Billy Stairmand has kicked off 2019 in the best way possible claiming his seventh title at the Health 2000 National Surfing Championships completed in Taranaki today (Saturday 12th January).
Taranaki turned on another stellar day of surf and weather with clean 1.5m waves and light winds at Stent Road which provided a platform for what many considered a ground breaking day of action. Stairmand overcame good friend Ricardo Christie (Gis) in the final along with Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) in third and the youngest ever finalist in the Open Men’s Division, 15 year old Tom Butland (Tara) in fourth. “I always want to beat Ricardo (Christie), have done since we were kids and now he is on tour I really wanted to get this one over him, I was stoked to have him in the final and Elliot and Tom who was ripping all week” said Stairmand of his opponents. Stairmand posted a 17.6 point heat total in the final in a performance that topped all apart from his semifinal. “Each heat I got more and more comfortable and my scores reflected that throughout the week” he said. “I don’t know, the last few months I have had a kick in the butt and I have realised that I have to work hard and stay focused if I want to do this so at the end of last year I really wanted to surf a lot and I wanted to surf my new boards a lot and come into the new year fit and healthy. I came down here early and surfed before and after the event each day to get used to the wave. I don’t know what has changed but I know I seriously want to win now.”
Billy rode a 5'7 x 18 1/2 x 2 5/16 - 24L HT2 to victory.