Surfing action heats up in Gisborne

Finn Vette. Image courtesy of Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine.

It didn’t take long for the action to heat up on day one of the 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships held at Gisborne on Monday, as regional teams from around the country attempted to keep a clean slate through the first rounds.

After a night of strong onshore winds and rain, the swell remained surprisingly clean at the northern end of Makorori Beach which was sheltered from the north east winds.

Waves of around the 1.0m mark pushed through consistently throughout the day allowing the first rounds of all boys divisions to be contested.

Bragging rights were spread evenly across the teams as individual performances highlighted the day. Notably it was local surfer Finn Vette, the youngest of the Gisborne Team that posted the day’s highest total heat score of 16.43 points out of a possible 20 in his Under 14 Boys heat.

Vette is fresh back from Japan where he watched his sister compete at the World Junior Championships, obviously feeding off surfing amongst some of the best surfers in the world while overseas.

Vette also claimed the highest single wave score of the day with an 8.87 out of 10.

Vette was followed closely by Canterbury’s Conor McLennan who surfed to an impressive 16.10 point heat total in the Under 18 Boys Division.

The long running lefthanders suited the natural footer who has spent a lot of time honing his skills at Raglan’s point breaks while attending the Raglan Surf Academy for the past three years.

McLennan led seven out of eight Canterbury team members through to the second round of the event with only one surfer being relegated to the repechage round.

Defending champions Taranaki had to rely on a powerful performance from Reef Matthews to see them through at the end of the day in the Under 18 Boys Division.

Matthews was joined by team mates Hunter Peterson, Lucca Lind, Jack Luke, Sam Dingle, Tom Butland and Kava Matthews who all advanced to the second round.

A near full strength West Coast/Tasman Team travelled north for the event this year. Two of their juniors advanced through to the second round and avoided the repechage rounds.

Jacob Fitzgerald placed second in his heat to Northland’s Tom Robinson while Cade O’Shae placed second to Waikato surfer Jayden Willoughby.

A number of their team mates will be back in action in the repechage rounds on day two of the event in a bid to make it back into the main draw.

Conditions are expected to improve for day two of the event with favourable northwest winds and a good swell remaining throughout the day.

The girls divisions will hit the water as well as the repechage rounds of the boys divisions that were contested on day one.

With no elimination rounds completed at the event, all teams remain on full points but day two will see the first surfers eliminated from the event.

Please see below for results from day one of the 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships held at Northern Makorori, Gisborne on Monday.

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