Gisborne Surfing Team: congratulations

Gisborne has conquered the 2011 National Scholastic Surfing Championships, after the closest of battles to claim their first team title in six years, at Pines, Shipwreck Bay, in 1.0m waves with light westerly winds.

The Gisborne team who comprised only ten of a possible twelve surfers rode to an impeccable final day taking three titles and putting claim to eight finalists eventually nudging out Canterbury who almost snatched their first ever title. The margin after five days of surfing was a mere 244 points - the equivalent of one or two individual placings.

The Gisborne titles came through Under 16 Division surfers Adam Grimson and Jayda Martin - Fitzharris as well as Under 14 Girls surfer Jasmine Smith.

"This is absolutely the best the team could have done today with only ten surfers" said Adam Grimson. "We put in every ounce of energy that we have into this event, I think we deserve to win" added a grinning Grimson.

Waikato surfers Ben Poulter and Sid West led their team to seventh overall after placing first and second respectively in the Under 18 Boys Division.

"It got real tight because he (West) got that one big score but he didn't have a back up luckily" said Poulter. I was happy to surf a left-hand point break in the final, it suits my surfing so that helped today" said Poulter who's only other scholastic title was in the Under 14 Boys Division several years ago.

Canterbury took two titles on the final day, the biggest coming in the Under 18 Girls Division where they scored a one-two finish with Kristi Zarifeh in first and Alethea Lock in second. The result pushed them within 244 points of Gisborne.

"Yeah I am real stoked with the Canterbury team this year" said Zarifeh. "I am just real happy that we challenged for the win, even if we came second, it is the best we have ever done."

"I didn't think my best wave was that good at the time but the judges liked it and I got a 6.5 which was good" said Zarifeh of her best scoring ride.

The Under 16 Boys Division final was always going to be a tight affair and by the time the four groms exited the water, there was only 0.50 points separating first from third. However it was Grimson with a late inside wave scoring 4.80 that did enough to edge out Sean Kettle (Tara) and team mate Jules Craft.

"At the end I got one half way down the point and did a coupe of turns, I didn't think I was going to get the score and mucked around in the shore break after it and then came up to the team and they said fourth and third and then second and none of the names were mine, it took a while to realise that I had won" said Grimson.

In the Under 16 Girls Division an elated Jayda Martin - Fitzharris added a third title to the team performance defeating Ella Williams (Coro), Demi Hewitt (BOP) and Hannah Kohn (Auck) who finished second through fourth.

"I am so stoked, it means so much to finally win this event" said and emotional Martin - Fitzharris.

Canterbury claimed their first title of the day through the Under 14 Boys Division with Harrison Whiteside. Gisborne claimed their first title of the day through Jasmine Smith who came from behind scoring 7.0 on her last wave to blast past team mate Dayna Story who held the led for over 20 minutes. Smith looked strong on her forehand completing big forehand turns.

Sam Poulter claimed a Waikato victory in the Under 18 Longboard Division with his clean style and big powerful backhand re-entries running down the point at Pines. Poulter finished with a 12.83 point heat total for a comprehensive victory.

The Bodyboard Division was won by Bay of Plenty surfer Jamie Smith who found a couple of grunty sections over dry reef where he completed a sharp ARS (air-roll-spin) to score a 9.6 point ride. Smith also scored a 6.5 point ride for an easy victory over Auckland surfer Adam El Gana in second and Ben Hollands (Wgtn) in third.

Team Points
1, Gisborne, 15170
2, Canterbury, 14926
3, Bay of Plenty, 14780
4, Taranaki, 14070
5, Northland, 13573
6, Auckland, 13503
7, Waikato, 11990
8, Coromandel, 11710
9, Wellington, 6158
10, Hawkes Bay, 4575

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