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The week-long Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing heads into the final two days of festivities this weekend with the surfing action taking centre stage today (Friday 16th March) at New Brighton, Christchurch.

Junior surfers contested the preliminary rounds of their respective divisions from Under 18 through to Under 12.

The surf remained under the 1.0m mark on the south side of the pier but variable winds for much of the day made surface conditions clean for all of the surfers.

Local surfer Myka Black cruised his way through both of his heats today with heat wins in the Under 18 and Under 16 Boys Divisions.  Black made his local knowledge count in each heat posting totals of 14 points or more utilising the inside right hand rip bowl tucked in beside the pier.

Black meets number one ranked surfer Kora Cooper (Rag) in the quarterfinals along with today’s other stand-out and local surfer Neko Tohiariki.  Tohiariki upset Cooper in the first heat of the day and the two surfers will go at it again on Saturday in the quarterfinal.

Tom Robinson (Whngrei) bookended the round with a 13.0 point heat in in the last heat.  Robinson is fresh back from Australia where he took in the first event of the World Tour at Snapper Rocks this week. He looked like he was drawing off his Australian experience for his own performance today.

Robinson will meet Dunedin’s Ruben Peyroux in the quarterfinals.  Peyroux’s smooth forehand surfing saw him take a comfortable win to advance alongside Mitchell Dalley (Mnt).

The top seeds in the Under 16 Girls Division delivered on their pre-event promise notching up healthy heat wins.  Brie Bennett (Rag), Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and Estella Hungerford (Chch) all advanced through to the semifinals with heat wins.  The three surfers will be challenged by the younger pairing of Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) and Ava Henderson (Chch) tomorrow after both surfers advanced through their Under 14 and Under 16 heats today.

Bennett, Wederell and Hungerford were also successful in the Under 18 Girls Division and they will be joined by Tegen Bishop (Chch), Eve Findlay (WC) and Aimee Brown in the semifinals tomorrow.

Caleb Cutmore (Ham) continued to display exceptional talent in the Under 18 Boys Division posting the day’s highest heat score of 16.7 points out of a possible.  Cutmore was joined by North Island surfers Josef Jungwirth (Rag) and Tom Robinson (Whngrei) but it was the local Christchurch surfers that dominated the first round.  The aforementioned Black will be accompanied by Under 16 Boys Division standout Neko Tohiariki as well as Zayne Stringer and Riley Gibson, Gibson causing the upset of the day eliminating Jack Lee (Whaka).

In the afternoon, the Under 12 Divisions were contested over the full tide.  Many of the participants took on the challenge of the waves out the back while some of the newcomers opted for the whitewash on the inside.  Highlights included some great surfing from Misha Peyroux (Dun) and Sophia Brock (Mnt) in the girls and Jack Tyro (Chc) and Tom Robertson (Chch) in the boys.

Saturday action will be split across two arenas, one each side of the pier.  The longboarding divisions will be contested to the north of the pier and the juniors to the south of the pier starting at 8am.

Please see below for results from day one of the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing held at New Brighton Beach, Christchurch today (Friday 16th March).

Under 18 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Casper McCormick (Chch), 8.13, 1, Madoc Barclay (Oam), 7.17, 2, Harry Wilkie (Chch), 4.93, 3, Toby Hille (Chch), 4.7, 4
Heat 2
Riley Gibson (Chch), 5.7, 1, Josh McCaffrey (Chch), 5.5, 2, Henry Foster (Chch), 2.57, 3, Henry Craw (Chch), 2.33, 4

Under 18 Boys Round 2
Heat 1

Myka Black (Chch), 13.7, 1, Ruben Peyroux (Dun), 10.4, 2, Jacob Fitzgerald (WC), 6.43, 3, Casper McCormick (Chch), 5.23, 4
Heat 2
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 16.7, 1, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 12.9, 2, Madoc Barclay (Oam), 8.3, 3, Mitchell Dalley (Mnt), 5.8, 4
Heat 3
Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 12.6, 1, Zayne Stringer (Chch), 8, 2, Jordon Sparrow (Chch), 7.57, 3, Josh McCaffrey (Chch), 3.73, 4
Heat 4
Josef Jungwirth, 11.3, 1, Riley Gibson (Chch), 7.9, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 7.1, 3, Raul Ventura (Nel), 4.6, 4

Under 16 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Neko Tohiariki (Chch), 10.7, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 9.7, 2, Koby Cameron (Chch), 6, 3, Yascha Gillenhaas (Chch), 2.9, 4
Heat 2
Myka Black (Chch), 14.5, 1, Dara O’Malley (Chch), 7.8, 2, Jack McKenzie (Chch), 5.6, 3, Nixon Reardon (Dun), 5, 4
Heat 3
Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 10.7, 1, James Millar (Chch), 7.3, 2, Josh McCaffrey (Chch), 4.2, 3, Tyler Perry (Kaik), 3.8, 4
Heat 4
Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.8, 1, Maddoc Barclay (Oam), 5.9, 2, Luke Rogers (Dun), 4.8, 3, Mitchell Brown (GB), 2.2, 4
Heat 5
Ruben Peyroux (Dun), 11.5, 1, Mitchell Dalley (Mnt), 6.7, 2, Reuben Lyons (Kaik), 5.3, 3, Brooklyn Ward (Chch), 3.7, 4
Heat 6
Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 13, 1, Jacob Fitzgerald (WC), 9.1, 2, Jai Oakley (Chch), 7.1, 3, Campbell Heasley (Chch), 4.3, 4

Under 18 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Brie Bennett (Rag), 14.5, 1, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 9.7, 2, Michaela Wilson (Chch), 1.9, 3
Heat 2
Aimee Brown (Auck), 7.4, 1, Eve Findlay (WC), 6.8, 2, Jaya Reardon (Dun), 2.2, 3
Heat 3
Tegen Bishop (Chch), 13, 1, Estella Hungerford (Chch), 8.5, 2, Anika Ayson (Dun), 4.4, 3

Under 16 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 11.3, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 7.5, 2, Lily Robertson (Chch), 5.8, 3, Tui Rudulph (Chch), 0.8, 4
Heat 2
Brie Bennett (Rag), 12.6, 1, Anika Ayson (Dun), 5.5, 2, Jaya Reardon (Dun), 4.67, 3, Pounamu Millar – Greig (Chch), 2.07, 4
Heat 3
Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 10.8, 1, Anna Brock (Mnt), 6.3, 2, Amelie Wink (Chch), 4.9, 3, Leah Wilson (Chch), 4.47, 4
Heat 4
Estella Hungerford (Chch), 11.8, 1, Liv Haysom (Piha), 5.3, 2, Maddi Wilson (Chch), 3.6, 3, Ruby Armstrong (Chch), 3.33, 4

The Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing features over $15,000 in prizes making it one of the richest events on the New Zealand and South Island Surfing Circuits in 2018.

The event is co-sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association meaning valuable national and regional ranking points being on offer across all divisions.

Information
For more information on the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing please contact Warren Hawke on 021 293 5735 or wajhawke@yahoo.com or Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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Keep in touch with all the surfing info from around the country by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.  Follow the Ray White Duke Festival of Surfing on Instagram – @dukefestivalofsurfing, Facebook – @Dukesfestival and @dukefestivalof2 on Twitter.

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