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Surf Athletes

Chris Malone, Zhana Hutchieson Claim Aotearoa Maori Titles



Chris Malone and Zhana Hutchieson surfed to victory at the Aotearoa Maori Titles at the end of October and in doing so claim two of the coveted trials slots for the Piha Pro scheduled for March 2020.

Chris Malone on his way to the top of the podium at the 2019 Maori Titles. Photo: Cory Scott

Malone and Hutchieson fought off some tough opponents with excellent surfing on the final day of the event held in 1.0m to 1.5m waves at Tuiraho (Stent Road).

 They were two of 10 champions crowned throughout the day before the poroporoaki was held at Parihaka Pa to close out the event. Te Atiawa emerged victorious, taking the prestigious Iwi of Origin victory.

Malone used his exceptional ocean sense to pick off two of the best waves that came through in the final as conditions deteriorated over the low tide in the afternoon. He surfed to an astonishing 17.5 point heat total in the final to defeat the Taranaki trio of Jamie Andrews, defending champion Bachelor Tipene and Brandon Kingi who finished second through fourth respectively.

“Far out, I haven’t had my hands on this trophy since the event almost started, maybe back in the late 1990s,” admitted Malone at the prizegiving. “I am super stoked to win and especially up against these guys here beside me who I have competed against for years.”

“Far out, I haven’t had my hands on this trophy since the event almost started, maybe back in the late 1990s. I am super stoked to win and especially up against these guys here beside me who I have competed against for years.”

2019 Maori Title Winner Chris Malone

“The slot in the Piha Pro Trials is an added bonus,” he added. “But this event is mainly about bringing Maori surfers from around Aotearoa together for the unique event that this is.”

Elin Tawharu (above) was pipped at the post in the dying seconds of the final by defending champion Zhana Hutchieson. Photo: Cory Scott

Hutchieson left her winning wave until the final 20 seconds languishing in third place for much of the 20 minutes. With seconds to go, Hutchieson paddled down the point and away from leaders Elin Tawharu (Mnt) and Thandi Tipene (Tara) and found a small wave that she managed to complete three nice backhand turns on for a 6.0 point ride – enough for the win and her title defence.

“It is amazing to defend my title,” smiled Hutchieson afterwards. “I couldn’t find any good waves out there in the final – it was so hard, but that wave came to me right at the end and it was enough to push past Elin and Thandi for the win.”

I couldn’t find any good waves out there in the final – it was so hard, but that wave came to me right at the end and it was enough to push past Elin and Thandi for the win.”

Women’s Champion, Zhana Hutchieson

“I am moving back to New Zealand from Australia in December,” Hutchieson added. “I will be studying next year, so I will definitely be here for the Piha Pro Trials and I am looking forward to that opportunity.”

Thandi Tipene in action at the 2019 Maori Titles held in Taranaki. Photo: Cory Scott

Hutchieson’s win left Tawharu in the runner-up position with Tipene in third and Kiri Binnersley (Rag) in fourth.

Raglan’s Kora Cooper on his way to the Under 18s win at the 2019 Maori Titles. Photo: Cory Scott

The Under 18 titles went to Kora Cooper (Rag) who posted a massive 16.26-point heat total for the win and birthday girl Indi-Lee Ruddell (Whngrei) in the Girls’ Division, a perfect present for the now 10-year-old who showed amazing courage to tackle the Stent Road waves.

Ten-year-old Indi-Lee Ruddell punched above her weight winning the Under 18s at the 2019 Maori Titles. Photo: Cory Scott

Raglan surfers Josef Jungwirth and Navryn Malone made it a clean sweep of the boy’s age group divisions winning the Under 16 and 14 Boys’ Divisions, the two surfers pipping Taranaki’s Ryder Pennington on both occasions.

Manu Schafer in superb form to win the Over 35s. Photo: Cory Scott

The Senior Men’s Divisions went to two local surfers in Manu Schafer in the Over 35s and Motu Mataa in the Over 45s. Schafer was a standout all weekend and surfed to a 17.17-point heat total in the final while Mataa was equally impressive with a 16.0-point heat total for his victory.

Taranaki claimed their fourth and fifth titles in the longboard and stand-up paddleboard with Jason Matthews and Jamie Andrews edging out their opponents.

The 2019 Aotearoa Maori Surfing Titles would not be possible without support from hosts Waitara Bar Boardriders Club, Surfing Taranaki and Surfing New Zealand.

