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Dunedin is the focus of the New Zealand Surf Series this weekend with the Emerson’s South Island Championships taking place at St Clair Beach starting Friday (19 April).

The Easter event has a proud tradition of taking on whatever conditions the full moon offers over the holiday period and this time around the weather looks settled to start the event with a small swell.

Almost 200 entries have been received for the three-day event with the vast majority coming from the South Island surfing community eager to contest the southern-most nationally sanctioned event.

Defending champion Zen Wallis (Piha) returns to Dunedin this weekend as one of the top seeds along with fellow Piha surfer and number two seed Shane Kraus.  Wallis heads into the event looking to find form after a string of early exits this year which has him ranked 15th overall.

There are a number of past event champions entered in the event including 2017 and 2016 winners Luke Murphy and JC Susan, both locals that excel in the Dunedin line up.  The two surfers are more than capable of winning another title as are the likes of Elliott Brown and Jack McLeod, two young Dunedin surfers that spend more time in the St Clair waves than most.

Add to the Open Men’s Division mix Christchurch surfers such as Conor Mclennan and Harrison Whiteside, and the sharp end of the Emerson’s South Island Championships will be stacked with talent.

The Open Women’s Division comprises a number of up and coming junior talent including Mount Maunganui surfer Georgia Wederell, Estella Hungerford (Chch) and Tegen Bishop (Chch) who fill the top three seeds.  Bishop is the defending champion at the event after a close win in 2018 and will be searching for some good season-ending form.

Bishop, Wederell, and Hungerford will be three of a number of juniors that will be on double duty as they contest the Under 18 Girls Division as well.  The age group divisions form part of the New Zealand Grom Series and the event is the third in a row for the South Island after the Duke Festival in Christchurch and the Kaikoura Grom Comp that took place two weeks ago.

The junior Dunedin surfers will be keen to compete at home with the likes of Luke Rogers and the Peyroux siblings, Ruben and Misha, having shown good form all season.

Hugh Ritchie (Chch) returns to defend his title in the Longboard Division where he will be up against a predominantly South Island line up plus 2018 runner-up Zen Wallis.

As a dual sanctioned event, the additional divisions of Over 30s, 45s, SUP and Senior Women’s will all go toward the South Island Circuit rankings.

The surf is expected to remain in the 1.0m range with light variable winds forecast for the first two days with a developing southerly for the finals on Sunday.  All forecasts point toward the event being held at St Clair Beach although the official call will be made at 7am on Friday morning, day one of the event.

The three-day event is hosted by South Coast Boardriders and is dual sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association.  The event features 17 divisions ranging from Open Men and Women through to Under 12 Boys and Girls, Longboard, Seniors and Stand Up Paddleboard.

The full draw can be accessed here – Emerson’s South Island Championships.

National Rankings
NZ Surf Series – Open Men, Open Women
NZ Grom Series – U18 Boys, U18 Girls, U16 Boys, U16 Girls, U14 Boys, U14 Girls
NZ Longboard and SUP Series – Men’s, Women’s, Over 40s, Over 50s, Men’s SUP, Women’s SUP

South Island Circuit Rankings – Click here.

The Emerson’s South Island Surfing Championships is the fourth of seven events on the 2019 New Zealand Surf Series.  See below for remaining events:

Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Championships, Christchurch (mobile) – 26-28 April
Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro, Raglan – 3-5 May
Backdoor BayBash, location TBC – 16-17 November

The event is also part of the New Zealand Grom Series and the New Zealand Longboard Series.

Please see below for winners of the Emerson’s South Island Championships over the past five years.

Open Men’s
2018 Zen Wallis (Piha)
2017 Luke Murphy (Dun)
2016 JC Susan (Dun)
2015 Maz Quinn (Gis)
2014 Tane Wallis (Piha)

Open Women’s
2018 Tegen Bishop (Chch)
2017 Ariana Shewry (Tara)
2016 Britt Kindred (Mur)
2015 Jess Terrill (Riverton)
2014 Hayley Coakes (Dun)

Information
For more information on the Emerson’s South Island Surfing Championships please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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