Gathering achieved aims
The inaugural Gathering of Stoke Gisborne Longboard Classic scored epic waves at Gisborne’s Midway Beach on Easter Sunday with local surfers Daryn McBride and Hannah Kohn the victors in the premier open men and women longboard divisions.
An excellent 16.3-point heat total in the final secured the win for McBride who lives in Gisborne but says he has strong connections with beaches all over the country.
“The final was stacked,” he said.
“I stayed away from the others and was lucky to get a few little runners and take the win.
“These days I enter the events primarily for my own mental health.
“I spend way too much time on my own, and the events are my way of getting social interaction.”
He said his magic Anderson longboard has inspired him and given him a new level of confidence.
“I don’t think of winning, but that’s been the result of a shift in focus, if that makes sense.”
McBride also won the Old Mal division, beating Dan Croskery and although it was more of an exhibition heat, McBride, as a purist, sees the Old Mal division as a celebration of the past, honouring the shapers and surfers that paved the way.
In the men’s longboard division, McBride defeated Dylan Barnfield (Ohope), winner of the Sandy Bay leg of the series.
Barnfield posted a 13.37 point heat total to edge out Brent Rasby (Gis) who finished on 13.30 points for third place. Dan Hooker finished in fourth with an 11.97 point heat total.
Hannah Kohn won the Women’s Longboard Division in front of a good pack of friends and whanau which she was happy to celebrate with.
“Having good, clean waves always makes a final more fun. It takes the pressure off because there are plenty of waves for everyone to make the most of” said Kohn of her win after surfing to an impressive 15.50 point heat total to defeat Abi Daunton (Gis).
“Abi and I have had a couple of close finishes but it’s never a battle. We are good mates and are both laid back in the water so it’s more fun than anything else. I’m always stoked to see her rock up to the beach where we can surf together, competition or not” added Kohn about her match up with Daunton.
Daunton finished on a 13.53-point heat total with local surfer Jay Ryan– Emerre third and Alice McKenzie (Gis) fourth.
Jay Ryan–Emerre was back in action in the Junior Longboard winning her division alongside Mount Maunganui surfer Sonny Eades who claimed the Under 18 Boys Division over Geordie Sawyer (Gis).
Scott Pitkethley (Gis) surfed to a big win in the Over 50 Men’s Division defeating James Atutahi (Mnt), Andrew McCulloch (Gis) and Jinx Johnson (Gis) who finished second through fourth in the final.
It was another local surfer in Mike Yukich who claimed the Over 60 Men’s Division ahead of Kevin Croskey (Gis) and Guy Milford (Gis).
The Gathering of Stoke also staged a Novice Division for those that are new to events. Ben Lay made the most of putting on the coloured singlet for the first time with Scott Gardiner finishing in second.
The one-day event was hosted by Gisborne Boardriders and is the fourth event of the New Zealand Longboard Series for the men and fifth for the women. The event features divisions ranging from Open Men and Women through to Under 18 Boys and Girls plus Over 50 and Over 60 and the Old Mal Division.
A big thank you to event partners – Gisborne Rentals, C-Skins Wetsuits, Authentic Pilates Studio, Far East Coffee.
Open Men: Daryn McBride (Gis) 1; Dylan Barnfield (Ohope) 2; Brent Rasby (Gis) 3; Dan Hooker 4.
Open Women: Hannah Kohn (Gis) 1; Abi Daunton (Gis) 2; Jay Ryan–Emerre (Gis) 3; Alice McKenzie (Gis) 4.
Over-50 Men: Scott Pitkethley (Gis) 1; James Atutahi (Mnt) 2; Andrew McCulloch (Gis) 3 Jinx Johnson (Gis) 4.
Over-60 Men: Mike Yukich (Gis) 1; Kevin Croskery (Gis) 2; Guy Midford (Gis) 3.
Junior Boys Longboard: Sonny Eades (Mnt) 1; Geordie Sawyer (Gis) 2.
Junior Girls Longboard: Jay Ryan–Emerre (Gis) 1; Moss Patea–Taylor (Gis) 2.
Old Mal division: Daryn McBride (Gis) 1; Dan Croskery (Gis) 2.
Pictures to follow.
Meanwhile, two of the elder statesmen of Gisborne surfing made an impact at the 2021 Fisher & Paykel Easter Masters held in Taranaki over Easter.
In the “Super Groms” section for surfers aged 65 to 69, multiple national title winner John Gisby finished second to Barry MacCulloch and ahead of Mark Wilkinson.
In the “Surf Gods” section for those aged 70 to 74, Ross Moodie surfed to victory, holding off the challenge of Auckland’s Phil Bonham and Omata’s Alan Gargan.