Showing they’ve still got it
SURFING by Matt Tong at Piha
LOCAL surfing legends, 38-time national titleholder and world master champion John Gisby and 1975 National Champion Benny Hutchings, have both progressed through to the finals of the over-60 division in the National Surfing Championships at Piha.
Day 3 of competition brought a drop in swell size, lighter winds and sunny skies, but the surf conditions remained shifty and challenging through the different tides during the day.
The more experienced surfers were able to navigate the tricky conditions, Gisby showing that he’s still got what it takes, cracking a great top turn off the lip to earn a score of 7.5.
Experience along with a good dose of hustle helped Patrick “Magoo” Braithwaite surf his way to some good-scoring running right-handers in both his over-30 and over-40 heats.
Braithwaite earned over 12 points in each of his heats with big forehand attacks and his go-to layback to progress comfortably to the finals of the over-30 division and semifinals of the over-40s.
Chris “Bugsy” Malone, still surfing for his hometown Gisborne despite now living in Raglan, also surfed with power and flow in his over-40 first-round heat to find a 13.25-heat total and leave his opposition in his wake. He will be joining Braithwaite in the over-40 semifinals.
Asia Braithwaite surfed well, but was unable to find the waves with the most scoring potential in her under-18 and u16 heats and was knocked out in the semifinals of both divisions.
Today’s forecast looks to have another slight drop in surf size in store, with light winds again, to welcome the addition of the u14s, longboard and other senior divisions to the draw.
Gisborne surfers Ollie Tong and Gabe Lobb in the u14s, Patrick Braithwaite in the over-35 semifinals, and Geordie Sawyer, Jay Ryan-Emerre and Daniel Procter in the longboard division will all be in action on Day 4.