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Piha surfer Zen Wallis has claimed his first ever victory on the 2012 Hyundai Tour winning the final event of the year at Port Waikato today (Sunday 4th March). Wallis defeated overall Tour champion Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach, Auckland) in the final, Kibblewhite placing runner up.
The win came in solid 2.0m waves that continued to hammer the sleepy West Coast beach town. While the wind dropped compared with the storm of the last two days, the sunny day helped the sea breeze strengthen all day and it again affected surface conditions.
Wallis won the final scoring 11.83 out of 20 points in the final. His highest wave of 7.33 points out of ten caused Wallis to get caught on the inside of the break and unable to get back out for the final ten minutes. However his good early start was good enough for a win that had him in disbelief.
"I can't believe it, I just found out now, wow" an exhausted Zen Wallis said after exiting the water post a non stop paddle battle in the whitewash.
"I spent half the heat paddling out into the waves and I had no idea what the other guys scored. I am over the moon, best thing that could even happen after that paddle."
Wallis also competes on the New Zealand Pro Series and has in the past won age group events at this level. I enjoy longboarding, I love all sorts of water sports. I can do both tours easily and I have fun doing both as well."
Placing second today was the overall 2012 Hyundai Tour champion Thomas Kibblewhite who fought hard for his third win of the year but came up 6.01 points short despite several last ditch efforts where the waves did not cooperate.
"I have been trying to win this thing for six years, ever since Hyundai and Surfing New Zealand came to the party and set up this amazing tour we have" said Kibblewhite.
Placing third in the final was Glen Johnson (Mangawhai) surfing in his first final of the season. Johnson was hot on the heals of the first two surfers scoring a 5.0 on one wave and only needing a 6.84 point ride for the win. After completing laps of the beach to get back out via the cove, Johnson simply ran out of energy charging big close out section after close out section with no success.
Dylan Barnfield (Ohope) rounded out the final finishing in fourth place having a shocker in the tricky conditions and only riding two waves for a 2.0 point heat total.
Australian surfer Georgia Young returned to New Zealand for this one event and stole the show winning the Women's Final. Young has competed in New Zealand in previous years but in 2012 she opted for the one event and that was all it took for the win, the second of which has gone to an Australian surfer this year. The result upset the apple cart in terms of ratings but Raglan surfer Belinda Goodwin managed to place second ahead of Mischa Davis (Piha) who by placing third in the final, did enough to claim the 2012 Hyundai Tour total. Finishing in fourth place was Young's travelling companion Rosie Locke (Aus).
Brian Young (Orewa) secured his third win out of four events this year to easily claim the Over 40s title for 2012. Young had all but sealed the title going into the final day of the event when his closest rival Guy Rencher (Mnt) was eliminated in the Quarterfinals. However he finished the year in style with a win today. Paul Wood (Auck) claimed the runner up position ahead of the Heke brothers Tatana and Whare who placed third and fourth respectively.
The high-scoring Stand Up Paddleboard final had the only local representation with Damon Mark but it was Daniel Kereopa (Rag) that was simply too good for his opponents taking out the win and with that, the overall Hyundai Tour title. Despite being challenged by Mark and indeed trailing at the half way mark, Kereopa fought back with a 7.17 point ride to finish with a 14.17 point total. Ratings leader going into the event, Shayne Baxter (Chch) climbed his way to second courtesy of his last 6.23 point ride while local Mark Damon finished in third place (12.00) ahead of Daren Jones (Auck) in fourth.
The Over 50 Men's Division saw Raglan's Michael Thomson take out the final which was enough for him to clinch his first tour title in the Over 50's. Thomson took the final with a low 8.33 point heat total over Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach) in second, Grant Cochrane (Chch) in third and Bryan Western (Orewa) in fourth. With the final day being held over until Sunday, Cochrane was scheduled to fly out prior to the start of his semifinal but his fellow competitors did a 'whip around' to get enough money for him to buy a one-way ticket back to Christchurch and hence stay on for the final. The amazing gesture by his mates was enough to see him contest the final despite coming up short of the win in third place.
Whakatane surfers Matt Craig and Hone Douglas battled it out for the win in the Junior Longboard Division with Craig coming out on top in this instance defeating defending tour champion Douglas. The two surfers defeated ratings leader Sam Poulter (Rag) who placed third but that was enough for him to take out the 2012 Hyundai Tour after placing in the finals of each of the five events this year. New Zealand based Tongan surfer Alan Burling placed fourth in the final.
The King of the Waves Stand Up Paddleboard Race came down to a battle of survival as the small field of paddlers confronted a huge shorebreak before an open ocean paddle around the 3.0km 'M' shaped course and a gauntlet run back through the line up. It was Sean Hovell (Gis) who took his maiden victory in the race after overtaking ratings leader Armie Armstrong (Rag) on the shore before the 100m run up the beach. Christchurch paddler Shayne Baxter exited the water in third place ahead of Daniel Kereopa (Rag) in fourth.
Please see below for full results from the final event of the 2012 Hyundai Tour completed at Port Waikato today 4th March.
