Surfer runner-up for Ma¯ori titles
Fresh from his trip to Japan last month representing New Zealand at the World Surfing Games, Levi Stewart had another stellar performance last weekend in Waitara, Taranaki at the Aotearoa Ma¯ori Titles.
Surfers from Northland through to Canterbury and the West Coast entered the two-day event as well as a strong base of Taranaki surfers who wrestled back the Iwi Trophy from Bay of Plenty-based Nga¯ti Ranginui.
New Zealand representative Stewart (Waihi Beach) went into the weekend as the number one seed leading the way for the Open Men’s Division.
He took second place with 14.5 point heat total — close to akura surfer Bachelor Tipene who claimed first place with 15.7 points. Bachelor said he competes nationally rarely and has not attended the Ma¯ori Titles for nearly a decade.
Chris Malone of Raglan finished third with Taranaki’s Danny Kaweroa in fourth.
The Waihi Beach surfer sits in second overall on the New Zealand Surf Series and finished ninth at the New Zealand at the World Surfing Games in Japan.
As well as the talent within New Zealand’s top surfers, the contest offered an opportunity for Ma¯ori surfers to take part in a relaxed event, meet their peers from around the coastline and connect with the Ma¯ori community — an aspect of the event that is more important than the titles themselves, organisers say.
■ For results visit Surfing New Zealand online.
Waihi Beach surfer Levi Stewart at Aotearoa Ma¯ori Titles.