Hordes of surfing families and competitive surfers have once again descended on Piha for the Nationals.
And it's a great thing. The motor camp is full with tents and motorhomes, the local businesses are humming with the extra influx. At its best, the Nationals is a showcase of NZ surfing talent, it's a meeting of the national surfing tribe. Friendships and networks are made and reinforced. There have always been the nay sayers and the haters, but there's always a negative to something that is largely a positive thing.
The waves and weather have not played ball. Grey days of persistent onshore winds, crumbling junky swell. But in amongst the grey junk there have been pockets of goodness. Here's a little gallery for you from the week that has been so far... mostly free surfing around the actual contest.
Keone Campbell gouging
Lookout open surfers, Josef Jungwirth is on his way
Dunedin's Elliott Brown has been a standout
Keone Campbell committing
Sean Peggs speedlining
Peggsy take 2
JC Susan looking the buso for the Open
Elliott Paerata Reid combo'ed his fellow competitors in his Open heat
The locals did a fair job of representing
Tiarua's Mr Peggs freeing fins
Billy Stairmand showing why he's the defending Champ
Phil 'Bong' Griffin with his trademark yellow board and paddling gloves
Fran Kora, joined the ramble for a evening free surf
Flyboy Callum Chautter
Billy waaaay up the beach
EPR this morning
Chch's Harrison Whiteside lofting high
EPR dealing with the morning's crumble
The contest is down to it's two final days. We'll be seeing a huge jump in the swell, not in the good way and the onshore winds will strengthen. It's going to be war at sea for the finalists. Stay posted for Sunday's post.