Day two (Saturday 4th February) of the 2012 Hyundai Tour event 3 at Sandy Bay took place in almost identical conditions as day one. Small, messy waves less than 1.0m prevailed for most of the day with strong onshore winds. However surfers took to the water with gusto and the various age group divisions took place in contestable conditions.
Over 40 Men's Division
First up was the Over 40 Men's Division. With only a small number of entries, it was up to the seasoned veteran's to set the standard. 2011 Hyundai Tour Over 40's Champion Brian Young (Orewa) stormed his first heat of the event picking off a couple of good scoring rides in the challenging conditions. "It was really hard to pick a good one out there. That first left was a good one, and I was lucky to get a couple of back-up rides" he said. Young advanced through his heat with a combined total heat score of 10.83 out 20, ahead of Rhys Powell (Omaha) in second place.
This year saw Guy Rencher (Mount Maunganui) return to the Longboard competition scene. Rencher, who has been based in the UK for the past five years, dominated his first heat winning convincingly and showed that his absence certainly hasn't taken away his competitive edge.
The other stand-out of the opening round of the Over 40 Men's Division was Steve Tyro (Christchurch) with the highest heat score of the round with 11.0 out of 20. Tyro, who is originally from Christchurch, picked off a couple of good long lefts and showed why he is regularly in the top ranks of the division.
Other surfers to progress through to the semi-finals included: Tatana Heke (Mount Maunganui), Whare Heke (Mount Maunganui) and Pete Taylor (Whangaporoa).
Over 50 Men' Division
The action started to heat up in the quarter-finals of the Over 50 Men's Division with a number of stellar performances by the seniors of the Hyundai Tour.
Former South African Veterans Champion Mark Hoyle (Orewa) smashed a couple of big turns on his opening two waves surging into the lead and winning his heat well ahead of his rivals with a 13.0 out of 20. Hoyle, who has been living in New Zealand for less than a year, was stoked to be competing at Sandy Bay. "This is my second contest here, after the 2011 Schnapper Rocks Polar Bear Classic, and my family and I are pleased to be back here. This place is so beautiful and the vibe around the contest is amazing" he said.
Top scorer of the round was Grant Cochrane (Christchurch) with a combined heat score of 14.0 out of 20 in the fourth heat. Cochrane, who is a past Age Group Division Champion, dominated the heat from the get go squeezing Northland veteran Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach) into second place with 12.57 out of 20.
In the first semifinal Mike Thomson (Raglan) continued his dominance winning the heat with a 12.16 point heat total ahead of David Storck (Piha) who scored 11.0 out of 20. Both surfers are elder statesman of the Hyundai Tour and will no doubt be excited to do battle at Sandy Bay in yet another final together.
In the second semifinal Mark Hoyle (Orewa) relished the increased wave size belting a couple of nice long rides, winning the heat with 11.17 out of 20. Close behind him was Grant Cochrane (Christchurch) scoring a combined heat score of 9.40.
Open Women's Division
The crème da le crème of the Women's Longboard Division took to the water with a strong trans-Tasman presence in the competition.
Local surfer Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) showed why she is one of New Zealand's top all-round competitors taking the out the highest combined heat score of the round with a 12.17 out of 20. Paul picked off a good right-hander in the opening minutes of the heat then drifted across to the left for the remainder of her heat. Paul is real crowd favourite, and always aims to please. " It's great being back at home and surfing in front of my local crew. All my family and friends are here so I am happy I could put on a good performance for them all. I am stoked" she said.
Belinda Goodwin (Mount Maunganui) dominated heat two scoring a couple of nice nose-rides, ahead of fellow Mount surfer Kelsi Efford (Mount Maunganui).
It was the battle of young and old in heat 3 with Anna Jolly (Piha) narrowly beating up and comer 18 year old Sam Suendermann (Victoria, Australia). Jolly, who celebrated her 40th Birthday at Sandy Bay, has had a stellar year so far winning both the National Women's Longboard Title and Senior Women's Title at Piha earlier this year. The two surfers will face off again in the semi-finals.
