Tyro and Waite Claim Titles at the Duke Festival While Mouldey and Groube Families Sweep Junior Divisions

Monday 27 March 2023, 10:22AM

By Surfing New Zealand Inc


Jack Tyro on the nose.
Jack Tyro on the nose. Credit: Warren Hawke / Surferswall


Jack Tyro (Chch) and Mia Waite (Aus) claimed the premier longboard divisions at the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing completed at New Brighton Beach, Christchurch today (Sunday 26th March).  They were joined by Tao Mouldey (Mnt) and Chloe Groube (Pau) who won the premier junior divisions at the event.

Christchurch turned it on for the final day of the event with the best conditions of the three days, clean 1.0m waves and offshore winds all morning before the afternoon sea breezes moved in during the afternoon just before the event wrapped up.

Tyro beat defending event champion Zen Wallis (Piha) in the final after making a blistering start with a 7.83 ride as the hooter sounded.  Wallis fought back with two of his own top rides to temporarily take the lead but with five minutes to go, Tyro got another 6.37 point ride to seal the win.

“I honestly couldn’t hear the scores much with all the wind at the end but I was really stoked with my first wave, the waves were average in the end after being so good this morning,” said Tyro.  

“It is so sick surfing with those guys, every heat with them is so good, we are good friends in and out of the water and they all shred so hard, I never go into heats like that thinking it is easy, you know you have to surf your best to win those heats,” added Tyro of the final and his opponents.

Hugh Ritchie (Chch) finished third in the final ahead of Archie Whithear (Chch) in fourth.

Australian Mia Waite impressed all weekend throwing down big scores in her heats and in the final today, while a little more subdued, Waite posted a 9.50 heat total.

Waite arrived in New Zealand early for the Single Fin Mingle event taking place next weekend and decided to include the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing while here.

“I had so much fun, the waves were so much fun this morning” said Waite. 

“There will be a few of us over here for the Single Fin Mingle next week, so I am happy to get a few heats completed this weekend and win this event against the Kiwis.  But you know what longboarding events are like, to be honest, we all did well with the conditions at the end of the day and I enjoyed surfing with the local surfers in the final,” added Waite.

Waite finished ahead of Donna Henderson (Chch) in second place with Estella Hungerford in third and double finalists Annelise Coberger (Chch) in fourth.

Jason Lawn (Chch) cleaned up the Over 45 Men’s Longboard Division ahead of Grant Cochrane (Chch) but Cochrane got the win in the Over 60 Men’s Longboard Division with a big win while Dave Poynter (Chch) edged out Ron Carter (Chch) in the Over 70 Men’s Longboard Division.

Annelise Coberger (Chch) got the win in the Over 40 Women’s Longboard Division Final ahead of Donna Henderson (Chch).

The junior divisions enjoyed the last of the clean conditions that lasted up until midday.  There was just over one point separating all four surfers in the Under 18 Boys Division Final but it was Tao Mouldey (Mnt) that went on to his second win of the day. 

The surfing was exceptional in the final with some of the most innovative surfing seen this season.  Mouldey edged out Kalani Louis (Tara) by 0.14 points in the final 11.87 to 11.73.  Taranaki surfer Spencer Rowson was only just behind on 11.40 points with Kaikoura’s Tyler Perry finishing on 10.74 points.

Chloe Groube (Pau) made it three wins for the family in the Under 18 Girls Division in a tight final.  Groube took on the punchy shorebreak and was rewarded for her committed forehand bangers that netted her 8.90 points for the win.  India Kennings (WGM) finished in second place after opting to surf out the back, but she couldn’t match Groube’s commitment and finished on 8.70 points ahead of Leia Millar (Piha) in third and Anna Brock (Mnt) in fourth.

Tao Mouldey picked up the first of his two wins for the day in the Under 16 Boys Division.  The four finalists started out the back but waves were few and far between with the result coming down to strategy between the shorebreak option and the waves out the back.  Mouldey was quick to pick up his scoring wave and a healthy lead before sitting on Alexis Owen (Dun) to hold on to the win in the dying stages of the final, the scores coming in 12.10 to 10.80.  Taj Millar Dal Bosco (WGM) picked up his first finals berth this season with a third in the final ahead of fourth placed Theo Morse (Rag).

Lola Groube’s Under 16 Girls Division win came about thanks to a massive two turn combo on her forehand.  A score of 5.83 was awarded for the wave for a 10.33 point combined heat total.  Leia Millar finished in second place in the final and couldn’t find the right peeling wave as the tide went out making the conditions challenging.  Alani Morse (Rag) finished in third place ahead of Poppy Entwistle (Chch) in fourth.

Zen Mouldey (Mnt) claimed his first national win in the Under 14 Boys Division finishing on top of a tough battle with his three South Island opponents.  Mouldey surfed to an 11.20 point heat total in the final and held off Jack Higgins (Dun) for the win, Higgins coming up just short on one of his last attempts to slip past Mouldey, and he finished on 10.66 points.  Kaikoura’s Sonny Lyon’s finished in third place ahead of Kobe Colman (Chch) in fourth.

Lola Groube (Pau) picked up the first of her two wins in the Under 14 Girls Division before going on to win the Under 16 Girls Division.  In the Under 14s, Groube started strongly racking up a 13.50 point heat total that her opponents could not peg back.  Raglan’s Alani Morse pushed hard to finish in second place while a late 6.13 point ride from Kyra Wallis (Piha) was enough to secure her a comfortable third placing ahead of Georgia Macefield (Chch) in fourth place.

Jacob Seipp (Chch) narrowly defeated Kalani Summerton (Dun) to win the Under 12 Boys Division while Zara Owen (Dun) stormed to a win in the Under 12 Girls Division with Havana Myers finishing in second place.

Full results from all divisions can be viewed at

The three-day Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing celebrates the sport under the name of legendary Hawaiian waterman and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku with surfers from the length of the country heading to New Brighton to take part. Many enter the event purely for the festivities and the great cause behind the festival which brings to life New Brighton.

The Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing is dual sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association.

About the Duke Festival of Surfing
In 2015 Ross Tyson made the amazing replica of the Duke’s surfboard as part of the centenary celebrations of Duke Kahanamoku’s surfing and swimming displays in the area. Ross designed the support framework; the pattern for the board was kindly drawn out in full size by Mark Calcutt; Dave Poyner finished the board surface with a beautiful high spec coating.

These celebrations spurned the inaugural “Duke Festival” the following year and the festival is now one of New Zealand’s largest surfing events.

The Duke Festival is about more than just the sport of surfing; it’s about the culture of the beach and those who love the sand between their toes and salt in their hair.

The Duke Festival uses the sport and culture of surfing to raise pride in, and the perception of, the wider New Brighton area.