Strong finishes from Tom Robinson and Laura Griffin capped off a great week for Northland surfers at the New Zealand surfing nationals in Taranaki.
Both Robinson and Griffin surfed on the final day on Saturday after impressive performances from Heather Easterbrooke saw her win the over-35 division and from Lee Orton, winning the over-60 division.
Griffin made it to the final of the open women's competition and finished third, falling to Great Barrier Island's Aimee Brown in the final. Robinson made it to the final of both the under-16 and under-18, finishing second and fourth in the respective divisions.
"We got really good conditions which is rare for a week-long competition," Robinson said.
"Everyone was surfing really well and they pushed me really hard."
Robinson was beaten in the U16 final by long-time rival and Taranaki local Tom Butland, but Robinson said he was happy with where he finished.
"We were both going above and below each other in the final then at the end he got a really good wave and then I got a good wave but I didn't quite get the score I needed.
"Still, I felt like I had some really consistent performances and to have finals get really close was pretty good."
Robinson said he was happy to see a number of Northlanders do well at the tournament with multiple surfers finishing in the top 10.
"There was a lot of younger kids from up north who came down which was good to see.
"It felt way more comfortable down there with some familiar faces and everyone cheering each other on."
Robinson has had a promising few years in the water, earning several national titles. In 2018, he reached every final of the 10 major competitions in the New Zealand surfing calendar, which got him selected to represent New Zealand at the world junior championships in California, USA last year.
In a few weeks, Robinson will move to Raglan to attend the Raglan Surf Academy where surfing is part of the curriculum. While he also plans to attend more tournaments in Australia this year, he said this move would boost his chances in turning surfing into a career.
"I'll be able to get a lot more opportunities to surf in Raglan and it's just the best opportunity for me to go as far as I can with surfing and build my skills up."