Local focus: Te Pūwaha bonus for Whanganui boardriders
The reinstatement of Tanae Bank will improve the surf report. Made with funding from NZ On Air.
After a week of postponement due to poor conditions, the annual Whanganui Boardriders competition was held under rather difficult conditions. The wave at Morgan Street was lumpy and elusive.
But competitive delays could be a thing of the past.
An unexpected benefit of Te Pūwaha’s reintegration work from the north and south moles to the mouth of the Whanganui River will mean the return of the Tanae Bank, legendary as one of the most consistent surf spots in the country. The remains of the original man-made structure are still visible and there is an occasional surfable wave there, only in a strong swell from the southwest.
Originally designed in 1857 by English river engineers to act as a wave buffer for boats moored in the harbor, the by-product of the shore was a cohesive surf break just inside the mouth of the river. .
Whanganui Boardriders chairman Steve Fulton said it will create a safer channel for boating and other maritime activities.
“It’s going to create a much deeper channel, it’s going to take all the silt off the bottom and it’s going to create a nice sandbar on the other side,” he said. “Which will create a great surf break for us as well.
“As long as you have a swell, it doesn’t matter which way the wind blows, because the moles protect it. And it’ll be all tides, I would say, after the shore really goes up.
Boardriders Men’s Open winner Jordan Covney grew up surfing Morgan Street and holds the Felix Newton Memorial Trophy for the Winter Cold Water Classic. He has had his eyes on this award for years.
“I tried for four years trying to get this trophy,” Covney said.
Despite the growing popularity of surfing, the strong swells off the west coast mean that the Boardriders of Whanganui enjoy relatively uncrowded waves. Covney has between 15 and 20 people in the water, that’s a crowd in Whanganui.
Winners of the annual Whanganui Boardriders Trophy competition:
Juniors: Alex Palazzo.
Bodyboard: Joff Monopoli.
Masters: Steve Fulton.
Open: Jordan Covney
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