Whangamata's Grace Spiers wins surfing title
A Whangamata surfer was the favorite to take home Open Women's Division in the National Surfing Championships this weekend and she did, just not the one everyone expected.
When 2013 ASP World Junior Champion Ella Williams was eliminated from the competition in the semi-finals it was up to Grace Spiers to bring home the win for Whangamata.
It was the first time she has won a surfing title and Spiers surprised herself at the end of the competition.
"I wasn't expecting too much of myself at this event,'' she said.
Spiers said she had considered not entering the competition this year, having spent little time surfing lately after breaking her arm last year.
"I am so, so happy right now I cannot believe it, so stoked. I managed to get some good waves at the start and I stayed real hungry, I was lucky I did that because it got harder and harder to get waves out there.''
Spiers finished with an 11.17 point heat total.
It was the second semi-final of the Open Women's Division when Gisborne surfer Abby Falwasser-Logan stunned the crowd by eliminating favourite Ella Williams.
''Unfortunatley got knocked in the semis. Couldn't find a back up score. That's the way it goes,'' Williams said via Facebook.