Surf finals hotly contested
Northland secondary school surfers enjoyed great conditions at Sandy Bay on Whangarei’s Tutukaka Coast on May 8 for the second event of the 2015 Northland Scholastics Surfing Series.
Clean 1 - 1.5m waves broke all day with light winds and favourable tides making for great contest waves.
Event organisers ran two separate arenas thanks to a large field of entries.
The U-14 boys saw some excellent surfing and some strong exchanges in the final between Max Brunker (Whangarei Boys’ High School) and his younger counterpart, wild card Thomas Robinson.
It was Brunker's turn to shine and claim his first ever Northland Scholastics win on home turf. His smooth style was impressive all day and the judges rewarded him for his efforts.
With a 16 strong draw in the U-16 boys, the competition was good from the get go. Stand out surfers in the first rounds included Jacob Hayes (WBHS) Luca Mase (Pompallier) and Josh Adams-Robson (WBHS).
The final saw former WBHS surfer Jamahl Moselen (Raglan Area School) go head-to-head with NSSS1 winner Tom Norton (Bream Bay College) along with Joseph Critchfield (Rodney College) and Kalani Hansen (Kaitaia College).
Hansen dominated his semi-final but struggled to find decent waves in the final placing fourth.
Critchfield also dominated his earlier heats and was leading the final until the dying minutes when Norton and Moselen exchanged waves.
In the end it was Jamahl Moselen who took the victory.
The U-18 boys was also hotly contested and early round stand-outs included Jamie Ploughman (WBHS) along with Harry Bergman (Kerikeri HS) and good friend Callum Roberston-Barnes who all put on an impressive display of surfing.
Dylan Cook (WBHS) also put on a solid performance claiming a last minute win in his semi-final to feature in his first final this year.
It was a slow final with all surfers struggling to find good scoring opportunities.
Sergio Hansen (Kaitaia College) also was impressive, but in the end Matt Jensen (Bream Bay College) put on a powerful display to claim his first ever victory at a Northland event, moving him into pole position on the series ratings.
The girls divisions continued to show excellent form with a number of top and aspiring young female athletes coming up through the ranks.
In the U-14 girls Grace Pevats (Whangarei Girls High School) continued her dominance in the division putting on a real show in the clean Sandy Bay waves.
Hot on her heels was Nicole Robinson (WGHS) and Kate Moyle (Kerikeri HS).
The division also saw the new face of Nikki Ross (Okaihau College) who made the trip all the way from Waimamaku Beach in the Hokianga.
Meg Robinson (WGHS) and Portia Olner-Kemp (WGHS) continued their good form both impressing in the semi-finals of the U-16 girls.
However, it was the dominant and in-form Billie Scott (WGHS) who took top honours in the division ahead of Olner-Kemp in the Final.
Nyeena Weeds (Kerikeri HS) also put on a strong performance placing third.
Emily Brunker (WGHS) was the sole competitor in the U-18 girls division and enjoyed surfing alongside the U-16 girls finals.
Brunker was a Northland Team Member in 2014 and put on another strong performance.
The third and final event of the 2015 Northland Scholastics Surfing Series is set for June 26 in the Far North.
From here the Northland Surfing association will select a team to represent the region at the 2015 Surfing New Zealand National Scholastics Championships to be held in Gisborne September 28 – October 2.
The Northland Surfing Association is seeking any sponsorship opportunities to support the 2015 Northland Surfing Team on their Nationals campaign.
U-14 Boys 1 Max Brunker (WBHS), 2 Thomas Robinson (WC), 3 Tom Parker (Huanui College), 4 Bassy Waldron (Rodney College).
U-16 Boys 1 Jamahl Moselen (RAS), 2 Tom Norton (Bream Bay College), 3 Joseph Critchfield (Rodney College), 4 Kalani Hansen (Kaitaia College).
U-18 Boys 1 Matt Jensen (Bream Bay College), 2 Kohl Mase (Pompallier ), 3 Sergio Hansen (Kaitaia College), 4 Dylan Cooke (WBHS).
U-14 Girls 1 Grace Pevats (WGHS), 2 Nicole Robinson (WGHS), 3 Kate Moyle (Kerikeri HS), 4 Natalie Newbold (WGHS), 5 Nikki Ross (Okaihau College).
U-16 Girls 1 Billie Scott (WGHS), 2 Portia Olner-Kemp (WGHS), 3 Nyeena Weeds (Kerikeri HS), 4 Meg Robinson (WGHS).
U-18 Girls 1 Emily Brunker (WGHS).
HOME TURF: Under 14 boys winner Max Brunker pumps out another wave at Sandy Bay. - PHOTO/Tony Baker