Surfer run­ner-up for Ma¯ori ti­tles

Waihi Leader - - News -

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.

PHOTO / CORY SCOTT.

Waihi Beach surfer Levi Stew­art at Aotearoa Ma¯ori Ti­tles.

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