from the Nationals
Cellphones and surf comps are a good combination. Last week we held the NZ Surfing Champs here in Gisborne. As I was judging at the comp all week I didn’t have much time to be taking any carefully considered photos so I only managed to make some daily snaps on my cellphone to beam out live on to the interweb using Instagram. (If you’re an Instagram user and haven’t befriended me yet, my tag is @donpnz …and I’ve also just ventured into the realm of Tumblr – also ‘donpnz‘ )
But back to the Nationals, we had pretty good surf all week except for the Monday, when the surf was tiny for 24 hours. Not that I really minded as I was helping organise the Gisborne Boardriders 50th Jubilee celebrations that took place on Monday night. Big stormy surf on the Finals Day led to a change of venue from ‘Red Bus’ at Makorori, up to Kaiaua Beach north of Tolaga Bay.
15 year old Gisborne grommette Abby Falwasser-Logan finished 2nd in the Open Womens division and was a finalist in the Under 18 Girls division, took out the trophy for the Most Outstanding Surfer of the championships. (Not bad for someone who was on crutches with her ankle out of action just two months back!)
Watch this space …Abby, along with her cousin Jasmine Smith who won the Under 18 Girls for the second year in a row, are Gissy girls with a big future in competitive surfing.
Our friend Grace Spiers from Whangamata – one of my daughter’s main adversaries in the Grommet series years back- took out the Open Womens. This is Grace’s first time to get her name on the prized Women’s trophy …but not before time. Her achievement was quite remarkable given that Grace only recently recovered from a broken wrist and hadn’t been surfing for four months. Several years ago Grace had to quit surfing for over a year with a bad back. A great comeback !
Gisborne surfers only took out 5 national titles this year – down a bit from the 7 we won last year at Piha Beach and quite a few less than recent times when the Nats were held here. Our 2014 Gissy champions are: John Gisby (Over60s), Chris ‘Bugsy’ Malone (Over 28s & Over 35s), Jasmine Smith (U18 Girls) and Kamen Geileser (Kneelos).
The Open Men’s final had 3 Gissy lads in it : Bobby Hansen and Maz & Jay Quinn, but the 4th finalist, the Raglan rat, Billy Stairmand, stole our cheese ! …again! He won the last time the Nationals we were held here. Ô