Northland put in a creditable performance at the National Scholastics Surfing Competition at Makorori Beach, coming home with a sixth-placed finish.
In a highly competitive field Northland were unable to improve on last year's fourth placing, with Bay of Plenty coming up trumps.
Max Brunker was a standout for Northland as he made his way to the Under 16 Boys final, eliminating a number of the country's top age group surfers on the way.
He had attacked the waves all week and ended with a solid fourth, only a point away from second which shows how close the competition was.
Manager Mark Pevats said Brunker had put up a great performance and that what the team needed was to have had a few more finalists to get into medal contention.
"We had another five surfers who could have been in final contentions but the team was struck a blow when Grace Pevats, our hope in the Under 16 Girls had to withdraw on the eve of the comp with a shoulder injury," he said.
Billie Scott and Tom Norton in the Under 18s both unfortunately struck stacked sides of the draw and were eliminated in their semi and quarters respectively.
Tom Robinson was just pipped in the Under 14 Boys after being one of the surfers to beat all week. He had been dominant with one of the highest heat scores during the week and in his semi, just coming up short to the eventual winner and runner up in his division.
Scott came up against two girls who had just returned from representing New Zealand at the world champs in Japan. After holding down second place for over half her heat she unable to find the low scoring wave that she needed to maintain her top two spot.
"Third by the narrowest of margins to two New Zealand rep surfers was a brilliant effort and was typical of the teams campaign," Pevats said.
Oscar Harper impressed with his power surfing but couldn't get out of the quarter finals.
Bassie Waldron who was runner up in the Longboard last year suffered an interference call in his semi when in second place and this put paid to him advancing any further.
Ely Backhouse, competing in her first scholastics surfed to a fifth place finish in the u14 girls.
Coach Jaimie Scott said it had been a great campaign and that he was keen to keep the team together as only three drop out next year.
"Planning is already underway for next year's competition which is once again going to be held in Gisborne which offers up so many opportunities for good surf," he said.