A Far North bodyboarder has been invited to take part in a major surfing competition at one of the most hallowed and heaviest surf breaks in the world.
Blair Dowman from Taipa has been invited to join an over-60 strong field featuring some of the most competitive bodyboarders on the planet getting ready to compete at the 2017 Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational APB Men's World Tour 2 Star event in Hawaii this month.
The invitation represents a major opportunity for Dowman who is renowned for surfing some of the more shallow and dangerous slabs in the Far North; the only New Zealander in a line-up of 62 riders voted upon by recent and former world champions to surf in the event.
Before he is due to fly out on Thursday, a family member had set up a Givealittle page to hopefully assist Blair, "a self employed person, young husband and father", with the costs involved in attending the contest: "Anyone able to assist in any small way will make it easier for Blair to live his dream and would be very much appreciated ... "
The family member noted Blair - who also played football for Kaeo Inter in the Northland 2nd division last season - and wife Marsie had been reluctant to seek help from the community.
The pair were planning on funding the trip by using their savings which were being put towards building a new family home.
- The Mike Stewart Invitational is a long standing annual bodyboard event held at the notoriously dangerous North Shore break, Banzai Pipeline. Mike Stewart was highly respected for his fearless approach to body-surfing, bodyboarding and surfing the spot. The event is estimated to take two days to complete anytime between February 25 and March 10.