Almost 200 entered in South Is champs

Luke Murphy
Luke Murphy
Dunedin is the focus of the New Zealand Surf Series this weekend when the South Island championships take place at St Clair Beach starting tomorrow.

The Easter event has a proud tradition of taking on whatever conditions the full moon offers over the holiday period. This time around the weather looks settled to start the event with a small swell.

Almost 200 entries have been received for the three-day event, the vast majority coming from the South Island surfing community eager to contest the southern-most nationally-sanctioned event.

Defending champion Zen Wallis (Piha) returns to Dunedin as one of the top seeds along with fellow Piha competitor and No2 seed Shane Kraus.

Wallis heads into the event looking to find form after a string of early exits this year which have him ranked 15th overall.

There are several past champions entered in the event including 2017 and 2016 winners Luke Murphy and JC Susan, both locals who excel in the Dunedin line-up.

The two are more than capable of winning another title as are the likes of Elliott Brown and Jack McLeod, two young Dunedin surfers who spend more time in the St Clair waves than most.

Add to the open men's division mix Christchurch competitors such as Conor Mclennan and Harrison Whiteside, and the sharp end of the championships will be stacked with talent.

The open women's division comprises plenty of up-and-coming junior talent including top three seeds Georgia Wederell (Mount Maunganui) Estella Hungerford (Christchurch) and Tegen Bishop (Christchurch), who narrowly last year.

The surf is expected to remain in the 1.0m range with light variable winds forecast for the first two days with a developing southerly for the finals on Sunday.

All forecasts point toward the event being held at St Clair Beach although the official call will be made at 7am tomorrow, day one of the event.


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