Blank canvas for longboard artists to showcase skills
20th October 2020 The Gisborne Herald Jack Malcom
IDYLLIC conditions at Midway Beach on Sunday set the stage for an exciting third event of the Gisborne Boardriders Club longboard circuit.
Longboarders of all ages competed in their second event in as many weeks at Midway’s Pipe break.
Anneleen Van Damme won the woman’s division, outclassing a strong field of competitors.
Daryn McBride won the classic log division and Daniel Procter claimed victory in the modern division.
In one-to-two-foot waves, competitors had a blank canvas to showcase their skills.
Silky smooth footwork and style were on full display as some of the best longboarders in the country made the most of the conditions.
As the finals started, the onshore sea breeze picked up, which made the conditions a little more challenging.
An outgoing tide also played a part in a slight deterioration of wave quality.
Conditions remained highly contestable, just not as picturesque as earlier in the morning.
With such a strong class of competitors, the winners had to pull out all the stops.
The event had a different format from other surfing competitions — club president Dan Croskey describing it as “definitely unique”.
Instead of seeding competitors, the draws for the first round of competition were picked randomly from a hat.
Each heat winner advanced to the first-place finals, the second-placed surfer from the first heat went into the second place finals and so forth through other placings.
“It’s all about inclusivity and everyone getting a go,” said Croskery.
“Everyone surfs twice, no matter what.”
There was a sense of community and support among competitors, who helped each other in and out of the water.
“Everyone brings down food and everyone has a go at judging.
“And there’s always someone experienced to lend them a hand.”
Results — classic Log division: Daryn McBride 1, Geordie Sawyer 2, Scott Pitkethley 3, Angus MacDonald 4.
Open modern division: Daniel Procter 1, Geordie Sawyer 2, Scott Pitkethley 3, Jinx Johnson 4.
Women’s division: Anneleen Van Damme 1, Hannah Kohn 2, Jay Ryan-Emerre 3, Alice Kranenburg 4.