Daniel Procter aiming for the win at the National Surfing Championships
By Te Karere
The country's top surfers have returned to Gisborne for the National Surfing Championships.
Among them is a local man and former Māori surfing champ Daniel Procter of Ngai Tāmanuhiri descent who's gunning for a winning come back.
He says he’s excited and is remaining calm,”E hīkaka ana te ngākau, kua ū mai te whakataetae nui o te motu ki runga ki a au ki Tūranga heoi ko tāku he noho aiō.”
Procter has been out of the longboarding game for three years as his main focus was strengthening his reo, but he’s now ready to ride some waves, “Āhua rua toru marama au e āta whakariterite ana i tōku tinana, i aku eke, kia aiō, kia rere i roto i te moana, i runga i ngā ngaru me pērā e tino eke ai te tangata i roto i ēnei mahi, me iri mārō.”
There are over 300 contestants from under 14 to over 60, 2018 marks the fourteenth time the event has been held at Gisborne.
Organiser Ben Kennings says, “We seem to be really lucky with waves here it’s one of the few places in NZ where you can rely on seven days of swell.”
He snatched up first place for best longboard rider for his age in 2009 and 2013 and this year, Procter has one goal, “Kia eke panuku heoi anō wai ka hua wai ka māhio kei a Tangaroa, ko tāna mahi he tuku mai i ngā ngaru, ko tāku he eke ki tōna tiketiketanga.”
And while he cleaned up in his heat and is now heading to the semi-finals, aside from his surfing commitments he is now on his way to another life-changing event, “Ka hana atu au ki taku wahine whānau pēpi ai, ā, āpōpō he ngaru anō.”
The finals will be held on Friday and prize giving is set to launch on Saturday.