Surfing: Newbold struggles to find his form at Raglan

By Cameron Leslie

As the surf flattened in Raglan's Manu Bay, so did Northland surfer Rupert Newbold's form.

After winning his heat on day one of the Hyundai Surf Tour and finishing second in the over-50 longboard semifinal, Newbold struggled to reproduce his early form.

Instead, it was the local knowledge of defending champion Michael Thomson that proved invaluable as he went on to take the over-50s division on Sunday.

Newbold will be hoping his local knowledge will help him out when the Hyundai Surf Tour heads to Sandy Bay in the first weekend of February, kicking off a massive week for Northland sport as international cricket and the Blues come to town also.

The final proved a close one, with Aucklander David Storck pushing both Newbold and Thomson.

Storck fought hard to topple Thomson but fell short, scoring 7.23 to Thomson's 9.03 out of a possible 20 points. Orewa's Mark Hoyle placed third in the final ahead of Ocean Beach's Newbold.

Also in the over-50 longboard semifinal, Northlander Simon Bennett finished fourth after earlier finishing second in his heat behind Newbold.

Whangarei's Paulo Gomes reached the quarter-finals of the men's over-40 longboard division. Gomes' score of 5.67 meant he finished fourth in the quarter-final with the event eventually being taken out by Craig Anderson.

Another local proved too strong in the stand up paddleboard division after earlier knocking Mangawhai's Matt Cockayne. Daniel Kereopa defended his title as he proved too sharp for his opponents in the small conditions, racking up turn after turn on the best waves of the final. With the day's action being played out in small 0.5m conditions, it was Gisborne surfer Daniel Procter who stormed back to the top of New Zealand's longboarding ranks in the men's division.

Procter's win gives him the early advantage on the Hyundai Tour ratings.

He will now head into the Hyundai national championships, starting in seven days, looking for back-to-back wins.

"If I keep winning then I will keep going to the Tour events. This win has given me the ticket to get to the 'nats' so we will see how they go in a week's time," he said. Procter has yet claim a title in eight years of the Hyundai Tour, his best result being a runner-up placing in 2009, the same year he also claimed his only national championship.

The Hyundai Tour moves on to Piha next weekend as part of the national championships before it moves further north to Sandy Bay from February 1-3.

Entry into the events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under "events".

Entry into each event closes on the Monday prior to the event commencing.

The entry process can be completed online or downloaded and sent in.

- Northern Advocate

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