Taranaki claim fourth Surf League crown

Sunday, 12 February 2012

They went in as underdogs but Taranaki again showed plenty of bite in taking out their fourth successive Lion Foundation NZ Surf League title in Mount Maunganui today.

With Auckland and Gisborne boasting strong teams in the annual surf lifesaving provincial teams event, most pundits ignored recent history in picking their winners.

The only problem was they forgot to ask the proud black and golds, who cleared out to win by 11 points after two days of competition.

"We've built a winning culture and we went in there this weekend as a little bit of an underdog," veteran Taranaki sprinter Paul Cracroft-Wilson said.  "We had the belief and we had the crew - a nice mix of experience and youth - and deep down, we knew we were going to come out on top again. It means a lot and because of all the talk going into it, this is probably the best of the four wins."

Taranaki collected 251 points from the 36 open events.  Gisborne won the carnival-ending Dearlove relay to finish second on 240, edging Auckland who finished on 236.

Once again, Taranaki's team culture proved insurmountable, with New Zealand team members Glenn Anderson, Cracroft-Wilson and Ayla Dunlop-Barrett adding the sparkle to an all-round effort.

IRB guns Andrew Cronin and James Morwood won all four of their races while the canoe crew were also exceptional.

"There's a core group of guys in the canoe and the IRBs and they're the mainstays of the team," Cracroft-Wilson explained. "Having guys like that in there just helps accumulate points and it all went to plan."

Halligan's efforts were just as special, winning all four ironwoman races - two in the under-19s and two in the open - over the weekend, helping Gisborne win the under-19 title.

The daughter of former Kiwis rugby league player Daryl Halligan needed sprint finishes each afternoon to get past New Zealand star Nikki Cox.

"I was a bit unfit going into the Aussie titles in a few weeks but this weekend has definitely sorted me out.," Halligan said. "I'm stinging now but it's great to get some good racing in going into the pointy end of the season."

She was nearly matched by 17-year-old Gisborne schoolboy Cory Taylor, who won both his under-19 races and added a win in the open yesterday.  Fellow Gisborne athlete Oliver Puddick - drafted into the Wellington team for the event - won today's ironman from Auckland's Chris Moors.

Taylor explained the heavy workload eventually took its toll.

"I'm quite happy with that - I was hoping to get four from four but my swim leg was a real struggle in that last one," Taylor said.  "I just couldn't seem to keep up with the pace at the start and had to play catch-up.."

Auckland's Chanel Hickman grabbed the women's beach flags and beach sprint double today, while Bay of Plenty 17-year-old Kodi Harman again dominated the men's sprint.

Cracroft-Wilson looked set for another flags title but false-started in the final, handing the win to New South Welshman Blake Drysdale.

New South Wales finished fourth, edging past hosts Bay of Plenty in the last relay, with Hawke's Bay sixth.

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 Taranaki celebrate their fourth successive win in the Lion Foundation NZ Surf League. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Journalism.

Sunday open results:

Beach Relay:

Taranaki (Daniel Nelson/Isaac Owen/Campbell Begg/Glenn Anderson/Paul Cracroft-Wilson/Ayla Dunlop-Barrett/Katie Watts/Casey Stevens) 1, Auckland (Chanel Hickman/Kirsty Wannan/Danielle McKenzie/Dylan French/David Butt/Michael Lee/Kevin Morrison/Vaughan Roberts) 2, Gisborne (Mike Janes/Jamieson Gibson Park/Mike King/Toby Harris/Emily Willock/Laura Shorter/Briar Wilkie/Jaron Mumby) 3, Bay of Plenty (Arna Wright/Brooke Shergold/Katrina Madill/Andrew Newton/Max Beattie/Kodi Harman/Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler) 4, Hawkes  Bay (Ben Cross/Ben Gillies/John O'Malley/Scott Bicknell/Hamish Beattie/Nikki Cox/Sarah Karika/Simone Baarspul) 5, Canterbury (Alice Dimond/Carl Righton/Mark Cresswell/Sharne Quickenden/Morgan Foster/Steven Drabble/Ben Phillips/Leah Temesvari) 6, Wellington (Holly Janssen/Kayla Imrie/Chantelle Cowlrick/Richard Whinham/Brent Harvey/Murdoch Finch/Tyler Maxwell/Thomas McCarthy) 7. New South Wales (Tahnee Fleming/Danielle Radford/Kate Williams/Blake Drysdale/Jarrad Kucler/Isaac Morgan/Lachlan Pritchard/Mitchell Trim) 8, Otago (Michael Hastie/Heath Ratten/Ryan Shanks/Jamie BenhidiJames Coombes/Steph Laughton/Monique Francois/Tamsin McCarthy) 9.

