Stairmand and Brown Take National Open Titles

Above: Seven National Titles for Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand // Photo: Coff Media

Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand has kicked off 2019 in the best way possible claiming his seventh title at the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships completed in Taranaki today (Saturday 12th January).

Stairmand was joined on the winner’s podium by Aimee Brown (Great Barrier) who claimed her first national title in the Open Women’s Division.

Taranaki turned on another stellar day of surf and weather with clean 1.5m waves and light winds at Stent Road which provided a platform for what many considered a ground breaking day of action.|

Stairmand overcame good friend Ricardo Christie (Gis) in the final along with Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) in third and the youngest ever finalist in the Open Men’s Division, 15 year old Tom Butland (Tara) in fourth. 

“I always want to beat Ricardo (Christie), have done since we were kids and now he is on tour I really wanted to get this one over him, I was stoked to have him in the final and Elliot and Tom who was ripping all week” said Stairmand of his opponents. 

Stairmand posted a 17.6 point heat total in the final in a performance than topped all apart from his semifinal.

“Each heat I got more and more comfortable and my scores reflected that throughout the week” he said.

“I don’t know, the last few months I have had a kick in the butt and I have realised that I have to work hard and stay focused if I want to do this so at the end of last year I really wanted to surf a lot and I wanted to surf my new boards a lot and come into the new year fit and healthy.  I came down here early and surfed before and after the event each day to get used to the wave.  I don’t know what has changed but I know I seriously want to win now.”

Above: Ricardo Christie runner up // Photo: Coff Media

Christie was left searching for an 8.71 point ride in the dying stages of the event and Stairmand was sure to defend his lead, forcing Christie into a closeout with seconds remaining, Christie eventually unable to defend his 2018 title.

Paerata – Reid finished third in the final after peaking in the semifinals with a ridiculous heat total of 19.03 out of a possible 20, the highest of the event.

Local Oakura surfer Tom Butland became the youngest event finalist in the Open Women’s Division at 15 years of age, finishing fourth. 

Butland’s performance throughout the week, which included a win in the Under 16 Boys Division, saw him take out the award for the Most Outstanding Performance alongside fellow local surfer and triple finalist Dwaine Mataa.

Above: Amie Brown Open Women's Champ // Photo: Coff Media

Great Barrier Island’s greatest export, Aimee Brown took what many would consider a breakthrough title in the Open Women’s Division.  However, after winning the last two domestic events of 2018, it is no surprise that Brown continued her form into the New Year.

Brown posted a 14.2 point heat total to defeat Saffi Vette (Gis), Laura Griffin (Whangarei) and Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) in the final.

“I came into this comp just wanting to make the final.  But to win it is crazy.  It has always been a goal of mine to win, but the first year in the Open Women’s Division, oh my god” exclaimed Brown.

“It was so much fun to have that final out at Stent with three others.  The waves were so good that anyone could have won, you only had to get the best waves” added Brown of her fortunes today.

There was only 0.2 points between Brown and Vette who was hunting her second title of the day after winning the Under 18 Girls Division.

Vette could not stop a rampaging Point Boardriders of Raglan winning the top club at the event with her Gisborne Boardriders Club relinquishing their title and finishing second ahead of host club Oakura Boardriders in third.

Above: Caleb Cutmore took out the U18 title // Photo: Coff Media

Point Boardriders relied on Stairmand to clinch the title along with winner of the Under 18 Boys Division Caleb Cutmore, winner of the Over 45 Men’s Division Geoff Hutchison and Navryn Malone who won the Under 14 Boys Division.

The Under 16 titles went to Butland and Natasha Gouldsbury, Gouldsbury winning her first title on the last wave of the final.

In the senior divisions, it was Jarred Hancox (Tara) that won the Over 30s Division, Luke Kerr (Tara) the Over 35s and Manu Schafer (Tara) the Over 40s.

Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach) claimed his sixth title in the Men’s Longboard Division.

Above: Saffi Vette U18 women's champ // Photo: Coff Media

See below for final results from the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships completed at Stent Road, Taranaki today (Saturday 12th January).

Open Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 19.13, 1, Billy Stairmand (Rag), 18.03, 2, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 13.5, 3, Sean Kettle (Tara), 10.14, 4
Heat 2
Tom Butland (Tara), 15.6, 1, Ricardo Christie (Mahia), 14.33, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 13, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 11.9, 4

Open Men’s Division Final
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 17.6, 1, Ricardo Christie (Gis), 16.27, 2, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 15.33, 3, Tom Butland (Tara), 11.27, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Final
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 18.66, 1, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 13.50, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 12.74, 3, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 12.53, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Final
Tom Butland (Tara), 15.74, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 15.06, 2, Finn Vette (Gis), 13.3, 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.54, 4

Open Women’s Division Semi Final
Heat 1
Aimee Brown (GB), 12.67, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 12.23, 2, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 8.9, 3
Heat 2
Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 15.17, 1, Laura Griffin (Mnt), 11.84, 2, Grace Spiers (Whmata), 10.6, 3

Open Women’s Division Final
Aimee Brown (GB)
Saffi Vette (Gis)
Zhana Hutchieson (Tara)
Laura Griffin (Mnt)

Under 18 Girls Division Final
Saffi Vette (Gis), 17.67, 1, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10.37, 2, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.04, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 8.70, 4

Under 16 Girls Division Final
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.54, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 11.34, 2, Liv Haysom (Piha), 10.46, 3, Ava Henderson (Chch), 10.26, 4

Over 30 Men’s Division Final
Jarred Hancox (Tara), 15.2, 1, Bachelor Tipene (Tara), 12.9, 2, Dwaine Mataa (Tara), 9.8, 3, Danny Kaweroa (Tara), 4.64, 4

Over 35 Men’s Division Final
Luke Kerr (Tara), 15.6, 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 14.6, 2, Dwaine Mataa (Tara), 13.1, 3, Jeremy Curd (Tara), 12.2, 4

Over 40 Men’s Division Final
Manu Schafer (Tara), 17.6, 1, Alan Te Moananui (Chch), 12.5, 2, Dwaine Mataa (Tara), 11.9, 3, Jamie Andrews (Tara), 11.1, 4

Men’s Longboard Division Final
Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 13.9, 1, Glen Johnson (Auck), 11.34, 2, Michael Grendon (Tara), 10.64, 3, Paul Culpan (Auck), 6.63, 4