presented by Eastland Community Trust finished with the proud South Island team holding a meagre lead over Auckland with defending champions Bay of Plenty sitting in third place less than 200 points behind.

It was the third straight day that Gisborne provided what is renowned for – good clean waves with plenty of sunshine.  The 1.0m swell at Makorori Beach provided great conditions for much of the morning before the sea breeze returned in the afternoon.

The Under 14 Boys Division got the day underway over the full tide in the morning with Canterbury’s youngest team member, Zac Van Ekland progressing through to the semifinals.

It is the young surfers’ first year competing at the event and he is stoked to be up in Gisborne sampling the waves and mixing with the best junior surfers in New Zealand.

“It is good that we are up in front of the points tally” he said Van Ekland.  “We have only lost four surfers so far, we hope we are going to win it this year” he added.

Van Ekland was joined by Liam Wright, Sam Sands and Connor McLennan who progressed to the quarterfinals of the Under 16 Boys Division amongst some tight heats during the morning.

Auckland’s Shane Kraus is hoping to help his team challenge Canterbury on the final day of the event and win their first team title.  Kraus made it through to the quarterfinals and has a desire to make it all the way through to the final of the event set to be contested on Friday.

“I am looking forward to tomorrow and I hope we get to run the Under 16 Boys Division in the morning when it is offshore” said Kraus.  “We have only lost two surfers so we are aiming to make the top three this year.”

The Under 16 Boys Division was dominated by top seed Daniel Farr (Tara) along with his team mates Joel Clegg and Reef Matthews, all three surfers progressing to the Quarterfinals in a dominating fashion.

Another to stand out was Elliot Brown who is keeping Otago’s hopes alive along with team mates Jack McLeod in the Under 16 Boys, Shani Ayson in the Under 16 Girls Division and Reuben Peyroux in the Under 14 Boys Division.

“Yeah I am hoping to make it through the next heat but it is looking tricky with Reef (Matthews), Shane (Kraus) and Connor (McLennan)” said Brown who figures the expected rise in the swell will help all the other surfers as much as it will help him if the swell eventuates. 

Dylan Preston (Coro) set a high standard for his team to follow by winning his heat with a 15.33 point heat total to move through to the semifinals in the first heat of the day.  The Coromandel currently sit in fourth place, one better than their ranking in 2014.

Late in the day the girls divisions were contested with the first finalists found in the Under 14s.  Three local surfers in Kai Woolfe, Saffi Vette and Stella Smith all advanced to the final where they will meet Auckland surfer Gabrielle Paul.   

Conditions are expected to be excellent on day four of the event with an increase in swell size and perfect nor-west winds prevailing all day.

The Scholastic Champs takes place from Monday 28th September running for five days.  Approximately 110 of New Zealand’s top school aged surfers are in attendance at the event with all twelve regions fielding teams.

The twelve regional teams from around the country include Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, Canterbury, West Coast and Dunedin/Southland.

The Adam Clegg Trophies for the most improved male and female surfers as determined by peer voting will be handed out at the conclusion of the event.  

The National Scholastic Championships has been grouped together with the Primary School Champs which is held the weekend prior and the GromLab Surfer Development Camp. 

Please see below for results from day three of the National Scholastic Surfing Championships presented by Eastland Community Trust held at Makorori Beach today (Tuesday 30th September).

Team Points
1, Canterbury, 20978
2, Auckland, 20865
3, Bay of Plenty, 20835
4, Coromandel, 19198
5, Taranaki, 18350
6, Gisborne, 17870
7, Northland, 16145
8, Otago, 14310
9, Hawkes Bay , 6101
10, West Coast, 3800
11, Waikato, 3500
12, Wellington , 800

Ben Kennings

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