KIBBLEWHITE STEALS THE SHOW IN AN EXPLOSIVE DAY OF FINALS ACTION AT SANDY BAY
Monday, 4 February 2013

Red Beach surfer Thomas Kibblewhite has returned from a two event hiatus to claim victory at the third event of the 2013 Hyundai Tour completed at Sandy Bay, Whangarei. Kibblewhite showed why he has become synonymous with the top echelon of longboard surfing in New Zealand claiming his victory in style with a combined heat score of 13.57 out of 20.

Runner Up Ant McColl (Mnt) has edged out Daniel Procter (Gis) to claim the current number one ranking with two events remaining. The third and final day of the Sandy Bay event went down in style with clean 1.0m - 1.5m waves and light winds. Surfers in all divisions showed why the Hyundai Tour has become the cornerstone of New Zealand surfing.

The Open Men's final was a show down of massive proportions. Ant McColl (Mount Maunganui) dominated the opening stanza, whipping some massive forehand turns and linking the long peeling waves with crisp nose riding and stylish footwork. 2012 National Champion and Hyundai Tour winner Thomas Kibblewhite who recently qualified for the 2013 World Longboard Tour, slowly built up momentum in the final and at the midpoint of the final he scored a solid 8.17 to steal the lead from McColl.

In the dying minutes McColl was left requiring a 6.88 to take back the lead, but was unable to find the score finishing the final in second place with a 12.43 total heat score to leave Kibblewhite victorious. Owen Barnes (Mnt) placed third in the final ahead of local Northland surfer Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) who placed fourth.

The Stand Up Paddleboard Final was also an action packed affair from start to finish with all surfers scoring at the top end of the judging scale. Daniel Kereopa (Raglan) picked off some of the best waves in the final swooping massive carves and hitting oncoming sections with complete commitment to place first.

Shayne Baxter (Christchurch) whipped a huge tail slide turn then annihilated an oncoming section with a huge close out re-entry scoring an excellent 8.0 ride to place second. Karlos Arsene (Whangamata) and Armie Armstrong (Raglan) both put in solid performances in the final but their efforts weren't enough to tip Kereopa off his throne, the two surfers finishing third and fourth respectively. Kereopa is now unbeaten after three events.

The Stand Up Paddleboard Race was held in challenging conditions, and paddlers were required to navigate their way around the course three times. In amongst the carnage of boards and whitewater, South Island hell man and top New Zealand paddler, Shayne Baxter (Christchurch) paddled to victory ahead of Shane Murrell (Auckland) in second and Armie Armstrong (Raglan) in third.

The Women's final was like a Bledisloe Cup match with two Kiwi surfers facing off against two Australians. Earlier stand-out Erin Dark (AUS) started off the heat with a solid right hander working it all the way to the inside scoring a 4.63. Sandy Bay regular Sam Suendermann (AUS) also picked off some great waves and showed off her smooth forehand and drop knee turns. But the stand-out of the final and local favourite was Wini Paul (Sandy Bay). Paul showed her local knowledge and fierce competitive spirit to pick off the two best waves in the 25 minute final and claim victory.

Paul's second and best ride of the final was a long right hander off the point, and after a great hang five through the fast mid-section, Paul absolutely destroyed the end section with a big re-entry scoring a 6.73 out of 10 to secure another victory on home turf. Her total heat score for the final was 12.44 ahead of Erin Dark (AUS) in second with 11.4 out of 20.

Bay of Plenty surfer Joseph Stewart (Whakatane) stole the show in the Junior Men's Division. Stewart started off with a solid left hander linking a long hang five with a powerful on rail cutback scoring a 6.80. He then backed it up with the wave of the final, a long clean left surfing it all the way to the beach scoring a 7.83 out of 10, leaving the rest of the finalists chasing victory. Paul Moretti placed second in the final ahead of Jordan Griffin (Mnt) in third and Luke Crouch (Orewa) in fourth.

The second instalment of the traditional Logger Division was claimed by Matt Cockayne (Red Beach) who picked off some long peeling lefts, perching on the nose and impressing all that were lucky enough to be watching. Tony Baker (Mangawhai) placed second. Taking out the best nose ride category was Ambrose McNeill (Christchurch).

Guy Rencher (Papamoa) won the Over 40 Men's Division continuing his stand out performances with superior wave selection and displaying his full repertoire of manoeuvres. Justin Bambery (Auckland) placed second in the final for his best ever result ahead of Craig Anderson (Mnt) in third and Rhys Powell (Omaha) in fourth.

Mark Hoyle (Orewa) stamped his mark on the Over 50's final from the outset, securing a 5.67 for his opening ride. He then backed it up with a long right hander which he surfed all the way to the beach, linking big turns with fancy footwork scoring 7.33 out of 10 for the win. Bryan Western (Orewa) who got off to a slow start placed second in the final ahead of Rupert Newbold (Ocean Beach) in third and Simon Shepheard (Auck) in fourth.

It was Rob Bayes (Auckland) who surfed the wave of the Over 60 Men's Final to claim victory ahead of Michael Gray (Auck) in second, Dave Gould in third and 75 year old Ross Edge (Whangarei) in fourth.

Mens Longboard Final
Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 13.57, 1, Ant McColl (Mnt), 12.43, 2, Owen Barnes (Mnt), 12.27, 3, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 10.83, 4

Women's Longboard Final
Wini Paul (Sandy Bay), 12.4, 1, Erin Dark (Aus), 11.4, 2, Sam Suendermann (Aust), 7.77, 3, Belinda Goodwin (Mt), 4.38, 4

Junior Longboard Final
Joseph Stewart (Whtane), 14.63, 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 12.67, 2, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 12.23, 3, Luke Crouch (Orewa), 6.37, 4

Over 40 Longboard Final
Guy Rencher (Papamoa), 12.7, 1, Justin Bambery (Auck), 11.4, 2, Craig Anderson (Mnt), 7.67, 3, Rhys Powell (Auck), 6.5, 4

Over 50 Longboard Final
Mark Hoyle (Orewa), 13, 1, Bryan Western (Auck), 8, 2, Rupert Newbold (Whngrei), 7.77, 3, Simon Shepheard (Auck), 5.77, 4

Over 60 Longboard Final
Robert Bayes, 9.18, 1, Michael Gray, 8.63, 2, Dave Gould, 5.18, 3, Ross Edge (Whngarei), 0, 4

Stand Up Paddleboard Final
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 16.03, 1, Shayne Baxter (ChCh), 15.5, 2, Karlos Aarsen (Whmata), 15, 3, Armie Armstrong (Rag), 9.4, 4

Stand Up Paddleboard Race Final (Short Course)
Shayne Baxter (ChCh), 17.56, 1st, Shane Murrell (Auck), 19.20, 2nd, Armie Armstrong (Rag), 20.05, 3rd, Jeremy Stephenson (Auck), 22.14, 4th

Overall the Hyundai Tour boasts $12,000 in prize money which is boosted to $20,000 with another $8,000 distributed to boardrider clubs and community groups at locations the tour frequents. Hyundai have teamed up with Global Surf Industries and Starboard to provide boards to raffle off at each event location. All proceeds from this weekend's raffles go back to North Coast Boardriders Club to help develop surfing in the region.

www.surfingnz.co.nz



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