Surf boat series to be decided

Friday, 7 February 2014

Article by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services 

Piha's surf boat supremacy can be confirmed tomorrow, with Waihi Beach hosting the final round of the national series.

Doubling as the North Island championships, the Waihi round caps a busy month for the largest craft in the surf lifesaving movement, after the first round of the series was canceled due to bad weather in Wellington late last year.

Since then, Piha crews have enjoyed plenty of success, leading three of the four divisions in the series, including the feature open men's and open women's standings.

Piha's open men - swept by Mark Bourneville - will also benefit from the absence of defending North Island champions Titahi Bay who, along with the Red Beach women's crew, will be representing New Zealand rowing against the best crews in Australia at a carnival in Newcastle this weekend.

Bourneville's crew of Paul Gerritsen, Scott Lissington, Benjamin Richards and Ben Scott will have plenty of chasers, however, led by Red Beach and Paekakariki, who lie second-equal in the overall standings after last week's third round at the Piha Big Wave Classic.

Orewa and Omanu have also been among the form crews in the open women's division, though Piha's Jo Fyfe, Mare Haitsma, Lauren Kavanagh, Annelies Visser and Mariska Visser have a two-point lead in the series standings.

In the under-23 men, Piha and Red Beach share the lead with one round remaining, while Waihi Beach leads the under-19 division, courtesy of their victory in the Whangamata round last month.

Racing will start at midday tomorrow. Follow the live results here throughout the day.

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The Piha men's surf boat crew will be eyeing national series success at Waihi Beach tomorrow.  Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services.