TSS Surfing

This year there were many students keen to represent the College at the Taranaki Secondary Schools Surfing Competition. This necessitated the organisation of heats for both the body boarders and surfers. Brenda Walsh organised judges from the New Plymouth Board Rider's Club to do this at Fitzroy Beach the week prior to the competition. Conditions were unfavourable over a couple of the chosen days, so on the evening chosen, Boys High and Francis Douglas students got to eye up their opposition as they all vied to get into their respective school teams.

The Francis Douglas surfing team consisted of Maxim Van Lierde, Matthew Walsh, Lee Fleming, Jamin Inia, Anaru Hurunui, Ben Connolly, Reuben Berghan, Chris Watson, Griffin Hunt, Cameron Nganeko and Jeremy Kruse.

The contestants met at Oakura Beach early on Monday 17th March and were greeted by a reasonable swell and a fabulous day. The boys were a real credit to the school. The day was quite long with the finalists surfing 4 heats of 15 minutes each. The sections were U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls.

FDMC was placed 2nd overall in the boys' school competition. Congratulations to Lee Fleming who came first in the U16 group and to Ben Connolly who came 2nd in the U18 group. As all competitors know, there is an element of luck in the heats with the hope that some good waves will peak up so that the rider can demonstrate their form. For those that didn't reach the finals this year, maybe the waves will treat you more favourably in 2004.

OFF THE TOP: Maxim Van Lierde (Francis Douglas Memorial College) powers his board through a turn in the under-14 boys' division at the Taranaki secondary schools surfing championships at Oakura Beach recently. Nine schools took part in the championships, with 58 boys and 20 girls competing