Gisborne’s Chris Malone in two finals
Oakura surfer Bachelor Tipene made a victorious return to the Aotearoa Maori Titles by winning the open men’s division in emphatic style at Waitara on Saturday.
Former Gisborne surfer and national titleholder Chris Malone, now based in Raglan, was third in the open men’s final and second in the over-35 division.
Malone’s 14.2-point total in the open final made him the top-placed goofy-foot surfer.
Malone’s son Navryn reached the final of the under-16 boys’ division, finishing fourth, and the semifinals of the u14 division.
Waitara surfer Zhana Hutchieson claimed her third straight title in the open women’s division, helping Te Atiawa claim the Iwi of Origin award.
Organisers decided to push through the entire event in one day, with the final hooter sounding well after the sun had set into the Tasman Sea. The surf pumped all day with a solid one-metre swell.
Tipene competes nationally only occasionally, and had not attended the Maori titles for nearly a decade.
He posted 15.70 in the final after an 8.93-point ride on his first wave.
No.1 seed and national representative Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach) finished second, on 14.5pts. Taranaki’s Danny Kaweroa was fourth, behind Malone.
Hutchieson returned from Australia’s Gold Coast to defend her title in front of friends and family.
Raglan surfer Brie Bennett was second to Hutchieson in the open women’s contest, but the positions were reversed in the u18 division, where Bennett retained the title she won last year.
Taranaki’s Natasha Gouldsbury was third in both the open and u18 divisions.
Raglan’s Kora Cooper was the only surfer to claim two titles at the event — in the u16 and 14 boys’ divisions. He also finished second to Waitara’s Sonny Rapira-Martin in the u18s.
Results of finals —
Open men: Bachelor Tipene (Taranaki) 15.7, 1; Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach) 14.5, 2; Chris Malone (Raglan) 14.2, 3; Danny Kaweroa (Tara) 12.8, 4.
Open women: Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) 12.6, 1; Brie Bennett (Rag) 11.5, 2; Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) 10.7, 3; Tash Civil (Dunedin), 8.17, 4.
Under-18 boys: Sonny Rapira-Martin (Tara) 14.4, 1; Kora Cooper (Rag) 13.9, 2; Jayden Willoughby (Rag) 13.5, 3; Josef Jungwirth (Rag) 10.2, 4.
U16 boys: Kora Cooper (Rag) 12.9, 1; Jayden Willoughby (Rag) 12.5, 2; Josef Jungwirth (Rag) 9.23, 3; Navryn Malone (Rag) 8.24, 4.
U14 boys: Kora Cooper (Rag) 12.5, 1; Jayden Willoughby (Rag) 10.9, 2; Ryder Pennington (Tara) 10.5, 3; Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Sandy Bay) 10.3, 4.
U18 girls: Brie Bennett (Rag) 12.5, 1; Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) 11.76, 2; Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) 5.96, 3; Kahana Ngaia (Tara) 3.8, 4.
Over-35 men: Dwaine Mataa (Tara) 14.4, 1; Chris Malone (Rag) 12.8, 2; Danny Kaweroa (Tara) 12.7, 3; Michael Lewis (Tara) 7.5, 4.
O45 men: Darren Kiwi (Mnt) 15.1, 1; Maioha Kelly (Rag) 10.9, 2; Pipi Ngaia (Tara) 9.3, 3; Jason Matthews (Tara) 8.5, 4.
Longboard: Matt Rawson (New South Wales) 13.2, 1; Josephine Moore (Tara) 6.9, 2; Charles Te Kauwhata (Whangarei) 4.77, 3.
Stand-up paddleboard: Jamie Andrews (Tara) 13.4, 1; Alan Te Moananui (Kaikoura) 12.2, 2; Matt Rawson (NSW) 7.17, 3.