Dylan Barnfield 

19-year-old Ohope surfer Dylan Barnfield secured his maiden victory in the Open Men’s Division of the 2009 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour today.  The first event of the tour was held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui and Barnfield proved to be unstoppable in the final.  In the Open Women’s Division Daisy Thomas (Chch) defended the title she secured in 2008 and got her year off to another flying start.

The surf on the final day remained small and only just contestable.  An early meeting with all remaining surfers quickly confirmed their desire to see the event through to completion.

Barnfield posted 14.6 points out of a possible 20 in the final.  A 7.50 point ride followed by a 7.10 late in the heat was enough to secure his first victory “This is my first win since moving up from the junior division, it is such a good feeling to win again” reflected an ecstatic Barnfield.

The small conditions obviously played into Barnfield’s hands.  Coming from Ohope he is used to surfing whatever surf comes his way and today his small wave experience proved very valuable “Yeah it was small and tough – you really had to hope for a wave and then when the waves came your way you had to try and do something decent on them to score good points.  It was just contestable but I guess and everyone is in the same boat” Barnfield added in regard to the conditions he experienced today.

In the final with Barnfield was first time finalist Owen Barnes – the only local surfer in the Open Men’s final.  Barnes posted 13.60 points in the final using his aggressive style of surfing to score big.  A standout on day one, Barnes continued his run of form to upset several of the more favoured surfers that ride longboards on a permanent basis.

Slipping back to third late in the final was Australia’s Trent Dickey.  Dickey who returns to New Zealand each summer to contest the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour events showed some true international class to reach the final and give the Kiwi’s an early run for their money in the final.  He posted 13.50 in the final, 0.10 behind Barnes.  Placing fourth was Auckland’s Thomas Kibblewhite with a score of 11.9.


 
Earlier in the day Trent Dickey and Dylan Barnfield eliminated defending tour champion Daryn McBride (Mnt) and day one standout Leroy Rust (Dun) in semifinal one.  Thomas Kibblewhite and Owen Barnes defeated Michael Burling (Gis) and Phil Morris (Auck) in semifinal two.

Defending Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Women’s Champion Daisy Thomas (Chch) started her year where she left off in 2008 by winning this weekend’s event.  Thomas ran away with the final scoring 15.25 points out of a possible 20.  Thomas won three of the seven events in 2008 including the National Championships in which she will attempt to defend next week.

“It was so difficult out there.  I actually managed to get a few above knee high so I was lucky” commented a clearly elated Thomas.

The difference appeared to be the aggression that Thomas surfed with attacking the small closeouts to finish her waves.  “My plan was to be aggressive out there.  I thought that by doing so I might get the edge over the other girls in the final.  I think it is the shortboard aggression coming out in me” added Thomas. 

In similar fashion runner-up Alexis Poulter (Rag) who is also predominantly a shortboard surfer attacked the end sections to get up over her competitors scoring 11.85.  Placing third in the final was Belinda Goodwin (Rag) ahead of Shereen Lobb (Port Waikato) in fourth.

The young Australian whizz kid Jackson Winter fended off his three Kiwi counterparts in the Junior Men’s final.  Winter’s smooth style and slick footwork was enough for him to post 14.50 in the final – more than three points clear of his nearest opponent Rick Williamson (Ohope).  Sam Guthrie (Mnt) finished in third place with Eli Barnfield, younger brother of Dylan Barnfield in fourth.

Lynden Kennings (WGM) was too strong for his Over 40 Men’s competitors as he went on to successfully defend his Over 40s title from 2008.  Kennings scored 12.5 points to win the final ahead of local surfers Phil Griffin in second and Mal Brady in third.  Guy Rencher (Auck) placed fourth.

The Over 50 men’s final was one of the tightest of the day.  The ‘old boys’ of the event struggled to surf the tiny waves but it was Hawkes Bay’s Barry Watkins that took out the event a point clear of his fellow competitors.  Auckland’s Ian Parker was runner up ahead of Michael Thomson (Rag) and John Goddard (Auck).

The fun was brought back to the beach with the Hyundai paddle race which took place on the final day.  More than twenty surfers lined up for the race that rounded the three buoys marking out the artificial reef.  Matt Hewitt took the early lead with a strategic run at the start of the race.  However he was pegged back by Sam Hawke (Chch) toward the end of the race.  After almost giving up at the end, Hewitt managed to pick up a small wave and ride it toward shore while Hawke basically paddled to the beach.  Neck and neck going into the run, Hewitt finally edged out Hawke for the victory.

Please see below for full results from event one of the 2009 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour held at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui from the 3-4 January.

Open Men’s Semifinals
Heat 1Trent Dickey (Aus), 1, Dylan Barnfield (Ohope), 2, Daryn Mcbride (Mnt), 3, Leroy Rust (Dun), 4, Heat 2Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 1, Owen Barnes (Mnt), 2, Michael Burling (Gis), 3, Phil Morris (Auck), 4

Open Men’s Finals
Dylan Barnfield (Ohope), 1, Owen Barnes (Mnt), 2, Trent Dickey (Aus), 3, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 4

Open Women’s Final
Daisy Thomas (ChCh), 1, Alexis Poulter (Rag), 2, Belinda Goodwin (Rag), 3, Shereen Lobb (Port Wai), 4

Over 40 Men’s Finals
Lynden Kennings (WGM), 1, Phil Griffin (Mnt), 2, Mal Brady (Mnt), 3, Guy Rencher (Gis), 4

Over 50 Men’s Final
Barry Watkins (HBay), 1, Ian Parker (Auck), 2, Mike Thomson (Rag), 3, John Goddard (Auck), 4

Under 18 Men’s Semifinals
Heat 1Jackson Winter (Noosa), 1, Sam Guthrie (Mnt), 2, Hone Douglas (Whakatane), 3Heat 2 Eli Barnfield (Ohope), 1, Rick Williamson (Ohope), 2, Leroy Rust ((Dun), 3

Under 18 Men’s Finals
Jackson Winter (Noosa), 1, Rick Williamson (Ohope), 2, Sam Guthrie (Mnt), 3, Eli Barnfield (Ohope), 4

The remaining five events for the 2009 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour follow:

Hyundai National Surfing Championships Presented by Quiksilver, Piha Beach – 10th – 17th January
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 3, Sandy Bay – 7th – 8th February
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 4, Christchurch – 21st – 22nd February
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 5, Whangamata – 14th – 15th March
Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour Event 6, Port Waikato – 27th – 28th March

Entry into the remaining five events can be completed at www.surfingnz.co.nz under events.  Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in.

Please see below for viewing times of Hyundai Summer of Surfing – Heke Ngaru to air on Maori Television.

26th March – Hyundai Summer of Surfing Episode 1 (Hyundai National Champs presented by Quiksilver)
2nd April – Hyundai Summer of Surfing Episode 2 (Mount Maunganui and Sandy Bay events)
9th April – Hyundai Summer of Surfing Episode 3 (Nationals Longboarding and Christchurch events)
16th April – Hyundai Summer of Surfing Episode 1 (repeat)
23rd April – Hyundai Summer of Surfing Episode 4 (Whangamata and Port Waikato events)


SOURCE: Surfing NZ