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Mt Maunganui Bay Boardriders defend title

Updated: Apr 16

Bay Boardriders surfers defend their national title.
Bay Boardriders (left to right) Elin Tawharu, Alex Dive, Tai Murphy, Tim O'Connor and Owen Barnes defend their national title. PHOTO: CPL

Mt Maunganui’s Bay Boardriders have defended their title at the 2024 New Zealand Boardrider Club Championships at Whangamata in a come-from-behind effort.


Their performance earns the club the right to represent New Zealand at the Usher Cup World Club Challenge being held on the Gold Coast in January 2025.


In an epic day of surfing contested in a building 1.5m – 2.0m swell and perfect offshore winds, Bay Boardriders found themselves trailing frontrunners Keyhole Boardriders going into the all-important tag team division on the final day. 


Despite playing catch up, the talent-laden team went about their work in the teams event progressing through to the final and holding on for a well-deserved win.


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“This means a lot to our club” said captain Owen Barnes.  “We went to the Usher Cup this year and got a taste of that event, competing with clubs from around the world and we wanted to come here this weekend and defend our title against some tough competition and we did that.  Now we get to give the international stage another shot next year,” he added.


“This win is much more than the five surfers standing up here.  The win is supported by all those club members that came up to Whangamata this weekend to support the team and to all those that put in the effort in the background to keep our club on the top of our game,” said Barnes.


The Bay Boardriders Team posted a 32.87 point heat total in the tag team final exiting the water with just under four minutes to go.  That left two teams within striking distance of the win and a chance to knock the defending champions off their perch as the clock ran down. 


First time participants Tairua Boardriders stunned the field on the way to the final and were left requiring a 7.4 point ride for the win but came up short and the young team had to settle for a respectable runner-up finish. 


Point Boardriders the 20222 champions from Raglan needed a 5.85 point ride for the win on their final wave but also came up short as the swell built and made life tough for each team’s final surfer. 


The score proved too much for Point Boardriders and they finished in third place ahead of host team Whangamata who had the wheels fall off in the final after a big day of action and they finished in fourth place unable to make it back to the team tents before the final hooter sounded.


Earlier in the day, it was Piha’s Keyhole Boardriders that set the pace winning the open men’s and women’s divisions courtesy of Elliot Paerata-Reid and Leia Millar.  However, they took a shock exit in the semifinals of the tag team to dash their title hopes.


Whangamata claimed the over-40 men’s division through Jos Kennings and Bay Boardriders picked up their sole individual title thanks to Tai Murphy in the under-18 boys.


Paerata-Reid claimed his second straight Highest Heat Score Award with another perfect 10-point ride in the first round of the tag team.


NZ BOARDRIDER CHAMPIONSHIPS


Team Standings

1, Bay Boardriders, 7628

2, Tairua Boardriders, 6615

3, Point Boardriders, 6245

4, Keyhole Boardriders, 6230

5, Whangamata Boardriders, 5795

6, Oakura Boardriders, 5530

7, Waihi Beach Boardriders, 5343

8, North Coast Boardriders, 4933

9, Lion Rock Boardriders, 4610

10, Maori Bay Boardriders, 4591

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