Open Loggers. Pics: Photo CPL
Jordan Griffin, Old Mal winner – a noseride with authority.
Sabine Baumgartner, runner-up in the Open Women’s.
Big sticks, barbeque, and sunshine . . . and life is grand.
Matt Nedwick ripping in the Old Mal final. Pics: Photo CPL
31 January 18
Style in spades at Waipu Cove over the Auckland Anniversary Weekend with surfers travelling from Mount Maunganui, Gisborne, Christchurch, Waihi, Auckland and closer to home and Ruakaka, Orewa, Mangawhai and Waipu.
Contest Director Tony Baker made a late call to shift from Mangawhai Heads to the iconic Northland surf beach after swell and wind conditions looked ideal for "The Pu".
The Logger Heads is into its 5th year and 2018 saw some 60 competitors across 5 divisions.
With the focus on style, and traditional surfing, the contest required surfers to ride boards 9ft plus with no leash and a single fin. The contest was run across two days, and surfers enjoyed clean 1.0m swell with light to moderate winds on both.
The Open Logger was hotly contested with some exceptional surfing in the early rounds. Jordan Griffin (Mount Maunganui) led the charge along with a bevvy of young talent including Tom Mason (Auckland), Matt Newdick (Auckland), Guy Thompson (Mount Maunganui) and Rhys Whittaker (Waipu).
Former Single Fin Mingle winner Nic Todd (Christchurch) also made a strong impression, along with local shredder Glen Johnson (Mangawhai) and Auckland style master Paul Culpan (Auckland).
The Finals was a close battle with all surfers getting some great noserides and linking traditional turns. In the end it was young Matt Newdick (Auckland) taking the win. Newdick is the current NZ Under 18 Scholastic Longboard Champ and was a standout all weekend.
The Old Mal Division was equally as electric with some of the best surfing of the entire event taking place on Saturday afternoon. The boards, which are pre-1970s longboards, are heavy and challenging to surf but competitors made it look easy and timeless. With over 16 entries, the Old Mal a prestigious division in that most of the boards were nearly half a century in age. A stand out performance from start to finish by Mount Maunganui's Jordan Griffin saw him take the victory. Runner Up Paul Culpan (Auckland) also showed style and precision in the heats, along with Matt Newdick (Auckland) and Guy Edge (Gisborne).
2018 saw an ever increasing number of entries in the Women's Division, with a bevvy of lady sliders taking to the waves to show off their style. Local surfers Deanne Cleary (Waipu Cove) and Robyn Cox (Ruakaka) showed some excellent style in round one, along with Sabine "Beans" Baumgartner (Gisborne) .The events youngest competitor Charlie Barclay (Mangawhai) also enjoyed the fun waves on offer, along with the talented Louise Aitken (Auckland). In the final it was a close battle between "Beans" and 2017 winner Nicky Wellington (Auckland), and after a healthy exchange of waves it was Wellington who took her second Logger Heads title.
Also hotly contested was the Junior Logger. Local Mangawhai surfer Taj Robinson caught some great waves over the weekend along with Joey Cox (Auckland) and last year’s winner Bassie Waldron (Auckland). Billy Whelan (Mangawhai Heads) also showed some excellent skills throughout.
In the final it was Natt Fitt (Red Beach) who stole the show. Fitt, who is only 13, has been a regular at the event and it was obvious he's been putting time into his craft, as he showed excellent wave selection and noseriding skills, taking a well deserved victory.
This year saw the inclusion of a Master Division (Over 45 years) and didn't disappoint with the elder statesman putting on an excellent display of style and grace. Rhys Fitt (Red Beach) surfed well throughout the early rounds as did Stephen Sosich (Auckland) and Roger Hall (Ruakaka). A stand out performer was former South African Champ and Orewa local Mark Hoyle. In the finals Hoyle showed his full repertoire of switch foot surfing and speed turns. However, it was Orewa Longboard Club founder and Longboard Legend Paul Brown (Auckland) who claimed victory. Brown has been competing for over 3 decades and spends plenty of time based at Waipu Cove over the summer months. It was fitting that he should claim the maiden Logger Heads Masters win.
RESULTS - 2018 Logger Heads 5
1st Matt Newdick (Auckland) 2nd Paul Culpan (Auckland) 3rd Ant McColl (Mount Maunganui) 4th Jordan Griffin (Mount Maunganui) 5th Glen Johnson (Mangawhai) 6th Rhys Fitt (Red Beach)
1st Nicky Wellington (Auckland) 2nd Sabine Baumgartner (Gisborne) 3rd Deanne Cleary (Waipu Cove) 4th Robyn Cox (Ruakaka) 5th Charlie Barclay (Mangawhai)
1st Jordan Griffin (Mount Maunganui) 2nd Paul Culpan (Auckland) 3rd Guy Edge (Gisborne) 4th Matt Newdick (Auckland) 5th Glen Johnson (Mangawhai Heads)
1st Natt Fitt (Red Beach) 2nd Bassie Waldron (Mangawhai Heads) 3rd Joey Cox (Auckland) 4th Taj Robinson (Mangawhai Heads)
1st Paul Browne (Orewa) 2nd Mark Hoyle (Auckland) 3rd Rhys Fitt (Red Beach) 4th Stephen Sosich (Auckland)
The event was made possible by the amazing support of the following people and businesses: Geoff Gwynne and the team at McLeods Brewery, Kyle and Ali from Threadbox Mangawhai, Kyle from Fin Shui, Steve Morris from Morris Surfboards NZ, Roger Hall from Surfline Custom Surfboards, and Bammas Surf & Leisure. Also thanks Mark from Fresh Mangawhai.
A massive thanks to Anton from Camp Waipu Cove and the Waipu Cove Reserve Board for allowing us to run on the reserve. Thanks to Rick Stolwerk from the Waipu Cove SLSC for the support also, and Macsway for the use of the Marquee.
ALL PHOTOS: Photo CPL
TEXT: Tony Baker / Logger Heads
The Logger Heads is a Traditional Longboarding event held along the Mangawhai Coast since 2014. Inspired by the tradition of surfing, and building a community around Logging. Logger Heads 6 will be scheduled for Summer 2019 - date TBC.