Top Kiwi surfers heading to Papamoa

Red beach surfer Thomas Kibblewhite on his way to a fifth national title at Piha in January. Photo: Cory/NZ Surfing Magazine.

Papamoa Beach will play host to the Barrett Homes New Zealand Longboard and Stand Up Paddle Open this weekend.

The top Kiwi surfers from around New Zealand, including a number of high profile Bay of Plenty athletes, will battle it out on the waves during the annual two-day event.

Red Beach surfer and new National Champion Thomas Kibblewhite will look to keep a clean slate this weekend contesting the Sky Optics Men's Longboard Division.

Kibblewhite won the National Championships at Piha in January after an extended time out of the water due to injury and only a couple of weeks after he returned to the water.

He'll also contest the Copious Logger Division where he will meet the likes of ex-local Daryn McBride who now resides at Port Waikato and local Mount surfer Duncan Cameron, two excellent exponents of the traditional longboard.

Gisborne surfer Kelly Ryan will also contest the division after recently winning the Makorori First Light event held at Gisborne two weeks ago.

Stand Up Paddleboard veteran Shane Murrell of Auckland will defend his title in the Starboard Men's SUP with a bunch of young talent keen to meet up in the final.

Taranaki's Kane Rowson makes his first appearance at the event after winning the Taranaki SUP Classic held at Waitara two weeks ago. Others to look out for include Whangamata's Karlos Aarsen, Kaikoura's Alan Te Moananui and Auckland's Ollie Houghton.

Houghton will be the favourite going in to the Starboard King of the Waves Race as well after winning the race in 2016 and also winning many of the domestic races here in New Zealand over the past twelve months.

The Barrett Homes NZ Longboard and SUP Open also provides opportunities for the older surfers keen to compete with the Sticky Johnson Over 40s and Over 50s Divisions.

These divisions have been dominated by Mount Maunganui surfers in the past, with Owen Barnes being two time defending champion in the Over 40s Division and Jeremy Williams winning the Over 50s Division.

Gisborne's Stella Smith will lead the females at the event after winning the National Championships in the SUP Division while Auckland's Sasha Brownlee is the early favourite in the Women's Longboard Division.

The 2017 Barrett Homes New Zealand Longboard and SUP Open takes place at Papamoa Domain this Saturday and Sunday, February 18-19, from 8am – 4pm daily. The Starboard King of the Waves Race takes place on Sunday.

PAST WINNERS OF THE BARRETT HOMES NZ LONGBOARD AND SUP OPEN:

Men's Longboard Division
2014 – Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach)
2015 – Owen Barnes (Mnt)
2016 – Glen Johnson (Auck)

Men's Stand Up Paddleboard Division
2014 – Shayne Baxter (Chch)
2015 – Braedon Williams (WGM)
2016 – Shane Murrell (Auck)

Women's Longboard Division
2014 – Mischa Davis (Piha)
2015 – Alexis Poulter (Waihi Bch)
2016 – Gabi Paul (Piha)

Women's Stand Up Paddleboard Division
2014 – Annabel Anderson (Wanaka)
2015 – Alexis Poulter (Waihi Bch)
2016 – Stella Smith (Gis)

Over 40's Longboard Division
2014 – Daryn McBride (Port Waikato)
2015 – Owen Barnes (Mnt)
2016 – Owen Barnes (Mnt)

Over 50's Longboard Division
2014 – Grant Cochrane (Chch)
2015 – N/A
2016 – Jeremy Williams (Mnt)

King of the Waves SUP Race
2014 – Armie Armstrong (Rag)
2015 – Armie Armstrong (Rag)
2016 – Ollie Houghton (Auck)


Defending Starboard SUP Division Champion Shane Murrell. Photo: Col/Surf2Surf.com



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Sunset along the Mount Beach. Photo: Wendy van der Vyver. Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. photos@thesun.co.nz







Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. photos@thesun.co.nz