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Piha surfer Zen Wallis has claimed his first ever victory on the 2012 Hyundai Tour winning the final event of the year at Port Waikato (Sunday 4th March). Wallis defeated overall Tour champion Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach, Auckland) in the final, Kibblewhite placing runner up.
The win came in solid 2.0m waves that continued to hammer the sleepy West Coast beach town. While the wind dropped compared with the storm of the last two days, the sunny day helped the sea breeze strengthen all day and it again affected surface conditions.
Wallis won the final scoring 11.83 out of 20 points in the final. His highest wave of 7.33 points out of ten caused Wallis to get caught on the inside of the break and unable to get back out for the final ten minutes. However his good early start was good enough for a win that had him in disbelief.
"I can't believe it, I just found out now, wow" an exhausted Zen Wallis said after exiting the water post a non stop paddle battle in the whitewash.
"I spent half the heat paddling out into the waves and I had no idea what the other guys scored. I am over the moon, best thing that could even happen after that paddle."
Wallis also competes on the New Zealand Pro Series and has in the past won age group events at this level. I enjoy longboarding, I love all sorts of water sports. I can do both tours easily and I have fun doing both as well."
Placing second today was the overall 2012 Hyundai Tour champion Thomas Kibblewhite who fought hard for his third win of the year but came up 6.01 points short despite several last ditch efforts where the waves did not cooperate.
"I have been trying to win this thing for six years, ever since Hyundai and Surfing New Zealand came to the party and set up this amazing tour we have" said Kibblewhite.
Placing third in the final was Glen Johnson (Mangawhai) surfing in his first final of the season. Johnson was hot on the heals of the first two surfers scoring a 5.0 on one wave a