Men's Longboard Semifinals
Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 9.43, 1, Glen Johnson (Auck), 8.5, 2, Owen Barnes (Mnt), 7.97, 3, Ant McColl (Mnt), 7.17, 4
Zen Wallis (Piha), 15.33, 1, Dylan Barnfield (Ohope), 9, 2, Craig Anderson (Mnt), 6.77, 3, Isaac Johnston (Mngwhai), 0.73, 4
Men's Longboard Final
Zen Wallis (Piha), 11.83, 1, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 8.8, 2, Glen Johnson (Auck), 8.1, 3, Dylan Barnfield (Ohope), 2.0, 4
Women's Longboard Semifinals
Rosie Locke (Aust), 6.17, 1, Belinda Goodwin (Mt), 4.93, 2, Alexis Poulter (Rag), 3.9, 3, Kelsi Efford (Mt), 1.87, 4
Georgia Young (Aust), 7.77, 1, Mischa Davis (Oratia), 4.83, 2, Shelly Jones (Auck), 1.3, 3, Tsuneyo (Sunny) Yoshida (Rag), 1, 4
Women's Longboard Final
Rosie Locke (Aust), 6.0, 1, Belinda Goodwin (Mnt), 4.67, 2, Georgia Young (Aust), 3.0, 3, Mischa Davis (Oratia), 2.27, 4
Under 18 Longboard Semifinals
Sam Poulter (Rag), 5.2, 1, Matt Craig (Whtane), 5.07, 2, Jordan Tanner (Mnt), 1, 3
Hone Douglas (Whtane), 5.33, 1, Alan Burling (Tonga), 4.6, 2, Joseph Stewart (Whtane), 3.23, 3
Under 18 Longboard Final
Matt Craig (Whtane), 9.1, 1, Hone Douglas (Whtane), 7.33, 2, Sam Poulter (Rag), 6.77, 3, Alan Burling (Tonga), 5.1, 4
Over 40 Men's Semifinals
Brian Young (Orewa), 9.67, 1, Tatana Heke (Mnt), 6.5, 2, David Craddock (Auck), 2.9, 3
Whare Heke (Mnt), 5.17, 1, Paul Wood (Auck), 4.17, 2, Murray Lowe (Mnt), 1.4, 3
Over 40 Men's Final
Brian Young (Orewa), 9.50, 1, Paul Wood (Auck), 7.70, 2, Tatana Heke (Mnt), 6.03, 3, Whare Heke (Mnt), 5.47, 4
Over 50 Men's Semifinals
Mike Thomson (Rag), 8.43, 1, Grant Cochrane (ChCh), 6, 2, Colin McKenney (Mnt), 4.67, 3, David Storck (Auck), 3.33, 4
Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach), 8.5, 1, Bryan Western (Auck), 4.77, 2, Mark Hoyle (Orewa), 4.23, 3, Rob Bayes (Auck), 2.77, 4
Over 50 Men's Final
Mike Thomson (Rag), 8.33, 1, Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach), 5.83, 2, Grant Cochrane (ChCh), 4.90, 3, Bryan Western (Auck), 3.90, 4
Stand Up Paddleboard Semifinals
Shayne Baxter (ChCh), 11.33, 1, Damon Mark (Port Wai), 8.9, 2, Armie Armstrong (Rag), 6.43, 3, Hamish Imrie (Port Wai), 3.8, 4
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 13.83, 1, Daren Jones (Auck), 6.7, 2, Regan Fairlie (Gis), 6.67, 3, Karlos Aarsen (Whmata), 2.97, 4
Stand Up Paddleboard Final
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 14.17, 1, Shayne Baxter (ChCh), 12.07, 2, Damon Mark (Port Wai), 12.0, 3, Daren Jones (Auck), 3.40, 4
Stand Up Paddleboard Race
Sean Hovell (Gis), 1, Armie Armstrong (Rag), 2, Shayne Baxter (Chch), 3, Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 4
Please see below for the final 2012 Hyundai Tour rankings.
Men's Longboard Ratings - Top 10
1, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck)
2, Zen Wallis (Piha)
3, Dylan Barnfield (Ohope)
4, Ant McColl (Mnt)
5, Matt Cockayne (Mngwhai)
6, Sam Bradford (Pakiri)
7, Glen Johnson (Auck)
8, Branko Vela (Auck)
9, Sam Bound (Tara)
10, Ben Poulter (Rag)
Women's Longboard Top 5
1, Mischa Davis (Oratia)
2, Alexis Poulter (Rag)
3, Belinda Goodwin (Mt)
4, Shelly Jones (Auck)
5, Kelsi Efford (Mt)
Junior's Longboard Top 5
1, Sam Poulter (Rag)
2, Ben Poulter (Rag)
3, Nic Jones (Aust)
4, Matt Craig (Whtane)
5, Hone Douglas (Whtane)
Over 40s Longboard Top 5
1, Brian Young (Orewa)
2, Guy Rencher (waihi Bch)
3, Tatana Heke (Mnt)
4, Whare Heke (Mnt)
5, Steve Tyro (Rag)
Over 50s Longboard Top 5
1, Mike Thomson (Rag)
2, Mark Hoyle (Orewa)
3, Grant Cochrane (ChCh)
4, Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach)
5, David Storck (Auck)
Stand Up Paddleboard Top 5
1, Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
2, Shayne Baxter (ChCh)
3, Armie Armstrong (Rag)
4, Karlos Aarsen (Whmata)
5, Sean Hovell (Gis)
Stand Up Paddlboard Race Top 5
1, Armie Armstrong (Rag)
2, Jeremy Stephenson (Auck)
3, Sean Hovell (Gis)
4, Shayne Baxter (ChCh)
5, Daniel Kereopa (Rag)