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Last of the year one of the best

SURFING

The last surfing competition of the year for Gisborne Boardriders was one of the best events of the year.

Over 60 local surfers competed in a star-studded line-up that included Ricardo Christie and brothers Maz and Jay Quinn.

Maz Quinn said on a social media post that it was good to get the “competitive juices hissing again” after a break from competing locally.

He made the open men’s final, which was won by his brother Jay, the standout surfer of the day.

Jay Quinn set the tone early, landing a massive air reverse into a tricky section of the wave in the first round.

He scored 8.5 for the wave, which is in the “excellent” range, and backed it up with a score of 5.7 for a combined heat total of 14.2.

The Quinn brothers were joined in the final by up-and-comer Finn Vette and Christie.

Vette has found a wealth of form in recent weeks, having won the under-16 boys’ division of the King and Queen of the Point competition at Manu Bay, Raglan, this month.

He took that form into the weekend’s competition, winning the best under-20 surfer title and placing second in the open division.

Vette said it was a “super fun” competition, and a great experience to surf with some of the world’s best.

“Surfing against Ricardo, Maz and Jay was special as they are my childhood idols.

“To go head to head with the best was always going to be a challenge, but something I enjoy as they don’t go easy on me.”

His sister Saffi Vette also had a great weekend in the water. She won the open women’s division and the $500 winner-take-all prize, after being the only surfer in her final to have a double-digit total.

A highlight was the performance of local surfing legend John Gisby in the over-60 division.

Gisby has won a record 38 national titles across every age-group from over-30s to over-60s.

The competition made the most of the pumping three-to-four-foot surf at Makorori.

Competitors were treated to some of the best waves the region has had in months, and they shredded the waves to pieces.

The swell wasn’t perfect and was slightly disorganised. A southerly overnight typically makes the early morning conditions a little messy, but that didn’t hold back the surfers.

They made quick work of the tricky waves to put on a showcase of local talent.

Gisborne Boardriders development officer Flo Bub said it was an “epic day” with fantastic competition in excellent conditions.

He said the day was so successful they had already had interest from sponsors about more events with prize money.

“We will have more opportunities after summer.”

Results of Gisborne Boardriders Club’s shortboard circuit contest at Makorori on Saturday —

Open: Jay Quinn (12.93) 1, Finn Vette (11.6) 2, Ricardo Christie (11.17) 3, Maz Quinn (7.5) 4.

Women: Saffi Vette (11.9) 1, Stella Smith (9.5) 2, Holly Quinn (9.17) 3, Asia Braithwaite (7.0) 4.

60 and over: John Gisby (10.67) 1, Graham Breckell (6.53) 2, Mike Yukich (6.5) 3, Ross Moodie (3.83) 4, Marguerite Vujcich (3.5) 5.

50 and over: Francois Sneedon (10.83) 1, Sam Phillips (7.67) 2, Anton Lobb (5.33) 3, Andrew McCulloch (5.17) 4, Don Pearson (2.67) 5.

U14: Dale Comhout (12.67) 1, Riku Gordon (11.83) 2, Gabe Lobb (8.33) 3, Max Phillips (6.27) 4.

U12: Ollie Tong (11.5) 1, Milo Livingston (8.33) 2, Luca Tong (4.83) 3, Brad Wilkie (2.17) 4.

CARVE-UP Eli Livingston cuts back off the lip of a wave in Gisborne Boardriders’ shortboard circuit contest on Saturday. Picture by Paul Rickard