Piha’s Keyhole Boardriders Win Hurley National Club Championships

May 10th, 2021 -- SNZ //  Piha’s Keyhole Boardriders have claimed the 2021 Hurley National Club Championships completed at Whangamata over the weekend securing the win in the final of the tag team where they edged out the local Whangamata Boardriders Club.

It was a close battle throughout the day across the clubs with Keyhole requiring a win in the final tag team event to secure the overall title. 

Christchurch club North Wai finished the event in third place overall with Lion Rock Boardriders of Piha finishing in fourth.

A small wind swell built overnight Friday providing waves up to 1.0m with light onshore winds all day.

As well as the tag team win, Keyhole Boardriders claimed first and second in the Open Men’s Division courtesy of Dune Kennings and Elliot Paerata – Reid.

“This is big for our club, we know our members back at Piha will be celebrating the win with us” said team captain Dune Kennings. 

“We came away with a strong team and thought we were a chance for the title, but all the other clubs certainly gave us a big challenge”  added Kennings.

Champion Keyhole Boardriders of Piha.  From left to right - Claudia Fraser, Bill Byers, Dune Kennings, Elliot Paerata - Reid and Dan Caley.  Image courtesy of Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine

“It all came down to the final tag team performance and those can go either way real quick but we did just enough to edge out Whangamata and claim the title, if we had have lost the tag team, I think Whangamata would have pipped us for the overall win so it was cool to claim the title with that final team performance” he added.

The lead in the final of the tag team seesawed several times across the 60 minutes with Whangamata Boardriders, North Wai from Christchurch and North Coast from Whangarei all sharing the lead at one point. 

Keyhole held off both Elliot Paerata – Reid and Dune Kennings until their fourth and fifth riders and their dominant surfing pushed their team into the lead. 

Whangamata needed a 7.40 on their last ride with senior surfer Jos Kennings out in the water.  He latched onto his last of three rides, a clean righthander, but came up short with a 5.37 handing the victory to Keyhole 54.47 points to 52.60.

North Wai finished in third place with North Coast finishing the tag team event in fourth.

Earlier in the day Whangamata Boardriders challenged for the overall title thanks to wins by Ella Williams in the Open Women’s Division and Jos Kennings in the Over 40 Men’s Division.

Ava Henderson won the Under 18s Division for North Wai helping them to third place overall.

Strong surfing across the board saw Lion Rock Boardriders round out the top four teams after a runner up finish from Gabrielle Paul in the Open Women’s Division and a third place fourth place finish by Jay Piper – Healion in the Open Men’s Division.  

The Hurley National Club Championships morph surfing into a team concept where surfers compete for their club across standard heats as well as the incredibly exciting tag team format.  Results from the tag team and heats are tallied to find an overall club champion.

Teams comprised two men, one woman, one junior (under 18) and one senior (over 40).

The tag team event is a relay-styled format where teammates have a total of one hour to go out and catch three waves each in succession with the team’s total points tallied to find an overall winner against the other clubs. 

Please see below for results from the 2021 Hurley National Club Championships held at Whangamata on Saturday 8th May.

Overall Team Rankings
1, Keyhole Boardriders
2, Whangamata Boardriders A
3, North Wai Boardriders
4, Lion Rock Boardriders
5, North Coast Boardriders
6, Waihi Beach Boardriders
7, Hawkes Bay Boardriders
8, Whangamata Boardriders B

Open Men’s Division Final
Dune Kennings (Piha), 12.4, 1, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 9.8, 2, Conor McLennan (Chch), 8.7, 3, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 6.96, 4

Open Women’s Division Final
Ella Williams (Whmata), 12.33, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 10.77, 2, Grace Spiers (Waihi Bch), 9.8, 3, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 6.53, 4

Under 18s Division Final
Ava Henderson (Chch), 12, 1, Bill Byers (Piha), 9.73, 2, Tai Erceg - Gray (Whngrei), 9.7, 3, Kaden Littlejohn (Waihi Bch), 7, 4

Over 40 Men’s Division Final
Jos Kennings (WGM), 9.27, 1, Troy Littlejohn (Waihi Bch), 7.67, 2, Dan Caley (Piha), 6.83, 3, Jamie Clyne (Chch), 6.27, 4

Tag Team Results
Keyhole Boardriders, 54.47, 1
Whangamata Boardriders A, 52.6, 2
North Wai Boardriders, 49.37, 3
North Coast Boardriders, 45.2, 4