This is the official Shortboard highlights reel from the 2012 Hyundai National Surfing Championships, that were staged at Piha beach in New Zealand.
Featuring Open Mens, Open Women's & U18's Shortboard divisions
MUSIC: Cutting The Strings - Civilian Sol - soundcloud.com/pukeko
Billy Stairmand (Raglan) stormed to his second victory claiming national title after a near flawless performance in the final of the Open Men's Division at the 2012 Hyundai National Surfing Championships held at Piha Beach, Auckland today (Saturday 21st January).
Billy (Raglan) stormed to his second victory claiming national title after a near flawless performance in the final of the Open Men's Division at the 2012 Hyundai National Surfing Championships held at Piha Beach, Auckland today (Saturday 21st January).
The young 22 year old surfer is ranked 79th in the world and New Zealand's third highest ranked surfer internationally. He is one of but a few in the world that managed to claim a victory over 11 times world champion Kelly Slater in 2011.
He won his first national title in 2010 at Gisborne in a similar fashion after getting a massive lead on his opponents and never relenting.
"It is good to start the year winning a national title, I am going overseas soon so it is good for my confidence and everything like that but yeah, at the moment, a national title, I can't believe it at the moment" said Stairmand.
Thandi Durham -- Tipene (Taranaki) claimed her first Open Women's Division title in style today posting a 5.40 on her last wave to jump from third to first in the dying seconds of the final.
"This is one of my biggest goals that I have ever achieved" said Durham - Tipene.
"I have been living at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast and seeing the likes of Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, all the best surfers, surfing everyday, it is pretty hard not to improve over there" she said obviously happy to get her last wave and show how much she has improved.
Durham -- Tipene's husband Bachelor won the Peter Byers award for the most outstanding performance at the event. He was awarded the prize for exceptional surfing throughout the whole week. "I am stoked for Bach my husband as well. Winning the Peter Byers 'Most Outstanding Performance' award is pretty special. He was bummed he didn't pick up a title but I know he will be gunning for it next year." she added.
Placing second in the final was Mischa Davis (Piha) who led for over 20 minutes but came up short on the final hooter. Davis scored 8.60 to Durham -- Tipene's 9.43. The two oldest of the finalists fended off the challenge of the younger girls with Ella Williams (WGM) finishing in third and Jayda Martin -- Fitzharris (Gis) finishing fourth.
Tane Wallis won the Under 18 Boys Division in the challenging low tide conditions. After Elliot Paerata -- Reid (Piha) opened the final with a 7.0 point ride, Wallis came back into contention with rides of 7.83 and 6.03 to control the final. Wallis then went to work protecting his lead first watching over Paerata -- Reid then Ben Poulter (Rag) after he came back in to contention late in the final. Paerata -- Reid eventually finished the final in second place ahead of Dune Kennings (WGM) in third and Ben Poulter (Rag) in fourth.
Open Men's Division
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 17.1, 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 9.5, 2, Tim O'Connor (Mnt), 9, 3, Matt Hewitt (Mnt), NS, 4
Thandi Durham - Tipene (Tara), 9.43, 1, Mischa Davis (Auck), 8.6, 2, Ella Williams (Whmata), 8.37, 3, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 5.73, 4
Under 18 Men's Division
Tane Wallis (Piha), 13.87, 1, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 12.07, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 11.13, 3, Ben Poulter (Rag), 10.8, 4
The Hyundai National Championships were first held in 1963 when they took place at Mount Maunganui. In its infancy, the event comprised Open Men's and Women's as well as Under 18 Men's divisions only. Since then it has grown to comprise a colossal 25 divisions across all disciplines and the 2012 edition will crown New Zealand's 500th national champion.
Twenty five national titles went up for grabs at the Hyundai National Championships this week. As well as the premier Open Men's and Open Women's Divisions, there was a further 23 divisions comprising of age groups from Under 14 through to Over 60s and also longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard, Bodyboard and Kneeboard disciplines.
For further information on the 2011 Hyundai National Championships www.surfingnz.co.nz