Tim O'Connor'

In testing 1 to 1.5m waves at Piha, Tim O'Connor (Mnt) methodically worked his way through a stella field to win the open mens final in an enduring 12 hour contest on Saturday (12th December). Organisers were keen to get the contest finished in one day and while the weather looked ominous to begin with, things improved and there were plenty of waves scored in the excellent range despite the ever changing tidal conditions.

Tim O'Connor saw off his opposing finalists with his clinical backhand snaps in the pocket followed up with some east coast reverse trickery on the inside. The judges were strict on ASP criteria and O'Connor took the title by being both radical and having variety in his moves.

Fellow Mount surfer, Alex Dive impressed all day with his speed and vertical attack everytime a critical section appeared. He claimed second in the Open after previously dispensing with all comers in the junior final. For Alex, it was hopefully a prequel for how he will want to perform at the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Championship that will also be held at Piha next month.

Bevan Wiig was the standout Auckland surfer of the day, coming third in the open, after having to dig his way out from his repercharge heat after a first round loss. Bevan was running on empty after also surfing through to place seocnd in the Senior Final.

Last year's champ, Scott Bell (Akld), surfed with his usual flair while the heats were out on the bar, but struggled to find the waves he needed in the evening high tide final, placing fourth.

The Juniors saw three members of the NZ Junior Team squad reach the final with JC Susan also from the Mount, finishing behind Alex Dive in second place. Ryan Hawker, from Piha, was only a fraction behind, placing third, with NZ Team surfer Ben Poulter (Rag) placing fourth.

Ben Poulter had surfed powerfully taking out big names in every heat he surfed, only faltering by 0.5 in his open semi final. Still only an under 16 surfer, Ben has let some of NZ's top open surfers know he can take them down in any conditions.

Ben's sister, Alexis, convincingly took out the Auckland Women's title from fellow NZ team members, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris in second and Grace Spiers in third. Local surfer Maiya Thompson placed fourth.

It was only in the Seniors where Auckland surfers could dominate, with Piharian Nat Barron, coming out of retirement to claim the Senior Champion title. Bevan Wiig placed second with Shaun Coffey in third and NZ 2009 Over 40 Champion, Rick Lasch placing fourth.

The organisers would like to thank Billabong, Hardcore Surf, Etnies, FCS/Gorrilla Grip, Pure Wax, Lifestream Spirulina, Piha Surf and the Piha Cafe.

Results were as follows:

Open Mens.
Quarter 1. Ben Poulter,1. Liam Joyce,2. Matt Hewitt,3. JC Susan,4.
Quarter 2. Scott Bell,1. Tim O'Connor,2. Subarn Linklater,3. Zen Wallis,4.
Quarter 3. Tane Wallis,1. Alex Dive,2. Steve Walker,3. Shaun Coffey,4.
Quarter 4. Bevan Wiig,1. Ryan Hawker,2. Rangi Ormond,3. Nick White,4.

Semi 1. Scott Bell,1. Tim O'Connor,2. Ben Poulter,3. Liam Joyce,4.
Semi 2. Alex Dive,1. Bevan Wiig,2. Ryan Hawker,3. Tane Wallis,4.

Final. Tim O'Connor,1. Alex Dive,2. Bevan Wiig,3. Scott Bell,4.

Junior Mens.
Semi 1. Ben Poulter,1. Ryan Hawker,2. Tane Wallis,3. Todd Doyle,4.
Semi 2. Alex Dive,1. JC Susan,2. Blake Myers,3. Elliot Paerata-Reid,4.

Final. Alex Dive,1. JC Susan,2. Ryan Hawker,3. Ben Poulter,4.

Seniors.
Semi 1. Bevan Wiig,1. Shaun Coffey,2. Brad Buckle,3.
Semi 2. Rick Lasch 1. Nat Barron,2. Steve Walker,3.

Final. Nat Barron,1. Bevan Wiig,2. Shaun Coffey, 3. Rick Lasch,4.

Womens.
Final. Alexis Poulter,1, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris,2. Grace Spiers,3. Maiya Thompson,4.

2009 Auckland Surfing Champs were presented by Billabong and Lion Rock Boardriders Club. For more info contact: or Clive Moreton (09) 834 6777.


SOURCE: Surfing New Zealand