The penultimate event of the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour 2011 was held at one of our favourite summer holiday destinations, Mt Maunganui. A location renowned for its warm waters, classic white sand beaches, and perfect longboarding waves.
The long summer days are becoming noticeably shorter as the sun dips to the horizon in the early evening. The swell certainly hung around the whole weekend with a consistent 2-3ft wave offering very contestable conditions for the surfers to show off their skills.
Event No 5, Port Waikato is the Final event on the Tour and is to be held on the 4th & 5th March. Stay tuned to see the Champions crowned for 2011!
Sport: Longboard Surfing
Series: 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour - Event 4
Date: 4-6 February 2011
Location: Tay Street, Mount Maunganui
Event Info: Surfing New Zealand and Hyundai
Hat-trick Of Wins For Australian Constable
Australian surfer Josh Constable has secured a hat-trick of wins on the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour here in New Zealand after winning his third consecutive event completed at Mount Maunganui today (Sunday 20th February).
Another day of near-perfect waves and fine weather greeted surfers for the final day of the event with clean head-high 1.0m waves predominantly fanned by offshore winds.
In the Open Men's Division final Constable managed to secure two top-scoring waves in the first five minutes leaving the other surfers needing a combination of scores to catch up.
"I wanted to capitalise while the conditions were really nice," he said of his 17.90 point heat total.
In the battle for the minor placings, Kibblewhite held second place with long hang-10s and a big reo to finish on one wave scoring a total of 13.80 out of a possible 20 points. However he was pipped in the last minute by American surfer Taylor Jensen who secured an 8.0 out of 10 late to finish with a heat total of 15.4 and second place.
Local surfer Ant McColl also surfed well securing an 11.5 point total heat but that was not enough against the international challenge and he finished fourth.
Earlier, the day began with tightly contested semifinals that saw Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck) and Ant McColl defeat last year's tour champion Dylan Barnfield (Ohope) and Kane Rogers (Auck).
In the second semi-final, Taylor Jensen showed his winning form with long nose rides, big turns and air-drop floaters to progress alongside Josh Constable who together eliminated Phil Morris (Auck) and Kelly Ryan (Gis).
In the other divisions, Brian Young (Orewa) took the win in the last minutes of the Over 40 Men's Division pushing local surfer Eric Burggraaf into second. Young says he started the final badly after following his nephew, Kibblewhite, over to a more secluded right-handed to the north of the main peak. But he was unable to get a wave there and had to paddle down the beach to the more consistent spot where he picked up some great waves to beat Burggraaf, Steve Tyro (Rag) and Mal Brady (Mnt).
Young has now won three from three events in the Over 40 Men's Division to cement his place at the top.
In the Under 18 Boys Division Hone Douglas (Whakatane) showed his style on a couple of nice right-hand runners. The all Bay of Plenty final was a familiar interchange but Douglas says it was great to win one at Mount Maunganui over his opponents Joe Stewart, Matt Craig and Blake Barnfield.
The busy day also included a crowd-pleasing King of the Waves stand up paddle boarding surf race. The 22 competitors took part in the 3.0km race, completing three laps of the M-shaped course which tested their wave knowledge and paddle skills.
The event was won by Armie Armstrong (Raglan) who says the race was really exciting through the 1.0m waves. Stand-up surfer Daniel Kereopa (Raglan) was nearly a casualty in the race, falling on his board but he managed to recover to take the Stand Up Paddleboard Division final. Up against hard competition, Kereopa says his strategy was to put pressure on the other guys and catch some waves at the start and it paid off as he pushed past Shayne Baxter (Chch), Karl Aarsen (WGM) and Sean Hovell (Gis).
In the Over 50 Men's Division, winner Mike Thomson (Rag) says he struggled to catch the waves on the shifty beach break but found a couple of longer rides late in the heat. "The waves were a bit of a tease" he says of his win over Grant Cochrane (Chch), David Storck (Auck) and Rupert Newbold (Whangarei).
In the Women's Division, Australian Nava Young was able to do what her partner Jensen was unable to, taking the win off fellow Australian Georgia Young in second with Kiwis Shelley Jones (Auck) in third and Anna Gooding (Mnt) in fourth.
The remaining event on the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour follows:
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 5, 4-5 March, Port Waikato (6-star)
For further information on the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour please contact Surfing New Zealand's Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email email@example.com. Alternatively contact Hyundai Brand Manager Devyn Cantley on 0275541548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web clips and newsfeeds will be distributed free of charge from each event. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.
High resolution action images of the surfing at all events on the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour will be available to media free of charge upon request.