Features Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team Photo 2015a

Published on August 19th, 2015 | by pacificmedia

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Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team

18th August 2015

From:   Surfing New Zealand
Sport:   International Surfing
Event:  2015 Melanesian Surfing Cup
Divisions: Open Men’s and Women’s, Junior Age Groups, Longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard
Date:    11th – 16th August 2015
Location: Bourail, New Caledonia
Websites: Surfing New Zealand

Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team Finish Runner Up at the 2015 Melanesian Cup

The Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team finished runner up at the 2015 Melanesian Surfing Cup after claiming eight of 17 titles on offer at the event completed on Sunday (16th August) at Bourail, New Caledonia.

The New Zealand team faced off against hosts and event champions New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji over four days of action on the outer reef breaks.

The Kiwi team claimed the coveted Open Men’s and Women’s titles at the event with Chris Malone (Te Aitanga a Mahaki) winning the Men’s and Zhana Hutchieson (Te Atiawa) winning the Women’s.

“It is always a privilege and honour to represent Aotearoa” said Raglan based Malone.

“The event is more of a culture exchange between Pacific Islands with a bit of a competitive aspect thrown in but that said, it was good to come away with the win in the Men’s Division” added Malone who says he will remember the trip just as much for the performance of the team, the haka and the friendships forged as he will for claiming the title.

Fifteen year old Hutchieson was one of the most dominant performers at the event after claiming the Open Women’s Division and the Under 18 Girls Division in a final that included her three team mates.

“This was a huge experience for me, meeting and greeting with some of the different cultures such as Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia” said Hutchieson.

“I was so stoked to bring two titles back to Aotearoa, all the advice from the team definitely helped with my performances during the week” she added.

While the performances on the water were important, for many in the team, the opportunity to be part of a cultural exchange and a wealth of Maori surfing knowledge was just as important.  The team spent most nights together reciting their pepeha in front of the group as well as learning and performing the surfing-specific haka, the first New Zealand Team to do so.

One of the older team members was Taranaki based Jamie Andrews (Ngati Ruahine/Te Atiawa) who contested five divisions at the event walking away with two finals berths and one title in the SUP Surfing Division to his name.

“I am so stoked to win the SUP Surfing” said Andrews. Winning this title has given me confidence to back myself and pursue this sport further internationally” he added whilst also acknowledging the team support and camaraderie that impacted on his performances.

Additional team titles came through the junior divisions with Reef Matthews (Te Atiawa) winning the Under 18 Boys Division and Kaya Horne (Ngati Awa) winning the Under 14 Boys Division.

Kea Smith (Ngati Ranginui) opted to change her preferred shortboard for the longboard and in doing so won the Women’s Longboard Division while cousin Jamee Smith (Ngati Ranginui) won the Men’s Bodyboard title.

The team filled 21 of the 44 finals berths in the event showing dominance in the waves.  However they could not match the power of New Caledonia in the SUP Races with the host nation taking a clean sweep of the five divisions contested which ultimately led to their overall teams title.

The Melanesian Surfing Cup has been held since 2010 and the Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team was invited to the event for the first time this year.  Vanuatu was the defending champion team and have put claim to the number one spot since 2012 before New Caledonia claimed the title this week.

Please see below for final results from the 2015 Melanesian Cup held at Bourail, New Caledonia from the 11th – 16th August.

Open Men’s
1, Chris Malone (NZL)
2, Kai Healy (VAN)
3, Isaac Coste (NC)
4, Quin Matenga (NZL)
6, Jamie Andrews (NZL)
8, Ihaia Ngata (NZL)

Open Women
1, Zhana Hutchieson (NZL)
2, Abby Falwasser – Logan (NZL)
3, Kea Smith (NZL)
4, Pauline Kojfer (NC)
8, Indica Ratima (NZL)

Under 18 Boys
1, Reef Matthews (NZL)
2, Nick Tuhikarama (NZL)
3, Axel Alphund (NC)
4, Roger Taleo (VAN)
7, Ricardo Lucibella (NZL)
11, Quin Matenga (NZL)

Under 18 Girls
1, Zhana Hutchieson (NZL)
2, Kea Smith (NZL)
3, Indica Ratima (NZL)
4, Abby Falwasser – Logan (NZL)

Under 14 Boys
1, Kaya Horne (NZL)
2, Axel Alphand (NC)
3, Martin Puleiata (SAM)
4, Johnathan Kalsa (VAN)
5, Myka Black (NZL)
7, Josef Yungwirth (NZL)

Men’s Longboard
1, Baptiste Rabut (NC)
2, Jamie Andrews (NZL)
3, Chris Malone (NZL)
4, John Stephen (VAN)
11, Peter Smith (NZL)
13, Jason Matthews (NZL)

Women’s Longboard
1, Kea Smith (NZL)
2, Mathilde Martisson (NC)
3, Abby Falwasser – Logan (NZL)
4, Serah John (VAN)
7, Indica Ratima (NZL)

Junior Longboard
1, Mael Laleve (NC)
2, Lancelot Forte (NC)
3, Quin Matenga (NZL)
4, Jeremy Kaluatman (VAN)
7, Riccardo Lucibella (NZL)
9, Reef Matthews (NZL)
9, Nick Tuhikarama (NZL)

Over 35 Men
1, Arnaud Leveque (NC)
2, Thierry Kirsh (NC)
3, Alan TeMoananui (NZL)
4, Johnathan Scaysbrook (NC)
7, Jamie Andrews (NZL)
8, Andrew Archibald (NZL)
9, Jason Matthews (NZL)

Men’s Bodyboard
1, Jamee Smith (NZL)
2, Kai Healy (VAN)
3, Simon Pettiford (VAN)
4, Rhual Courtot (NC)
9, Ihaia Ngata (NZL)

SUP Surfing
1, Jamie Andrews (NZL)
2, Sean Hovell (NZL)
3, Alexandre Rouys (NC)
4, Chris Malone (NZL)
13 Alan TeMoananui (NZL)

SUP Technical Race
1, Titouan Puyo (NC)
2, Alexandre Rouys (NC)
3, Clement Colmas (NC)
4, Sean Hovell (NZL)
8, Peter Smith (NZL)
9, Riccardo Lucibella (NZL)

SUP Long Distance Race
1, Titouan Puyo (NC)
2, Alexandre Rouys (NC)
3, Clement Colmas (NC)
5, Sean Hovell (NZL)
8, Jamie Andrews (NZL)

Further Information
For further information on the Aotearoa Maori Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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