The rush to defeat the storm bearing down on New Zealand this weekend, made for an action packed day of surfing at the Sticky Johnson 2020 Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy on Saturday (26th September).
The champs, held at Makorori Beach, Gisborne, was the first national event since the lockdown in March with 110 young groms and their families making the most of the amazing weather. Despite the surf being well under the 1.0m mark, there were perfect little waves all day with clean offshore winds giving everyone just enough opportunity to have fun.
Only two of the three round robins were contested to find the finalists with the event wrapping up minutes before darkness descended on Makorori Beach.
Four champions were crowned along with Bay Boardriders taking out top club for the third time and defending their 2019 title.
Tao Mouldey (Mnt) and Maya Mateja (Rag) were victorious in the Year 7 and 8 Division, surfing off against some tight opposition all day.
Mouldey opened his final with some clean backhand turns and a long righthander and never let go of the final eventually winning out over 2019 Year 6 and Below champion Tyler Stenzel (Mnt). Stenzel won overall performance of the event for the four heats that he surfed. Young Taranaki goofy footer Soren Bucka-Christensen finished in third place ahead of Dale Cromhout (HBay) in fourth. Cromhout, the biggest of all finalists, eventually succumbing to the small waves.
Mateja was the smallest of the girls finalists and her stylish approach saw her also hold the lead for much of her final. Mateja finished with a 9.17 point heat total to fend off Chloe Groube (Pau) finishing runner up. Ariana Walker (Mnt) finished in third place ahead of India Kennings (Wgm) in fourth.
Christchurch surfer Benji Lowen impressed all weekend before winning out in the Year 6 and Below Boys Division. Lowen, who also won the award for turn of the day, surfed to a 10.53 point heat total in the final for a comfortable win. Kaikoura surfer Sonny Lyons finished runner up in the final ahead of Indica Corcoran (Mnt) in third and Cade Carr (Mnt) in fourth.
Alani Morse (Orewa) defended her title in the Year 6 and Below Girls Division, edging out Lola Groube (Pau), 8.0 vs 7.8 points out of a total of 10. Both surfers had won both of their round robin heats and were destined for a finals match-up for the second straight year. Ruby Milne (Wgm) finished the final in third place ahead of Mahia’s Mika Gordon in fourth.
The prizegiving wrapped up well after dusk with dozens of groms frothing out over the giveaways from Sticky Johnson and Skullcandy before heading to their accommodation to hide from the pending storm. New friendships made, skills learnt, and lots of fun had to start the school holidays.
The 2020 Primary School Championships are supported by Gisborne Boardriders, Sticky Johnson and Skullcandy. The event is made possible with funding from Eastern and Central Community Trust.
Story: Ben Kennings/Surfing New Zealand
Photos: Surfing New Zealand
Final results Sticky Johnson 2020 Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy
Year 7 & 8 Boys Division Semifinals
Tyler Stenzel (Mnt), 1, Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 2, PJ Klein Ovink (Auck), 3, Cohen Graham (Auck), 4
Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 1, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Mnt), 2, Gabriel Lobb (Gis), 3, Kauai Rahui (Whgrei), 4
Year 7 & 8 Boys Division Finals
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 11.33, 1, Tyler Stenzel (Mnt), 10.13, 2, Soren Bucka – Christensen (Mnt), 5.17, 3, Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 4.82, 4
Year 6 and Below Boys Division Semifinals
Benji Lowen (Chch), 1, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 2, Jesse Frazerhurst (Auck), 3, Kentaro Mitchell, 4
Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 1, Cade Carr (Mnt), 2, Zeke Pregert (Piha), 3, Remy Sale (Auck), 4
Year 6 and Below Boys Division Finals
Benji Lowen (Chch), 10.53, 1, Sonny Lyons (Kaik), 7.93, 2, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 5.56, 3, Cade Carr (Mnt), 2.46, 4
Year 7 & 8 Girls Division Finals
Maya Mateja (Rag), 9.17, 1, Chloe Groube (Pau), 7.77, 2, Ariana Walker (Mnt), 3.97, 3, India Kennings (WGM), 3.63, 4
Year 6 and Below Girls Division Finals
Alani Morse (Orewa), 8, 1, Lola Groube (Pau), 7.8, 2, Ruby Milne (WGM), 4, 3, Mika Gordon (Mah), 1.3, 4