The superstars of international surfing will team up for a public signing session today in Auckland ahead of the 2006 Vodafone Surf Sessions in Piha on Saturday (21st October).

Andy Irons and brother Bruce touched down in Auckland this morning and will meet fellow world team members Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning at the Vodafone Queen Street store (171 Queen St) where a huge crowd of surfing fans are expected. The signing session kicks off at 12.30pm and goes until 1.30pm.

Home grown Kiwi surfers Maz Quinn, Daniel Kereopa (DK), Bobby Hansen and Richard Christie will also be on hand to meet the fans. Eighteen-year-old Richard Christie from Gisborne replaces Jay Quinn in the competition this Saturday. Richard is New Zealand’s top rated junior on the Australasian Pro Junior Series as well as the 2005 Open Men’s National Champion and Under 18’s National Champion. His explosive surfing style is set to serve the Kiwi team well.

Greg Townsend, Executive Officer Surfing NZ, says the line up for both the New Zealand and World teams is hugely impressive with all the surfers having the skill and style to dominate in any surf conditions. “Being able to see these guys compete here is great for the sport. It’s a rare opportunity for the public to come along for free to watch this ultimate surfing showcase," says Townsend.

The international guys are amongst the top of their field with Andy, Joel and Mick currently in second, fourth and fifth places respectively on the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Championship Tour, and Bruce in twelfth.

The Vodafone Surf Sessions competition kicks off on Saturday at 11am and finishes at 3pm. The competition has a round robin format with the surfers competing in two heats. Each heat will comprise of two Kiwis and two internationals. The event will climax in a rare format with a New Zealand versus The World tag team event.

The two teams will compete for a trophy board designed by DK’s brother Aaron Kereopa. The trophy is carved from a surfboard blank and features a figure representing Tawhirimatea – Maori god of the elements, the winds, storms and tempest. Without Tawhirimatea manipulating the ocean, there would be no waves.

Competition Draw

Heat 1

  • Andy Irons
  • Bruce Irons
  • Maz Quinn
  • Richard Christie

Heat 2

  • Joel Parkinson
  • Mick Fanning
  • Bobby Hansen
  • Daniel Kereopa

Heat 3

  • Andy Irons
  • Bruce Irons
  • Bobby Hansen
  • Daniel Kereopa

Heat 4

  • Joel Parkinson
  • Mick Fanning
  • Maz Quinn
  • Richard Christie

www.surfingnz.co.nz

www.vodafone.co.nz/surf