IRB Single Rescue: 

Taranaki (Andrew Cronin/James Morwood/Casey Stevens) 1, Otago (Monique Francois/Sam Kinraid/Michael Kinraid) 2, Wellington (Kelsey Moffatt/Richard Whinham/Brent Harvey) 3, Hawkes Bay (Michael Harman/Ben Cross/Simone Baarspul) 4, Canterbury (Simon Williams/Blair Quane/Alice Dimond) 5, Auckland (Kirsty Wannan/David Butt/Brent Matuschka) 6, Gisborne (Blair Wilkie/Geoff Cronin/Jaron Mumby) 7, New South Wales (Danielle Radford/Jarrad Kucler/Lachlan Pritchard) 8, Bay of Plenty (Katrina Madill/Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler) Dq.

Mixed Ski Relay:

Wellington Kayla Imrie/Marty McDowell) 1, Hawkes Bay (Scott Bicknell/Nikki Cox) 2, Gisborne (Matt Sutton/Emily Willock) 3, Auckland  (Rachel Clarke/Travis Mitchell) 4, Bay of Plenty (Brooke Shergold/Daniel Hooker) 5, Otago (Ryan Shanks/Ratten/Carla Laughton) 6, New South Wales Joanna Baxter/Mitchell Trim) 7, Taranaki Daniel Nelson/Rebecca Cole) 8, Canterbury (Kate Johnston/Hadyn Lockie) 9.

Surf Teams Race-Male: 

New South Wales (Mitchell Fagestrom/Jack Moyes) 1, Bay of Plenty (Max Beattie/Brad Wilson) 2, Taranaki( (Isaac Owen/Glenn Anderson) 3, Wellington (Thomas McCarthy/Teina Stacey) 4, Gisborne (Cory Taylor/Mike Janes) 5, Canterbury (Steven Drabble/Ben Phillips) 6, Hawkes Bay (Ben Gillies/Daniel Moodie) 7, Auckland Dylan French/Christopher Moors) 8, Otago Michael Hastie/Adam Simpson) 9.  


Surf Teams Race-Female:

Auckland Madison Boon/Kirsty Wannan) 1, Otago (Steph Laughton/Carina Doyle) 2, Gisborne (Devon Halligan/Jess Parr) 3, Taranaki (Ayla Dunlop-Barrett/Nikaela Gilmer) 4, New South Wales (Lauren Hall/Danielle Radford) 5, Bay of Plenty (Jess Miller/Natalie Peat) 6, Hawkes Bay (Larissa Cowlrick/Clair Benson) 7, Wellington (Kelsey Moffatt/Chantelle Cowlrick) 8, Canterbury Sharne Quickenden/Megan Locke) 9.

Surf Canoe Race 1: 

Taranaki (Kent Fraser/James Morwood/Campbell Begg/Katie Watts) 1, Hawkes Bay (Jared Phelps/Scott BicknellHamish Beattie/Larissa Cowlrick) 2, Canterbury (Carl Righton/Mark Cresswell/Kate Johnston/Hadyn Lockie) 3, Wellington (Kayla Imrie/Richard Whinham/Brent Harvey/Marty McDowell) 4, Gisborne (Matt Sutton/Jack Gavin/Mike King/Emily Willock) 5, New South Wales (Danielle Radford/Matthew Eltham/Mitchell Trim/Matthew Fagestrom) 6, Auckland (Rachel Clarke/Michael Lee/Travis Mitchell/Kevin Morrison) 7, Otago (Michael Hastie/Heath Ratten/Ryan Shanks/Carla Laughton) 8, Bay of Plenty (Brooke Shergold/Andrew Newton/Daniel Hooker/Blair Dunn) 9.

IRB Assembly: 

Taranaki (Andrew Cronin/James Morwood/Casey Stevens) 1, Gisborne (Blair Wilkie/Geoff Cronin/Jaron Mumby) 2, Otago (Michael Hastie/Sam Kinraid/Michael Kinraid) 3, Bay of Plenty Katrina Madill/Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler) 4, Wellington (Kelsey Moffatt/Richard Whinham/Brent Harvey) 5, Auckland (Kirsty Wannan/David Butt/Brent Matuschka) 6, Hawkes Bay (Michael Harman/Ben Cross/Simone Baarspul) 7, Canterbury (Simon Williams/Blair Quane/Alice Dimond) 8. New South Wales (Danielle Radford/Jarrad Kucler/Lachlan Pritchard) Dq.

