The Polar Bear went off with a bang on the 4 th and 5 th of August with a record number
of entrants (94). We couldn’t have dreamed of better conditions for a surf
competition, Sandy Bay really delivered the goods this year with beautiful warm
weather and a pumping easterly swell, it definitely felt like the winterless north.
Maybe Tangaroa knew that this year was special, with Dive! Tutukaka joining
Mammoth Insulation as a major sponsor and putting up a whopping $1000 for the
Open Women’s division winner to match the Open Men’s division prize money.In the surfing industry equal prize money for men and women is currently being debated across the globe, but here on the little old Tutukaka Coast, we didn’t need to debate about it, it was an easy and organic transition and was well supported by everybody on the committee and by the awesome community and businesses we are surrounded with here.
The sponsorship this year was huge, and we are so grateful to all our sponsors, the prize
bags were jam packed and all the finalists were stoked. The raffle also went
awesome and all the kids from our grommet training programmes worked hard
selling them throughout the week, then on finals day we had a great crowd watching
and waiting to hear if they had won.
This year the NCB is focusing on youth development as we watch the emergence of
the next generation of hot young surfers. With Northland being off the radar for a lot
of sponsorship and competition opportunities, we believe it is important that we use
our resources to nurture the rising athletes of Te Tai Tokerau, whether it is for that
competitive edge or just for a safe place to come and push themselves and learn
about the ocean and our role as guardians of this beautiful stretch of coastline. The
money raised at the Polar Bear will go a long way to helping us achieve that aim, we
have already had our first meeting since the Polar Bear and approved funding to go
to helping four of our members in the Northland Scholastic Team get down to
Gisborne for the Scholastics in October and we have some big plans in the pipeline
which we look forward to sharing with everyone.
Back to the Polar Bear, and we all stood around the banks of the Sandy Bay carpark
listening to the results of the finals on a sunny Sunday arvo when Eli Jacobs, a
young surfer who had come over from the Gold Coast to visit family and stay in his
Aunties batch at Sandy Bay, stepped forward to accept the Men’s Open Trophy and
the $1000 cheque. What happened next stunned all those in attendance. After
thanking the club for organising and running “one of the best organised comps I have
been to”, Eli handed the $1000 cheque to a group of local junior surfers, saying,
“This money should stay in Sandy Bay”.
What an incredible finish to a brilliant weekend!
Once again a huge thank you to everyone involved, our wonderful volunteers, our epic sponsors, the spectators and the competitors, you are what make these events so awesome.
Most of all thank you to our beautiful coast, who sustains us and gives us enjoyment beyond measure every time we paddle out
Be sure to look out for the next edition of nzsurfmag, which will feature the comp
as well as a couple of our local groms on their first EVER surf photo shoot.
1st – Ben Porter
2nd – Ezra Donaldson
3rd – Alani Morse
4th – Indi-Lee Ruddell
The Polar bear classic was first held in 1981 as a fundraiser and an excuse to invite other clubs who could make the trek for a good party in the middle of winter, a fun competition at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka coast. Although the surf is unpredictable at this time of the year ,we have had some impressive surf and some even more impressive surfing from the region’s top surfers, plus a few from as far away as Gisborne & Taranaki.
This year (2018) the North Coast Boardriders is proud to offer $1000 to both the Open Men’s and Open Women’s division winners for the first time.
Equal prize money is just one step in recognising our top female athletes for their contribution to the sport and paving the way for equal opportunities within the surfing community and the surfing industry. We are at the forefront of this movement in NZ as one of the few clubs in the world encouraging women and girls in surfing through equal prize money. The Women’s division will be named the ‘Dive! Tutukaka, Open Womens’ in honour of our generous sponsor. Dive! Tutukaka also sponsor the club throughout the year and are committed to equal pay, sustainability and youth development, just like we are. Mammoth Insulation are our major sponsor again this year and put up the prize money for the ‘Mammoth Insulation, Open Men’s division’.
The Polar Bear is always well supported and there are surfers who are now surfing in the over 40’s & 50’s divisions that attended those early Polar Bear as grommets. Prizes over the years have ranged from custom surfboards to a sheep (it was taken home alive) but everyone leaves with a sponsors printed t-shirt for their efforts. The 8 Divisions for the 2018 event are,
The Open (this is the Trophy division) Open Women’s, Over 40’s, Over 50’s/60’s , Longboard (over 9ft), Under 18’s, Under 14’s, Under 10’s
Again this Annual Fundraiser would not be possible without the ongoing support from our Sponsors.
Click icons for direct link to our sponsors websites: