19-year-old Gisborne surfer Daniel Proctor stepped up to claim his first Open Division victory in a national longboard competition with a clear cut win in the final of the Hyundai Longboard Classic at Sandy Bay, New Zealand this weekend. Proctor came in nearly two points clear of fellow Gisborne surfer and defending Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour champion Michael Fitzharris (Gis), with national longboard champ Daniel Kereopa (Rag) a further two points back in third place.
At the halfway point in the six round tour Kereopa is still in the lead and Fitzharris second, but Proctor, who said part of his winning cheque would go towards petrol for getting to the South Island legs of the tour, is now in the reckoning for a shot at the overall title.
More than 100 longboarders converged on Sandy Bay for the two day event, with the surf on Sunday being slightly better than the half metre conditions on the first day, but still not offering a lot for the more modern, progressive style of longboarding favoured by Kereopa and many of the younger contestants.
In the open final Proctor started slowly with few decent waves coming his way but his persistence paid off. While the other three contestants hunted for action up to 200 metres away they left Proctor to pick off the best of several ‘rights’ coming from the north end of the beach. The young Gisborne surfer made the most of his opportunities combining nose rides with progressive top to bottom surfing wherever the small, near glassy waves allowed.
Another young surfer to make a big impression at the Hyundai Sandy Bay event was 11-year-old Hone Douglas from Whakatane. Coming up against seasoned campaigners in the under 18 division the young surfer displayed a rapidly developing style with big slashes and stylish nose riding that kept him within reach but eventually placed him fourth in the final. The Barnfield brothers Dylan and Eli from Ohope took out first and third places respectively with Sam Guthrie from Mt Maunganui second.
In the senior divisions Johnny Ayton formally from Whangarei but now a regular visitor to the event from Victoria, Australia, took out the over 50s and placed second in the over 40s.
Ayton’s smooth combination of drop knee turns and nose rides earned 9.75 points in the over 50s final against second placed Orewa surfer Paul Brown’s 9.10 gathered mainly from traditional board walking and nose riding. However, in the over 40’s final Raglan board maker Mike Thomson scored 10.30 to pip Ayton’s 9.70.
In the Women’s division local surfer Pauline Pullman used her eighth and last wave to score a 4.5 ride which took her ahead of Piha surfer Anna Jolly.
- Dylan Barnfield (Ohope) 11.75 pts, 1
- Sam Guthrie (Mt Maungonui) 7.75, 2
- Eli Barnfield (Ohope), 7.20, 3
- Hone Douglas, 6.75, 4
- Pauline Pullman (Sandy Bay) 8.25, 1
- Anna Jolly (Piha), 7.30, 2
- Josephine Moore (Muriwai), 5.90, 3
- Kirstie Thomsen (Whangarei), 5.40, 4
Over 40 Men:
- Mike Thomson (Raglan) 10.30, 1
- John Ayton (Victoria), 9.70, 2
- Bruce Shortridge (Hawkes Bay), 8.60, 3
- David Storck (Auckland) 4.35, 4
Over 50 Men:
- John Ayton (Victoria), 9.75, 1
- Paul Browne (Auckland) 9.10, 2
- Viv Tracey (Whangarei) 8.65, 3
- Con Fowler (Whangarei) 5.90, 4
- Daniel Proctor (Gisborne) 14.40, 1
- Michael Fitzharris (Gisborne), 12.65, 2
- Daniel Kereopa (Raglan) 10.25, 3
- Daryn McBride (Mt Maungonui) 8.75, 4
Further event dates for the 2007 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour are as follows:
Hyundai Pro Longboard, Christchurch – 17th – 18th February
South Island International Longboard Pro-Am in association with Hyundai, Kaikoura – 16th – 18th March
Hyundai Pro Longboard, Port Waikato – 24th – 25th March