Beach Flags-Male: 

Blake Drysdale (New South Wales) 1, Paul Cracroft-Wilson (Taranaki) 2, Morgan Foster (Canterbury) 3, Murdoch Finch (Wellington) 4, Kodi Harman (Bay of Plenty) 5, Jamieson Gibson Park (Gisborne) 6, Jamie Banhidi (Otago) 7, Ben Cross (Hawkes Bay) 2, Vaughan Roberts (Auckland) 9.

Beach Flags-Female: 

Chanel Hickman (Auckland) 1, Kate Williams (New South Wales) 2, Laura Shorter (Gisborne) 3, Simone Baarspul (Hawkes Bay) 4, Tamsin McCarthy (Otago) 5, Casey Stevens (Taranaki) 6, Holly Janssen (Wellington) 7, Alice Dimond (Canterbury) 8, Arna Wright (Bay of Plenty) 9.

Mixed Rescue Relay: 

Taranaki (Daniel Nelson/Glenn Anderson/Ayla Dunlop-Barrett/Nikaela Gilmer) 1, Auckland (Madison Boon/Kirsty Wannan//Dylan French/Kevin Morrison) 2, Bay of Plenty (Natalie Peat/Katrina Madill/Brad Wilson/Blair Dunn) 3, Wellington (Kelsey Moffatt/Chantelle Cowlrick/Thomas McCarthy/Tyler Maxwell) 4, Gisborne (Mike Janes/Jamieson Gibson Park/Devon Halligan/Jess Parr) 5, Hawkes Bay (Ben Gillies/Jared Phelps/Nikki Cox/Clair Benson) 6, New South Wales (Tahnee Fleming/Lauren Hall/Mitchell Fagestron/Jack Moyes) 7, Canterbury (Mark Cresswell/Sharne Quickensden/Megan Lockie/Hadyn Lockie) 8. Otago (Adam Simpson/James Coombes/Steph Laughton/Carina Doyle) DNF.

Board Teams Race-Male:

Taranaki (Daniel Nelson/Isaac Owen) 1, New South Wales (Matthew Eltham/Jack Moyes) 2, Auckland (Chris Moors/Kevin Morrison) 3, Bay of Plenty (Andrew Newton/Max Beattie) 4, Wellington (Tyler Maxwell/Oliver Puddick) 5, Gisborne (Matt Sutton/Cory Taylor) 6, Otago (Michael Hastie/James Coombes) 7, Hawkes Bay (Daniel Moodie/Hamish Beattie) 8, Canterbury (Steven Drabble/Ben Phillips) 9.

Board Teams Race-Female: 

Auckland (Madison Boon/Danielle McKenzie) 1, Gisborne( (Devon Halligan/Jess Parr) 2, Hawkes Bay (Nikki Cox/Larissa Cowlrick) 3, Bay of Plenty (Arna Wright/Katrina Madill) 4, New South Wales (Tahnee Fleming/Lauren Hall) 5, Taranaki (Ayla Dunlop-Barrett/Nikaela Gilmer) 6, Otago (Carla Laughton/Monique Francois) 7, Wellington (Kayla Imrie/Leesa Barton) 8, Canterbury Sharne Quickenden/Kate Johnston) 9.

Surf Canoe Race 2: 

Wellington (Kayla Imrie/Richard Whinham/Brent Harvey/Marty McDowell) 1, Auckland (Rachel Clarke/Michael Lee/Travis Mitchell/Kevin Morrison) 2, New South Wales (Danielle Radford/Matthew Eltham/Mitchell Fagestrom/Mitchell Trim) 3, Taranaki (Kent Fraser/James Morwood/Campbell Begg/Katie Watts) 4, Canterbury (Carl Righton/Mark Cresswell/Kate Johnston/Hadyn Lockie) 5, Gisborne (Matt Sutton/Jack Gavin/Mike King/Emily Willock) 6, Otago (Monique Francois/Heath Ratten/Ryan Shanks/Carla Laughton) 7, Hawkes Bay (John O'Malley/Jared Phelps/Scott Bicknell/Larissa Cowlrick) 8, Bay of Plenty (Brooke Shergold/Andrew Newton/Daniel Hooker/Blair Dunn) 9.


Devon Halligan (Gisborne) 1, Nikki Cox (Hawkes Bay) 2, Joanna Baxter (New South Wales) 3, Madison Boon (Auckland) 4, Natalie Peat (Bay of Plenty) 5, Monique Francois (Otago) 6, Leesa Barton (Wellington) 7, Ayla Dunlop-Barrett (Taranaki) 8, Megan Lockie (Canterbury) 9.


Gisborne (Cory Taylor/Mike Janes) 1, Taranaki (Daniel Nelson/Glenn Anderson) 2, Auckland (Dylan French/Chris Moors) 3, Wellington (Tyler Maxwell/Oliver Puddick) 4, Bay of Plenty (Max Beattie/Daniel Hooker) 5, New South Wales (Jack Moyes/Mitchell Trim) 6, Hawkes Bay (Daniel Moodie/Hamish Beattie) 7, Otago (James Coombes/Adam Simpson) 8, Canterbury (Steven Drabble/Ben Phillips) 9.

Beach Sprint-Male: 

Kodi Harman (Bay of Plenty) 1, Paul Cracroft-Wilson (Taranaki) 2, Morgan Foster (Canterbury) 3, Blake Drysdale (New South Wales) 4, Jamie Banhidi (Otago) 5, Vaughan Roberts (Auckland) 6, Toby Harris (Gisborne) 7, Murdoch Finch (Wellington) 8, John O'Malley (Hawkes Bay) 9.

Beach Sprint-Female: 

Chanel Hickman (Auckland) 1, Laura Shorter (Gisborne) 2, Sarah Karika (Hawkes Bay) 3, Arna Wright (Bay of Plenty) 4, Tamsin McCarthy (Otago) 5, Katie Watts (Taranaki) 6, Kate Williams (New South Wales) 7, Holly Janssen (Wellington) 8, Leah Temesvari (Canterbury) 9.

Dearlove Relay: 

Gisborne (Matt Sutton/Cory Taylor/Mike Janes/Jamieson Gibson Parl/Mike King/Toby Harris/Devon Halligan/Emily Willock/Laura Shorter/Briar Wilkie/Geoff Cronin/Jaron Mumby) 1, New South Wales (Tahnee/Lauren Hall/Danielle Redford/Kate Williams/Blake Drysdale/Matthew Eltham/Mitchell Fagestrom/Jarrad Kucler/Isaac Morgan/Jack Moyes/Lachlan Pritchard/Mitchell Trim) 2, Hawkes Bay (Michael Harman/Ben Cross/Ben Gillies/Daniel Moodie/John O'Malley/Jared Phelps/Scott Bicknell/Hamish Beattie/Nikki Cox/Simone Baarspul/Larissa Cowlrick/Clair Benson) 3, Taranaki (Daniel Nelson/Isaac Owen/Kent Fraser/Andrew Cronin/James Morwood/Campbell Begg/Glenn Anderson/Paul Cracroft-Wilson/Ayla Dunlop-Barrett/Katie Watts/Casey Stevens/Rebecca Cole) 4, Auckland (Chanel Hickman/Rachel Clarke/Kirsty Wannan/Danielle McKenzie/Dylan French/David Butt/Michael Lee/Brent Matuschka/Travis Mitchell/Chris Moors/Kevin Morrison/Vaughan Roberts) 5, Wellington (Holly Janssen/Kayla Imrie/Kelsey Moffatt/Chantelle Cowlrick/Richard Whinham/Brent Harvey/Marty McDowell/Murdoch Finch/Tyler Maxwell/Thomas McCarthy/Teina Stacey/Oliiver Puddick) 6, Bay of Plenty (Arna Wright/Natalie Peat/Brooke Shergold/Katrina Madill/Andrew Newton/Max Beattie/Brad Wilson/Kodi Harman/Daniel Hooker/Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler) 7, Canterbury (Simon Williams/Blair Quane/Alice Dimond/Carl Righton/Mark Cresswell/Sharne Quickenden/Kate Johnston/Morgan Foster/Steven Drabble/Ben Phillips/Hadyn Lockie/Leah Temesvari) 9, Otago (Michael Hastie/Heath Ratten/Adam Simpson/Ryan Shanks/Joe Kemp/James Coombes/Carla Laughton/Carina Doyle/Monique Francois/Sam Kinraid/Michael Kinraid/Tamsin McCarthy) 9.

Points (After Day Two).  Taranaki 251 1, Gisborne 240 2, Auckland 236 3, New South Wales 202 4, Bay of Plenty 199 5, Hawkes Bay 197 6, Wellington 168 7, Otago 135 8, Canterbury 125 9.