Billy takes the three peat and wins record 5th National title over shaper!

18th Jan 2016

Hughes Surfboards team rider Billy Stairmand has claimed his third straight national title at the 2016 Billabong National Surfing Championships presented by Health 2000, held at St Clair Beach, Dunedin. 

By claiming the title, Stairmand has equalled the New Zealand record of five titles that is held by Auckland surfers Wayne Parkes and Iain Buchanan. 1987 was the last time a hat-trick of victories has been achieved (Iain Buchanan).


Billy on his way to winning his 5th National Title - Photo : Mark Stevenson

Stairmand’s ability to lift in the big finals of the National Championships is well known and today was no different.  He found himself trailing his good friend and board shaper Luke Hughes early in the 30 minute final.  

Hughes’ lead, which included scores of 8.4 and 8.0 out of a possible ten points, was no issue for Stairmand as he built his scores first with an 8.77 then a 9.13 and a 9.03 to take the lead leaving his closest opponent, Hughes, needing a near perfect 9.58 point ride for victory.  

“Starting the year off with a win is always good and to have my name on that trophy with all those amazing surfers like Al Byrne, Wayne Parkes, Iain Buchanan, Maz and Jay Quinn is crazy, I am stoked to win any day but Nationals is always amazing” exclaimed Stairmand.

“Hughesy kept me on my feet at the start, he is my shaper and I couldn’t let him win but he started off with two eight point rides and I knew I had to step it up. The waves just kept on pumping and pumping and I am just so stoked the waves were good for our final and let me have the opportunity to show my best surfing and eventually win” he added.

Stairmand is heading to Hawaii in the next two weeks to start his international campaign at the Volcom Pipe Masters so to win here this week is a good confidence boost.  “I am nervous going over for that event but I have surfed some good waves down here outside of the competition and I am aiming for a good result” said Stairmand who hopes to meet up with New Zealand’s top ranked surfer Ricardo Christie during the first event of the year.

Stairmand finished today’s final with an 18.17 point heat total, Hughes unable to further his 16.40 point heat start but still finishing runner up and producing his career best result.

The race between Stairmand and Maz Quinn (Gis) for five titles was unfortunately lost by Maz who finished third.  Quinn battled with Stairmand from the quarterfinals this week, beating him once but placing second to Stairmand in the semifinals and losing again in the final.  Quinn could not find the right waves in the todays match up and with pressure mounting started to go for broke to bridge the gap but ended up falling on crucial waves.

Placing fourth in the final was local hero JC Susan who also went missing in the final after a stellar run throughout the week.  Susan, the only goofy foot surfer in the final, finished with a heat total of 8.17 points.


The recrowned Open Mens National Champ Billy Stairmand with good friend and shaper Luke Hughes - photo : Mark Stevenson


Open Men’s Division Final
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 18.17, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 16.40, 2, Maz Quinn (Gis), 13.57, 3, JC Susan (Dun), 8.17, 4


For further information on the 2016 Billabong National Championships presented by Health 2000 visit Surfing New Zealand.


 

Source : Surfing NZ
Author : Ben Kennings

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