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40 Frames: NZ Surf Nats St Clair Shakedown

Day Five of the 2024 New Zealand Surfing Champs sees a shakedown of the premier divisions as the circus moves back to the St Clair Esplanade.

Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings makes his way to work at dawn during the 2024 Nats. Photo: Derek Morrison

Day Five saw the contest move back to the comfort of St Clair with light winds and a new north east swell promising some fun conditions. It was a shakedown of the premier divisions with Billy Stairmand nearly getting knocked by local grom Lewis Murphy. A wave in the final 20 seconds saved the Olympian and 8-time national title holder. Similarly, Olympic hope Saffi Vette was bettered by Sophia Brock in her Open Women’s round that featured an unsympathetic ocean.

Many big names got knocked in the smaller surf conditions.

Despite his clean flowing style North Narrabeen’s Macka Hazard failed to impress the judges and bowed out early. He was joined by Waikuku surfer Rakiatea Tau, and Lincoln Penei (who tied with second, but lost on highest single wave), Will Lockhart, Kalani Louis, Taj Millar Dal Bosco, Christian Fougere and Soren Bucka-Christensen.

A late southerly change ripped through the contest arena and saw temperatures plummet from balmy to brisk in minutes.

Here are 40 Frames from the day of shakedown waves.

Local favourite Nixon Reardon making his way into the Quarters. Photo: Derek Morrison
Heat lulls. The SCBRA clubrooms in full swing.Spencer Rowson on a mission.The contest bank. Jai Earnshaw was in form to take the Over 30s Division.Alexis Owen on rotation.Saffi and Flo get some tips from rugby great John Leslie.Sophia Brock getting the better of Saffi in her opening round.The St Clair Esplanade loaded.
Daybreak at the Roberts and Lowen camp. Photo: Derek Morrison
Surf photography legend Pat O’Neill taking in the contest venue. Photo: Derek Morrison
Bowly contest peak. Photo: Derek Morrison
Faces of the 2024 Nats
Luke “Dogga” Murphy stoked as son Lewis puts Billy Stairmand on notice during their opening round. Photo: Derek Morrison
Filmmaker Isaac Chadwick.Team Hydro rippers.The contest venue.Billy, Taxman and Vicki.Rewa Morrison with an early exit.Runner.Lewis Murphy.Christian Fougere.Tai and dad, Matt.Remy Sale cranked.Spectator hill.Ace and Espie on their back lawn.
North Narrabeen surfer Macka Hazard with dad Richie and big brother Taylor after a heat. Photo: Derek Morrison
Saffi Vette showing fine form in her early rounds. Photo: Derek Morrison
The waves on Day Five remained ripable throughout the tide. Photo: Derek Morrison
Rewa Morrison as she realises her Nats 2024 dream has come to an end. Photo: Derek Morrison

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