The event will take place from the 13th - 19th January at the south end of Auckland's famous Piha Beach. Over 300 entries are expected for the event which caters for every surfing discipline and age group on offer.
The event was held at Piha in January this year and typically experienced an ever changing ocean and surface conditions.
Piha offers up every surf condition possible, even during 'settled' summer months. Over the seven event days the surf can range anywhere from 0.5m through to 2.0m plus. The conditions generally mean that surfers have to be used to anything that is thrown at them to make it through to the finals and challenge for the most prestigious cup in New Zealand surfing.
100% Kiwi owned Hyundai New Zealand has continued their title sponsorship of the event as well as continuing as the main supporter of surfing in New Zealand. Combined with the Nationals, Hyundai New Zealand also focus their efforts on the longboarding through the world renowned Hyundai Tour.
Andy Sinclair, General Manager for Hyundai New Zealand says "We are proud to be involved with the Hyundai National Championships for the 9th year running. We are looking forward to a hot summer, some good waves and watching some first class surfing. This will be a great family event so pack up the kids, dig out the jandals and come and check out the action for yourselves."
Greg Townsend, CEO for Surfing New Zealand was delighted with the renewal of the partnership between Surfing New Zealand and Hyundai.
"We are heartened to have Hyundai on board again. They have been a fantastic partner and supporter for the past eight years and we will be working closely with them throughout this summer to deliver great events and opportunities for the surfers of New Zealand. This partnership is crucial for the ongoing development of Surfing New Zealand and New Zealand surfing."
The 2012 and 50th edition of the National Champs was won by Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand who claimed his second title, the first being in 2010. Stairmand has briefly returned from Europe before he exits to Hawaii for the final leg of the ASP World Qualifying Series over the next six weeks. He is ranked 75th on the ASP World Tour.
"Nationals at Piha again, stoked" Stairmand said on hearing the news. "Piha is similar to Raglan, there is always that little left in the corner and the beach is the same too just a rugged West Coast beachie" he added.
For Stairmand the domestic event represents a mix of good times as well as the build-up to his next international campaign and a time to focus again. "The Nationals is an amazing way to start the year competing against all the best surfers in New Zealand. End of December and January is usually a relaxing time for me after three months through America and Europe then one month in Hawaii but that doesn't mean I will not be focused on the event."
And rest assured that Stairmand has his sights set on a title defence. "I always dreamed of being NZ champ. But three? Defending the title, it'd be a dream come true."
Taranaki's Thandi Durham - Tipene took her maiden win in the Open Women's Division in January staving off challenges from the younger girls that are coming through the ranks. Durham battled away for several years before completing her breakthrough performance.
"Winning the nationals this year was very satisfying" said Durham - Tipene reflecting on the win which in part she puts down to a change in thinking. "Yeah in a way I do see the win as breaking down a barrier but mostly that believing in yourself and backing yourself 110% will inevitably mean you realise your goals."
Stairmand and Durham - Tipene lead the way for the premier divisions but 25 national titles will go up for grabs at the Hyundai National Championships come January 2013. Additional divisions comprise of age groups from Under 14 through to Over 50s and also longboard, Stand Up Paddleboard, Bodyboard and Kneeboard disciplines.
The event is the first event of the New Zealand Pro Series and second of five on the 2013 Hyundai Tour.
It will be the tenth time the event has been held at Piha. The Hyundai National Surfing Championships is the most prestigious domestic surfing event in New Zealand.
Set out below are the winners of key divisions for the past five years.
2008 - Jay Quinn (Gis)
2009 - Matt Hewitt (Mnt)
2010 - Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2011 - Jay Quinn (Gis)
2012 - Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2008 - Angie Koops (Kaik)
2009 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2010 - Laura Rishworth (Mnt)
2011 - Airini Mason (Chch)
2012 - Thandi Durham (Tara)
Junior Men (U/18)
2008 - Sean Peggs (Tairua)
2009 - Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2010 - Johnny Hicks (Gis)
2011 - Ben Poulter (Rag)
2012 - Tane Wallis (Auck)
2008 - Jay Quinn (Gis)
2009 - Daniel Proctor (Gis)
2010 - Dylan Barnfield (Ohope)
2011 - Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck)
2012 - Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck)
Complete lists of all National Champions are located on the Surfing New Zealand website under History.
Entry into the Hyundai National Championships can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under events from 1st December. Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in.