Local surfers shine in NZ scholastics
‘‘Our team is really strong this year and we're looking forward to some great performances over the week’’
Christchurch surfers Conor McLennan and Myka Black have been showing their style in the 2017 National Scholastic Surfing Championships which started in Gisborne on Monday, as regional teams from around the country attempted to keep a clean slate through the first rounds.
Surfing NZ liaison Ben Kennings said waves of around 1metre pushed through consistently throughout the day allowing the first rounds of all boys’ divisions to be contested.
Local surfer Finn Vette, the youngest of the Gisborne team, posted the day’s highest total heat score of 16.43 points out of a possible 20 in his Under 14 Boys heat. Vette also claimed the highest single wave score of the day with an 8.87 out of 10.
He was followed closely by Canterbury’s Conor McLennan (North Wai) who surfed to an impressive 16.10 point heat total in the Under 18 Boys Division. McLennan led seven out of eight Canterbury team members through to the second round of the event.
Rising young Christchurch surfer Myka Black (North Wai) is also competing in the scholastics for the first time this year contesting the Under 14 Boys Division.
Canterbury team of 12 plus one reserve, the region’s best high school age surfers, trained all winter under Canterbury coach Mark Perana, Nick Black (Myka’s father) and Alan Te Moananui at beaches from Sumner to Waikuku.
Canterbury Scholastics chairman Aaron Lock said the team had enjoyed ‘‘fantastic support’’ from the local community who helped with fundraising, as well as from Southern Trust, NZ Community Trust, Exit Surf, and Against the Grain Screen Printing.
‘‘The team is really strong this year and we’re looking forward to some great performances over the week,’’ Lock said.
The National Scholastics are the pinnacle of junior surfing in New Zealand. Unique to the event is the fact that surfers have to qualify to compete as part of 12 regional teams.
The event is held over five days and crowns an overall team winner plus individual winners in each of the age groups from under-14 to under-18.
Christchurch surfer Myka Black at the National Scholastic Surfing Championships in Gisborne.