Westport’s charm just keeps on giving to the 2022 New Zealand Surfing National Championships, which chalked up day four of five today at Tauranga Bay.
Despite the dropping swell, T Bay proved to be the dependable contest venue with somewhere in the vicinity of 35 heats surfed in a 12-hour period.
Whittling down to finals day the small conditions saw several big upsets with local charger Jai Earnshaw knocked out of the open final along with the most likely surfer to challenge Billy Stairmand in the air: Caleb Cutmore. The Open Men’s final will see Billy Stairmand pitted against fellow 2022 WQS campaigner Levi Stewart, Daniel Farr and form surfer of the event: Reuben Woods.
In the Open Women’s final Paige Hareb will once again meet young rising star Ava Henderson for the showdown. They last met in the final at Piha where Saffi Vette denied Paige her maiden title. Looking to deny her this year will also be Raglan’s Brie Bennett and young breakthrough Whangamata star Pia Rogers in her first Open Women’s final.
Finals day anticipates a small swell with favourable winds at Tauranga Bay.
With the Under 14s and longboards dominating Day 4 here’s how it all went down in 40 Frames: