Bay Of Plenty Back in Familiar Territory Atop Rankings


Elin Tawharu.  Image courtesy of Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine




Bay of Plenty have returned to the top of the table after a big second day at the 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships being held at Gisborne this week.

The star studded team have only lost one of twelve surfers in the event and that was more to illness than performance.  The good start to the event has the team 500 points ahead of their nearest rivals Auckland in second with Canterbury in third while defending champions Taranaki have some work to do to retain the title, currently sitting in fifth.  

Bay of Plenty’s Elin Tawharu along with team mate Raiha Ensor dominated their Under 18 Girls Division heats with polished opening-round performances.  Tawharu posted a round-high 15.2 point heat total to advance through to the semifinals of the division.

Tawharu takes on a senior role with the Bay of Plenty Team this year, using her national and international experience to help out her young teammates.

“It was good to get good waves out there today” said Tawharu.  “I like these events with the team aspect to them, it is less individual which surfing usually is and I like that team environment” added Tawharu. 

After an uncharacteristic eighth place finish in 2016, Tawharu believes the team has what it takes to stay atop the team rankings this year. 

“We are going for the win here this week, everyone has been supportive and it has been fun so we are looking forward to the last three days of the event”.

Another surfer stepping up to a senior position this year is Taranaki’s Zhana Hutchieson who is hoping that her young team can defend their 2016 title.

“There is a lot of pressure on us this year because we’ve got a lot of juniors in the team so we all need to step up” she said. 

Today, Hutchieson surfed to a 13.53 point heat total coming from third place midway through the heat to take a comfortable victory.

“My heat went well, I won which is the main thing and it is good to get those points for our team” Hutchieson said.

Tawharu and Hutchieson were joined by Raiha Ensor (Mnt) as winners in the Under 18 Girls Division.

In the Under 16 Girls Division it was Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and Saffi Vette (Gis) that took wins for their respective teams and they were joined by Canterbury teammates Estella Hungerford and Tegen Bishop who advanced through their heats in second place.

The afternoon heats comprised some tight encounters in the second round of both the Under 18 and Under 16 Boys Divisions.

Reef Matthews (Tara), Elliott Brown (Dun) and Jared Gebert (Ohope) all surfed to exceptional heat wins posting scores in excess of 15.0 points out of 20.

Gebert won the closest heat of the round advancing alongside Jack McLeod (Dun) who posted 13.27 points to narrowly edge Canterbury surfer Conor McLennan on 12.77 points. 

Other heat winners included Sonny Rapira – Martin (Tara), Lee Ririnui (Mnt) and Tom Norton (Whangarei) who all advanced through to the quarterfinals.

Conditions are expected to be good for day three of the event however the offshore winds are forecast to increase significantly and the swell is expected to drop slightly.  The Under 14 Girls Division and Longboard will make an appearance for the first time at the event and the girl’s repechage rounds will be completed as well as additional boys divisions.

Please see below for results from day two of the 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships held at Northern Makorori, Gisborne today (Tuesday 10th October).

Team Points
1, Bay of Plenty, 10530
2, Auckland, 10160
3, Canterbury, 9540
4, Northland, 9430
5, Taranaki, 9420
6, Gisborne, 9400
7, Coromandel, 8350
8, Otago, 7180
9, Waikato, 7010
10, West Coast, 4220
11, Wellington, 1780


Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 1
Heat 1
Sonny Rapira - Martin (Tara), 12, 1, Finn Carrington (Wgtn), 6.67, 2, Tim Findlay (WC), 1.83, 3

Under 18 Boys Round 2
Heat 1
Reef Matthews (Tara), 15.73, 1, James Murphy (Dun), 11.23, 2, Hamish Lorney (Waihi Bch), 2.87, 3, Finn Carrington (Wgtn), N/S
Heat 2
Elliott Brown (Dun), 15.4, 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 13.03, 2, Joseph Critchfield (Mangawhai), 8.17, 3, Raul Ventura (WC), 3.13, 4
Heat 3
Sonny Rapira - Martin (Tara), 13.83, 1, Thomas Harcourt (ChCh), 8.53, 2, Kalani Hansen (Nrth), 8.07, 3, Jordan Sparrow (Chch), 5.37, 4
Heat 4
Jared Gebert (Ohope), 15.1, 1, Jack McLeod (Dun), 13.27, 2, Conor McLennan (Chch), 12.77, 3, Jack Leslie (Ota), 6.23, 4
Heat 5
Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 12.17, 1, Sam Sands (Chch), 10.23, 2, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 9.07, 3, Geordie Kingsbeer (Wai), 6.1, 4
Heat 6
Tom Norton (Waipu), 9.77, 1, Tanner Hayes (Kati), 8.53, 2, Caleb Moratti (Tara), 8.53, 3, Aloysius Lane (Wgtn), 7.43, 4


Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 1
Heat 1
Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 11.07, 1, Noah Collier (Gis), 9.6, 2, Cory Vercoe (Mang), 7.73, 3, Alan Paterson (WC), 4.2, 4
Heat 2
Ollie Charlesworth (Auck), 9.1, 1, Te Haukopa Ehau Taumaunu, 8.173, 2, Jack Rosewarne (Ham), 5.33, 3
Heat 3
Callum Hodges (Ota), 5.03, 1, Zinny Halsall (Bul), 4.77, 2, Finn Forsyth (WC), 4.6, 3
Heat 4
Oscar Harper (Nrth), 11.83, 1, Michael Thomas (Auck), 8.53, 2, Ben Smith (Coro), 4.47, 3

Under 16 Boys Round 2
Heat 1
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 14, 1, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 8.93, 2, Te Haukopa Ehau Taumaunu, 7.37, 3, Ian Roux (Gis), 5.7, 4
Heat 2
Jack Lee (Whaka), 16.6, 1, Lucca Lind (Tara), 8.6, 2, Hunter Peterson (Tara), 8.13, 3, Noah Collier (Gis), 6.37, 4
Heat 3
Sam Dingle (Tara), 9.57, 1, Ollie Charlesworth (Auck), 9.53, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 8.47, 3, Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 7.37, 4
Heat 4
Finn Johnson (Gis), 13.9, 1, William Van der Beek (Mnt), 13.2, 2, Ruben Peyroux (Dun), 7.4, 3, Zinny Halsall (Bul), 3.33, 4
Heat 5
Max Brunker (Whngrei), 11.93, 1, Oscar Harper (Nrth), 8.27, 2, Tom Parker (Nrth), 6.63, 3, James Scott (Whiti), 5.7, 4
Heat 6
Dylan Preston (Mnt), 13.7, 1, Tyler Carrington (Wgtn), 9.03, 2, Michael Thomas (Auck), 6.13, 3, Callum Hodges (Ota), 4.93, 4


Under 14 Boys Repechage Round 1
Heat 1
Jay Gordon (Waihi Beach), 5.4, 1, Ben Storey (Te Awa), 3.53, 2, Taine Forsyth (Buller), 3.23, 3, Kalani Smith (Coro), 2.93, 4
Heat 2
Shay Wells (Tara), 2, 1, Mitchell Daley (Mnt), 1, 2, Jack Hinton (Mnt), N/S
Heat 3
Jackson Peak (Auck), 10.9, 1, Jude Stevens (Auck), 8.55, 2, Jimi Higgins (Dun), 3.4, 3
Heat 4
Sam Charlesworth (Auck), 11.47, 1, Koby Cameron (Chch), 6.8, 2, Harri Adams (Coro), 4.03, 3


Under 18 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1
Zhana Hutchison (Tara), 13.53, 1, Aimee Brown (Auck), 10.37, 2, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 9.83, 3
Heat 2
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 15.2, 1, Lily McDonald (Coro), 3.77, 2, Emma Pegg (WC), 0, 3, Kea Smith (Mnt), N/S
Heat 3
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 14, 1, Frith Davis (Cant), 9.73, 2, Shani Ayson (Dun), 4.3, 3


Under 16 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1
Saffi Vette (Gis), 11.4, 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 8.63, 2, Eve Findlay (WC), 5.03, 3, Jayde Hanner (Coro), 2.4, 4
Heat 2
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 12.43, 1, Tegen Bishop (Chch), 7.27, 2, Stella Smith (Gis), 7.1, 3, Zoe Raines (Auck), 3.23, 4

The 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships is sanctioned by the New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council.