Topic: Water

Māori surfers contest for No 1 Title at Backdoor BayBash

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • North Island: East Coast

Some of NZ’s top surfers have converged at Hawkes Bay’s Waimarama beach for the Backdoor BayBash competition.

The combined Pro Series and Grom Series competition bookends the calendar year of surfing events in NZ with 100 entrants, including NZ representatives, participating across seven divisions. 

Event co-ordinator Ben Kennings says the surfers will be looking to finish the year as the No.1 ranked surfer in their division heading into the year 2017.

‘For the winners, the national selectors are here so you’re looking at selection for NZ teams whether that’s the Open Mens or the Juniors. You're also looking for some sponsorship from the surf industry to make sure either that you're delivering for your sponsors. Or that if they’re trying to pick up sponsors it’s good to finish the year with the No.1 ranking.’

Top Māori surfers and NZ representatives such as Raiha Ensor, Jonas Tawharu and Lee Ririnui, to name a few, will be competing for this year’s top titles up for grabs in the Under 20 Girls Division and the Under 17 Boys Division.

Jonas Tawharu, Ngāti Raukawa, who has recently returned from competing at the World Junior Championships in the Azores Islands alongside team mates Lee Ririnui and Jared Gebert says to win a NZ title would be a dream come true.

‘I’d be pretty stoked to win a NZ title. There are a few really good guys from around the country here, especially in the Open Mens. Some of the older guys are amazing so should be on tomorrow.’

With the finals already under way, this afternoon will see who NZ’s top surfers are in the seven divisions.

For more on the Backdoor BayBash tune into Te Kāea.