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Coromandel locals out and about as far as Dunedin

With SH25A back up and running and a hot summer on offer to welcome visitors back to the beautiful Coromandel to enjoy their summer break, the diehard locals are well and truly back believing they do really live in a slice of New Zealand paradise. 

Some no doubt even wonder why they would ever think about moving too far away when everything is already on their doorstep. For others however, the Coromandel is still a long way away especially those wanting to compete in national sporting competitions which they have trained and prepared hard for in their home environment. Many of them are highly ranked and have a proven past record in their sport, so travel is an accepted sacrifice they make. 

One such sporting activity is surfing with the wider Coromandel offering some of the best and most consistent waves in the country for a variety of age groups and abilities. Surfing is so popular in the region in fact that Whangamata Area School offers students the opportunity to excel in surfing through their high-performance surf programme. The programme is not just about learning to be a better surfer, as students are also expected to meet the academic expectations of school classes while spending time out of the classroom for surf training. 

Many of those academy students along with a number of other highly ranked surfers from the Coromandel region travelled all the way to Dunedin recently to compete in the 61st edition of the national Surfing Championships. The Nationals are run by Surfing NZ with the host club in 2024 being South Coast Boardriders, based at St Clair Beach, Dunedin.   

Entry numbers were in excess of 350 with entries across divisions from U14 to over 70’s.

 The Coromandel region was represented by several towns including Whitianga, Tairua, Onemana and Whangamata. 

 Whangamata Boardriders which was founded in 1966 and with over 150 members, had a total of 10 entrants (Pia Rogers, Ash Rogers, Harrison Biddle, Jay Tingle, Taj Millar Dal Bosco, Koby Cox, Lola Groube, Chloe Groube, Karlos Aarsen, India Kennings).

 Manu Roberts and Ezekiel Wyper) are based out of Tairua while Whitianga was represented by Lennox Jennings and Will Lockhart.

 Karlos Aarsen (Whangamata) finished second in the Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard while Pia Rogers (Whangamata) claimed second in the U18 girls surfing title. Pauanui local, Lola Groube edged out her sister Chloe for a podium place finishing second with Chloe 4th in the U16 girls. 

All up, this is a very big commitment from all the families to travel that far for the event which is renowned for its amazing camaraderie and support between surfers cheering on their mates and overcoming the disappointment of not getting through heats etc. 

For all those competing, it also proved to be a great excuse to travel around the local area of Dunedin hunting for new waves and enjoying experiences with their fellow surfers. 

 The junior surfers now look towards the rest of the season (10 events) with the ultimate goal of finishing in the top three of the rankings and qualifying for the NZ team to go away to the ISA World Surfing games later in 2024.

 Whangamata hosts one of these events on the 10-11th February.

 While it was a great experience if they were asked where is the best place to live and surf, then the answer is a predictable, The Coromandel. 

Caption: Harrison Biddle (Onemana) left, and Jay Tingle (Tairua) competed in the U16 and U 18 National Surf Championships in Dunedin

 |  Jack Biddle  |  ,

With SH25A back up and running and a hot summer on offer to welcome visitors back to the beautiful Coromandel to enjoy their summer break, the diehard locals are well and truly back believing they do really live in a slice of New Zealand paradise. 

Some no doubt even wonder why they would ever think about moving too far away when everything is already on their doorstep. For others however, the Coromandel is still a long way away especially those wanting to compete in national sporting competitions which they have trained and prepared hard for in their home environment. Many of them are highly ranked and have a proven past record in their sport, so travel is an accepted sacrifice they make. 

One such sporting activity is surfing with the wider Coromandel offering some of the best and most consistent waves in the country for a variety of age groups and abilities. Surfing is so popular in the region in fact that Whangamata Area School offers students the opportunity to excel in surfing through their high-performance surf programme. The programme is not just about learning to be a better surfer, as students are also expected to meet the academic expectations of school classes while spending time out of the classroom for surf training. 

Many of those academy students along with a number of other highly ranked surfers from the Coromandel region travelled all the way to Dunedin recently to compete in the 61st edition of the national Surfing Championships. The Nationals are run by Surfing NZ with the host club in 2024 being South Coast Boardriders, based at St Clair Beach, Dunedin.   

Entry numbers were in excess of 350 with entries across divisions from U14 to over 70’s.

 The Coromandel region was represented by several towns including Whitianga, Tairua, Onemana and Whangamata. 

 Whangamata Boardriders which was founded in 1966 and with over 150 members, had a total of 10 entrants (Pia Rogers, Ash Rogers, Harrison Biddle, Jay Tingle, Taj Millar Dal Bosco, Koby Cox, Lola Groube, Chloe Groube, Karlos Aarsen, India Kennings).

 Manu Roberts and Ezekiel Wyper) are based out of Tairua while Whitianga was represented by Lennox Jennings and Will Lockhart.

 Karlos Aarsen (Whangamata) finished second in the Men’s Stand Up Paddleboard while Pia Rogers (Whangamata) claimed second in the U18 girls surfing title. Pauanui local, Lola Groube edged out her sister Chloe for a podium place finishing second with Chloe 4th in the U16 girls. 

All up, this is a very big commitment from all the families to travel that far for the event which is renowned for its amazing camaraderie and support between surfers cheering on their mates and overcoming the disappointment of not getting through heats etc. 

For all those competing, it also proved to be a great excuse to travel around the local area of Dunedin hunting for new waves and enjoying experiences with their fellow surfers. 

 The junior surfers now look towards the rest of the season (10 events) with the ultimate goal of finishing in the top three of the rankings and qualifying for the NZ team to go away to the ISA World Surfing games later in 2024.

 Whangamata hosts one of these events on the 10-11th February.

 While it was a great experience if they were asked where is the best place to live and surf, then the answer is a predictable, The Coromandel. 

Caption: Harrison Biddle (Onemana) left, and Jay Tingle (Tairua) competed in the U16 and U 18 National Surf Championships in Dunedin