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The 11 strong team will head to the Mangamauna beach and its big right hand break, knowing it will be used to the cold water and will not take long to adjust.
Coach Craig Higgins said that was in contrast to the teams from the North Island which have dominated the event of late but will have to quickly adjust to the chilly temperatures.
The team, made up of pupils from five different schools, consists mostly of new surfers to this competition.
The team is: Taya Morrison, (15), Jaya Reardon (16) and Anika Ayson(16), of Queen’s High School; Ocean Wilson (15) and Kahu Kaan (15), of Bayfield High School; Misha Peyroux (13), of Kavanagh College; Jake Owen (15), of Otago Boys’ High School; and Luke Rogers (15), Karne Gabbott (13), Nixon Reardon (14) and Bailey Pearce (15), of King’s High School.
Higgins said the event was a way for the surfers to start making an impact at a national level and gain entry into national teams.
The team did not travel to the national scholastic championships last year. The event had been held in Gisborne the previous three years and the home team had dominated.
Higgins had hopes for some of the surfers and their chances. Surfers compete in individual events and also in teams in the under-18, under-16 and under-14 divisions.
Heats are four surfers each, so there are no worries about social distancing.