BLAIR / STEWART
Another grommet hood prodigy of the early 90’s Blair had already begun to gain national notoriety as a 12-year-old, but this grom had something different. While other grooms had contest results and progressive manoeuvres in small beach breaks as their claims, it was in the big wave arena that Blair at such a young age had already built a massive reputation, regularly surfing breaks in Mahia such as Rolling Stones in massive conditions. In 1995 Blair won the NZ National U16 title and the following year aged 15 he was a finalist in the Open division finishing 3rd. Blair then headed off over the ditch to take on the Pro-Junior Series where he based himself and lived with Joel Parkinson for many years, securing a couple of semi-final results in the Pro-Juniors. Blair then went on to compete on the WQS circuit from 1999-2004 where he picked up a highest placing of 5th in Pantin Spain and finished a career best 103rd in 2002. But just as Allan Byrne had done 20+ years earlier it was in Hawaii during the winter season that Blair gained his biggest reputation charging Sunset and Pipe. In 2003 Blair made the quarter finals of the WQS 3000 Hansen’s Energy Pipeline contest, but unfortunately fractured his back during his quarter final which he won beating Sunny Garcia and Kahea Hart and could not compete in the rest of the event. Having gained such a reputation in waves of consequence Blair was invited to the Air Tahiti Nui Von Zipper Trials at Teahupoo where he made the quarter finals. Blair won his one and only National Open Title in 2003 in Dunedin. Blair owns and runs Sequence Surf Shop in Gisborne and continually gives back to the sport sponsoring and running events. He still surfs as much as he can locally and keeps an eye on the systems ready to chase those big wave spots when they turn on.
ABOVE: Blair warming up a couple of weeks before the Teahupoo Trials. Photo: Cory