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Strong Gisborne contingent for Piha

A strong contingent of Gisborne talent will descend on Piha this weekend for the start of the 2021 National Surfing Championships.

Over a dozen local surfers will represent Gisborne Boardriders Club over the week-long competition, which starts tomorrow.

Gisborne Boardriders surfing development officer Flo Bub said the club had put aside money for competitive surfing.

“We have set $2500 aside for groms to get to national events . . . to support our aspiring surfers in the best possible way.”

The club will be running video-reviewed training sessions before all national-level events.

Bub said the club's plan was to support the 10 best groms to travel to events together and push each other to improve their surfing.

“Team selection is based on junior club rankings at the end of each year,” he said.

Gisborne Boardriders have been tipped as a team to watch in the race for the club title. Dunedin's South Coast Boardriders are the titleholders.

Gisborne have a strong team of accomplished surfers. Among them are two-time u19 women's division winner Saffi Vette, who is graduating to open women this year, and her brother Finn, the top u16 male surfer in the country.

Finn Vette will likely take confidence from his u16 title in the King of the Point competition at Raglan and his second placing in the open division of the Gisborne Boardriders competition in which he outscored former World Surf League Championship Tour competitors Ricardo Christie and Maz Quinn.

Five-time national champion Daniel Procter will also be hoping to add to his trophy cabinet in the longboard division.

Gisborne Boardriders team members travelling to Piha are Ollie Tong and Gabe Lobb (u14 boys), Mahia Braithwaite (u14 girls), Asia Braithwaite (u16 girls), Finn Vette (u16 boys) and Saffi Vette (open women).

In the longboarding divisions, the club will be represented by Geordie Sawyer, Jay Ryan-Emerre and Procter.

In the masters divisions, Benny Hutchings, John Gisby, Ross Moodie and Patrick Braithwaite will all compete.

Ngati Porou Boardriders representative Lillian Te Hau-Ward said no one from their club would be competing but they had their “fingers crossed” they would send surfers to the 2022 national championships.

OFF TO THE NATIONAL champS: Gisborne Boardriders Club surfing development officer Flo Bub (left) has high hopes for club members at the national champs at Piha. They include (from second left): Finn Vette, Saffi Vette, Mahia Braithwaite, Gabe Lobb, Ollie Tong, Jay Ryan-Emerre, Asia Braithwaite and Geordie Sawyer.Picture supplied