Jensen wins at Port Waikato, Constable takes Tour
Nothing the Kiwi's mustered up could stop the run of the international surfers at the final event of the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour completed at Port Waikato today (Saturday 5th March) with Taylor Jensen (USA) winning the event and Josh Constable (AUS) winning the overall Tour, the first time an international surfer has achieved the feat.
The final day of the tour started out in clean 1.0m waves before the West Coast yet again turned into a raging ocean with waves in excess of 2.0m hitting the shoreline. The rain put a dampener on much of the day but the action in the water was spectacular.
After winning three events from three this year, Tour Champion Constable had to settle for second place today after Jensen surfed to a 15.50 point heat total in the final.
Jensen only rode the two waves in the final and had to sit out the last four minutes on the beach waiting to see what Constable had left in the tank. Sure enough with 10 seconds remaining and lady luck seemingly on Constable's side, he stroked into a massive wall of water and proceeded to ride the wave to the beach with re-entry after re-entry, stepping off on the sand. However the 9.50 point ride required for first proved too much for the Australian with his last wave coming in at 7.5.
For Jensen it will be sweet revenge after an average campaign at Sandy Bay at the start of February and then again getting beaten by Constable at Mount Maunganui two weeks ago. Constable on the other hand will still go home more than stoked on his performance over the past two months.
Constable won the first event at Piha before missing the National Championships in Dunedin due to ineligibility. He then came back to win the Sandy Bay and Mount Maunganui events before placing second today.
For the Kiwi's it was Thomas Kibblewhite (Orewa) who placed the highest today coming third. The result also means that he finishes runner up on the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour. Kibblewhite, who was the only Kiwi to win an event on the tour this year - the National Championships, equals his best ever year-end rating of second, one place higher than both 2009 and 2010 where he finished in third.
Finishing the final in fourth today was Daniel Procter (Gis) who will be stoked to place in the final for the second time in 2011 after having an indifferent year results wise.
Earlier in the day Procter and Kibblewhite disposed of Ant McColl (Mnt) and Morgan Bramley (Ohope) while Constable and Jensen defeated Phil Morris (Auck) and Dylan Barnfield (Ohope).
Georgia Young (AUS) claimed the second of three wins for the international surfers winning the Women's Longboard Division today. After the win and the shock early elimination of ratings front runners Shelley Jones (Auck) and Hannah Howard (Orewa), the ratings race was super close but Young fell 15 points short of Jones to finish second overall. In the final today it was Anna Jolly (Piha) that led the final for much of the 25 minutes before succumbing to Young and finishing in second. Sasha Brownlee (Auck) placed third in the final with Alexis Poulter in fourth place.
Hyundai Pro Longboard Port Waikato Highlights
Nic Jones (AUS), returned to Port Waikato after winning the first event of the Tour to claim his second win of the year. Jones scored a convincing 13.40 point heat total to win the final over Hone Douglas (Ohope) who finished second scoring 11.40. The second placing was enough for Douglas to clinch the 2011 Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour - his first ever series title. In the final today Matt Craig (Ohope) placed third ahead of Joseph Stewart (Whtane) in fourth.
The Over 40 Men's Division was a low scoring match up that was taken out by local surfer David Craddock who was surfing in his first event of the year. Craddock got off to a great start scoring a 5.0 point ride before the conditions deteriorated. The Tour Championship was already determined on day one when Brian Young (Orewa) entered the water and was consequently eliminated from the event. However, the results of the final were crowd pleasing for the determined few that stuck out the torrential rain all afternoon to see their hometown hero deliver the goods. Steve Tyro (Rag) placed second in the final to hold down second place on the ratings while Tatana Heke (Mnt) finished in third place ahead of Dave Burbage (WGM).
Grant Cochrane travelled north from his devastated home in Christchurch with two missions on his mind, win the Over 50's Division at the final event and hold off Viv Treacy, the ratings leader to third place at best. Cochrane came close to taking everything home after winning the final but his closest opponent Treacy held on to second place despite an agonising four minute wait on the beach as his opponents tried in vein to move into runner up. Their efforts were fruitless with Mike Thomson (Rag) finishing third and David Storck (Piha) finishing in fourth.
Daniel Kereopa (Rag) claimed his fourth victory in five events in the Stand Up Paddleboard Division romping home with the highest heat score of the entire event. Kereopa scored near perfect 9.25 and 8.0 point rides for a 17.25 point heat total. The National Champion already had the ratings sewn up and the win today was simply the icing on the cake for the Tour. Placing second in the final was Shayne Baxter (Chch) who was left requiring a combination of scores to catch Kereopa with local surfer Damon Mark (Port Wai) in third and Robert Hawkins (Rag) in fourth.
Raglan's Armie Armstrong battled courageously in the massive seas to be the first paddler to complete the two kilometre course and tackle the heavy shore dump successfully. Armstrong took the come from behind win after race leader Jeremy Stephenson (Auck) came unstuck in the waves and lost his paddle. By way of his win, Armstrong also jumped to first overall for the Hyundai Pro Longboard Tour to be crowned 'King of the Waves' ahead of Stephenson. Queenstown surfer Mike Stewart placed second in today's race with Gisborne's Sean Hovell in third and Stephenson in fourth.
Source: Surfing New Zealand
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