Raglan edges out the Bay in surf comp

The Raglan team were too strong at the inaugural Hurley New Zealand Club Championships in Whangamata, edging out the Bay of Plenty. File photo.

Raglan's talent-laden Point Boardriders Club conquered all comers at the inaugural Hurley New Zealand Club Championships at Whangamata over the weekend, walking away with titles in the Tag Team, Open Men's and Over 35s divisions.

The team from the West Coast, comprising four national title holders, went into the weekend as favourites on paper and lived up to their reputation.

The fresh event brought together top clubs from around New Zealand with surfers competing as a team rather than individuals. 

Despite the clean but small 0.5m – 1.0m waves, the teams enjoyed the new event format, cheering on their team mates and surfing for their respective clubs as much as themselves.

Point Boardriders cemented the win in the last event of the day, the Tag Team final, when they went head-to-head with Bay Boardriders of Mount Maunganui.  Point got the nod 59.4 points vs the Bay's 54.35, the win enough to tip the overall result in their favour.

The Point Boardriders team included Billy Stairmand, Luke Hughes, Caleb Cutmore, Chris Malone and Brie Bennett.

Hosts Whangamata Boardriders Club finished third in the final, unable to match the firepower of the top two teams and also finished third overall spurred on by local support scattered across the sand dunes.

Lion Rock Boardriders, surfing out of Piha, finished in fourth in the tag team despite a late comeback with three big rides from their captain Zen Wallis as their last surfer.  Their finals berth was not enough to hold down fourth overall at the event, Lion Rock ending in fifth with overall fourth place honours going to the Bay Boardriders second team.

Earlier in the day it was Point vs Bay going head-to-head again in the Open Men's Division via National Champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Matt Hewitt (Mnt).  The exchange went down to the last ride of the final surfed by Hewitt who fell excruciatingly short, leaving the win to Stairmand.

Whangamata Boardriders Club had Gauranga Ormond in the final as well but with the tide approaching low both he and Luke Hughes (Rag) could not buy a wave, and had to settle for third and fourth respectively.

Whangamata also fell short of a title in the Open Women's, that honour going to Elin Tawharu (Mnt) with Ella Williams finishing in second place ahead of Wini Paul (North Coast, Sandy Bay) and Gabrielle Paul (Lion Rock).

A second title went to the Tawharu family and the second Bay Boardriders team in the Under 20 Boys Division when he eclipsed the performances of Callum Chuter (Mnt), Shane Kraus (Maori Bay Boardriders) and Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) who finished second through fourth.

Point Boardriders first title of the day came via Chris Malone in the Over 35 Men's Division.  The dual national champion made easy work of the final getting two great rides in the first five minutes.  Owen Barnes (Mnt) finished second in the final ahead of Ben Kennings (WGM) in third and Sam Jackman (Muriwai) in fourth.

Teams for the Hurley New Zealand Club Championships comprised five surfers - two men, one female, one junior (under 20) and one senior (over 35).

The tag team event is a relay-styled format where team mates have a total of one hour to go out and catch three waves each in succession with the teams total points tallied to find an overall winner against the other clubs. 

On top of the tag team event, each surfer competed in their age group in standard heats to find division winners, with the points split evenly between the tag team format and the individual heats.

Overall Team Points

Point Boardriders, 7835

Bay Boardriders (Reo), 6990

Whangamata Boardriders, 6295

Bay Boardriders (Mako), 6200

Lion Rock Boardriders, 5625

North Coast Boardriders, 5345

Maori Bay Boardriders, 5180

Waihi Beach Boardriders, 5050



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Beauty after the storm. Photo: Tracy Hardy. Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. photos@thesun.co.nz