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An outstanding all-round day on his home break by Daniel Kereopa marked the return of the Hyundai Tour surfing competition in Raglan today.
Kereopa put to good use his 30 years' experience on the waves at Manu Bay to move through to the semifinals of both the longboard and stand up paddle board divisions.
Raglan's famous point breaks gave tour a perfect start to the season with clean one metre waves rolling down the acclaimed point break all day.
And no one enjoyed it more than Kereopa, whose performance across all disciplines was especially impressive considering this year marked his return to the paddleboard division. The Raglan local looked like he had never been away, with a 15.67 quarter-final score the highlight.
Joining Kereopa in the semifinals of the longboard tomorrow will be Phil Morris (Auckland), Owen Barnes (Mount Maunganui), Jamie Andrews (Waitara) and Gisborne pair Daniel Proctor and Sam Johnson.
The surfers in the stand up paddleboard continued to get the most out of the swell, with Kereopa, Karl Aarsen (Whangamata) and Shayne Baxter (Christchurch) all prominent in notching up big heat wins to move into tomorrow's semifinals.
Kereopa also placed fifth in the stand up paddle board race, which saw paddlers completing three laps of the Manu Bay course, with fellow Raglan surfer Arnie Armstrong taking line honours.
The Hyndai Tour features five events over the summer, including the national championships which begin at Piha next Sunday.