Image: Kehu Butler / sourced
Mount Maunganui based surfer, Kehu Butler, has win the Maori Open at Waitara beach over the weekend. Sunlive reports that: Butler Claims Open and Runner up For Ngai te Rangi at the 2016 Aotearoa Maori Titles at Waitara Beach over the weekend, beating his dad Khan in the open.
Frontrunners in the clash of the iwi are Tangata whenua Te Atiawa thanks to two impeccable performances from young Zhana Hutchieson who claimed double titles at her home break.
The final day of the event was played out in small but fun 0.5m – 1.0m waves at Waitara Beach with clean conditions in the morning giving way to light afternoon sea breezes.
While it was clear from the outset that Te Atiawa were the front runners to claim the clash of the Iwi, Kehu's performance for Ngai te Rangi made a battle for the title right until the final heat of the event.
“This is my first time at the Maori Nats, it has been an awesome event and I can't wait to come back next year” says Kehu.
“It was pretty cool to surf a final with Dad, he was giving me beef last night trying to put pressure on me but it didn't work out that way and I beat him in the final today.”
Butler is happy to see Ngai Te Rangi finish second. “It is a huge result for us, we are all stoked, hopefully we can get more Maori surfers coming to the event next year and Ngai te Rangi may be able to challenge for the title again.”