BLAIR / STE­WART

New Zealand Surfing - - Introducing -

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

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