Mischa Davis (Piha) continued her winning form dominating heat four in style. Davis picked off a couple of good, long left handers and linked a number of nice off the top turns with some smooth cut-backs. Davis won the heat with a combined score of 11.67 out of 20 ahead of young Australian Molly Powell (Victoria, Australia),
Stand-Up Paddleboard Division
It was a high scoring exchange between Karlos Aarsen (Whangamata) and Shayne Baxter (Christchurch) in the first semifinal of the SUP Division. Aarsen secured two solid rides gaining a combined total of 12.06 out of 20. But it was Baxter who picked off the higher scoring waves gaining a total of 13.44 out of 20. Baxter, who is the current National SUP Champion, combined speed with power to move through to his third consecutive final in 2012.
The second semifinal was more one-sided with Daniel Kereopa (Raglan) completely dominating the heat from start to finish. Kereopa, who is a renowned all round waterman, relished in the increased wave size and destroyed every wave he rode. Kereopa scored the highest combined heat score of the round with a 14.17 out of a possible 20. Fellow paddler Armie Armstrong (Raglan) placed second with 9.57, progressing into the SUP final.
The opening round of the Junior Men's Division took to the water after lunch with a slight increase in swell and an improvement in conditions.
In the first semifinal Sam Poulter (Raglan) dominated his competitors catching the best waves on offer. Poulter has a powerful style and the increase in size suited his style perfectly. Poulter won the heat with a 11.0 out of 20, ahead of Luke Crouch from Orewa who scored 5.94 out of 20.
The second heat saw one of the highest heat scores of the event surfed by young Sunshine Coaster Nic Jones (Australia). The stylish natural footer smashed every wave he caught scoring an 8.3 ride on his second waves and backing it up with another solid score, ending the heat in first place with a 16.50 heat total. In second was Northland surfer and New Zealand short board representative Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata). This is Moretti's first longboard contest, and he showed why he is one of the top New Junior surfers absolutely belting the top out of a solid right hander on his first wave.
The "feel good" story of the Junior Division was young Bay of Island's surfer Puroro Baker (Russell). The 10 year old from Elliots Beach in Northland enjoyed surfing with the big boys and has been a great addition around the contest site with his inquisitive personality and cheeky smile. Baker surfed a nice long left all the way to the beach, and after his maiden Hyundai Tour outing will no doubt be a regular fixture in years to come.
At the completion of the surfing event, organisers chose to run the SUP Paddle Race. Tricky conditions created havoc at points throughout the race, but it was the seasoned paddling veterans who negotiated the 30 odd strong pack to come home in the top 5. Raglan paddlers Armie Armstrong and Daniel Kereopa took first and second place respectively. Annabel Anderson was the first women home coming in 6th overall.
Results SUP Race - Sandy Bay:
1st Armie Armstrong (Raglan), 2nd Daniel Kereopa (Raglan), 3rd Sean Hovell (Gisborne), 4th Shayne Baxter (Christchurch), 5th Jeremy Stephenson (Auckland)
Day Three will see the highly anticipated ASP Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) Open Men's Division take to the water, with the annual Tran-Tasman Team Event also scheduled.
The 2012 Hyundai Tour travels to Raglan, Piha, Sandy Bay and Mount Maunganui before the season concludes at Port Waikato in early March. Overall the Hyundai Tour boasts $20,000 in prize money.
The remaining events for the 2012 Hyundai Tour follow:
Hyundai Tour Event 4, 18-19 February, Mount Maunganui (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 5, 2-3 March, Port Waikato (6-star)
Entry into all events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under "events." Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in. The 2012 Hyundai Tour is expected to receive high entry levels at each location, so entries will need to be in well before the cut off dates to assure participants get a slice of the action.
For further information on the 2012 Hyundai Tour and the first of five events, please contact Surfing New Zealand's Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org