Report: Ben Kennings/Surfing New Zealand
Photos: Cory Scott/New Zealand Surfing Magazine
Henry McKinlay in action at the 2019 Maori Titles held in Taranaki, October 2019. Photo: Cory Scott
Defending champion Bachelor Tipene unable to make it two in a row. Photo: Cory Scott

Final Results 2019 Aotearoa Maori Titles



Open Men’s Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1: 
Bachelor Tipene (Ngati Ranginui), 12.77, 1, Dune Kennings (Maniapoto), 10.8, 2, Sonny Rapira-Martin (Tara), 8.97, 3, Jason Ruddell (Te Atiawa), 6.23, 4

Heat 2
: Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki), 15.34, 1, Brandon Kingi (Nga Raru), 11.77, 2, Motu Mataa (Tara), 8.84, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Ngai Te Rangi), 5.97, 4

Heat 3
: Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine), 11.8, 1, Manu Schafer (Kahungunu), 10.97, 2, Henry Mckinlay (Tainui), 10.03, 3, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 9.37, 4

Open Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1
: Bachelor Tipene (Ngati Ranginui), 16, 1, Brandon Kingi (Nga Raru), 15.26, 2, Manu Schafer (Kahungunu), 13.5, 3

Heat 2: 
Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki), 14.97, 1, Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine), 14.63, 2
, Dune Kennings (Maniapoto), 13.6, 3

Open Men’s Division Final

Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki), 17.5, 1, Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine), 11.24, 2, Bachelor Tipene (Ngati Ranginui), 10.3, 3, Brandon Kingi (Nga Raru), 8.5, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Ngai Tai), 16.26, 1, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Nga Puhi), 10.13, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Ngai Te Rangi), 9.6, 3, Jacob Buckle (Nga Puhi), 8.13, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Final

Josef Jungwirth (Ngai Te Rangi), 12.74, 1, Ryder Pennington (Te Atiawa), 12.06, 2, Navryn Malone (Te Aitanga A Mahaki), 9.03, Kora Cooper (Ngai Tai), 7.5, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Final
Navryn Malone (Te Aitanga A Mahaki), 12.3, 1, Ryder Pennington (Te Atiawa), 12.1, 2, Jack Mckenzie (Ngai Tahu), 8.83, 3, Rakiatea Tau (Ngai Tahu), 4.5, 4

Open Women’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1: 
Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 11.67, 1, Kiri Binnersley (Ngati Porou), 6.00, 2, Myra Crow (Tainui), 3.83, 3

Heat 2
: Elin Tawharu (Ngati Raukawa), 15.04, 1, Thandi Tipene (Tara), 14.50, 2, Renee Ruddell (Te Rarawa), 9.07, 3

Open Women’s Division Final

Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 10, 1, Elin Tawharu (Ngati Raukawa), 8.87, 2, Thandi Tipene (Tara), 8.8, 3, Kiri Binnersley (Ngati Porou), 2.01, 4




Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1
: Mya Crowe (Tainui), 13.20, 1, Poppy Pennington (Tara), 11.50, 2, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 6.20, 3

Heat 2: 
Indi-Lee Ruddell (Te Atiawa), 8.03, 1, India Kennings (Ngati Whatua), 2.77, 2, Lily Honeycombe (Nga Puhi), 1.43, 3



Under 18 Girls Division Final
Indi-Lee Ruddell (Te Atiawa), 7.6, 1, Mya Crowe (Tainui), 7.2, 2, Poppy Pennington (Tara), 4.83, 3, India Kennings (Ngati Whatua), 0, 4




Over 35 Men’s Division Semi Final
Heat 1
: Manu Schafer (Kahungunu), 15.33, 1, Chris Malone (Mahaki), 10.66, 2, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 7.57, 3

Heat 2: 
Henry Mckinlay (Tainui), 15.4, 1, Brandon Kingi (Nga Rauru), 15.03, 2, Jason Ruddell (Te Atiawa), 9.23, 3



Over 35 Men’s Division Final

Manu Schafer (Kahungunu), 17.17, 1, Henry Mckinlay (Tainui), 12.5, 2, Chris Malone (Mahaki), 12.54, 3, Brandon Kingi (Nga Rauru), 11.1, 4

Over 45 Men’s Division Final

Motu Mataa (Tara), 16.0, 1, Dawson Tamati (Tara), 8.64, 2, Darren Kiwi (Ngai Te Rangi), 8.34, 3, Jason Matthews (Tara), 7.17, 4

Longboard Division Semi Final
Heat 1
: Billy Whelan (Ngati Maru), 10.20, 1, Tama Blackburn (Maniapoto(), 7.87, 2, Jeff Piper (Nga Puhi), 7.33, 3, Charles Te Kauwhata (Ngapuhi), 0.00, 4

Heat 2: 
Isaac Johnston (Ngapuhi), 9.50, 1, Jason Matthews (Te Atiawa), 7.00, 2, Kiri Binnersley (Ngati Porou), 5.46, 3, Josephine Moore (Te Atiawa), 4.93, 4

Longboard Division Final

Jason Matthews (Te Atiawa), 12.33, 1, Isaac Johnston (Ngapuhi), 10.3, 2, Billy Whelan (Ngati Maru), 9.54, 3, Tama Blackburn (Maniapoto), 6.2, 4

Men’s SUP Final

Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine), 15.07, 1, Alan Te Moananui (Tamatera), 14.16, 2, Curtis Nu’u (Tuwharetoa), 6.83, 3

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