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Local surfer claims NZ longboard title

 
 

Glen Johnson-601The Coast Papamoa NZ Longboard and SUP Open brings together longboard and stand up paddleboard surfers from around New Zealand eyeing wins across the eight divisions – and all contested over one day.

This was the third year the Open has been held at Papamoa Beach, down the coast from Tauranga, and saw Mangawhai surfer Glen Johnson claim his first career win on February 21.

Johnson was joined by another first time winner in young Piha surfer Gabrielle Paul who won the Women’s Longboard Division.

While the moderate cross-offshore winds at Papamoa Domain kept the surf percolating around the 1.0m mark all day, varying tides made for an array of conditions ranging from long peeling waves on the outer banks over the low tide to short and sharp beach break waves on the full tide.

Johnson went one better than the 2015 event where he finished runner up to Owen Barnes from Mt Maunganui – another finalist in this year’s event.

This time it was Johnson who chose to surf down the beach from his competitors and capitalised on the empty waves to notch up an 11.5 point heat total for the win.

As a stylish natural foot surfer, Johnson picked off some perfect runners on his forehand managing to get to the nose on several occasions despite the tricky incoming tide.

WIN: Glen Johnson hangs five as he builds a handy lead through the heats. PHOTO/Supplied

 
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