The Ben Kennings Report

Big Day of Surfing At World Junior Champs With 11 Kiwis In The Water

All but one of the Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team were in action on day three of the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Nicaragua with several big performances as well as the loss of our first surfers from the event.

The surf remained highly contestable with 1.0m of swell and clean offshore winds which allowed the Kiwi team to produce some high scoring heats.

Gisborne’s Jasmine Smith followed Korbin Hutchings (Gis) through to Qualifying Round 3 for the Under 16 Girls Division. While Hutchings had the day off after excellent surfing the day prior, Smith had to again contest two heats today and produced her best result in the Under 16s advancing to the last twelve surfers of the division.

Smith placed second in her heat to 2012 champion Dax McGill (HAW). Despite the low score of 7.20, Smith showed the determination that is required to progress in the difficult low tide conditions that have plagued the second podium. Smith will now face surfers from France, Japan and Australia in her next match up.

“Pretty happy to still be in the main round of Under 16s” said Smith. “I didn’t surf my best in that heat and I almost beat the world champ so I’m pretty confident in my surfing ability to do well, it’s just a real mental game. Hopefully I can start putting it together in my heats with bigger scores because I know it’s going to get harder and harder” she added.

In the Under 18 Girls Division, Smith placed third in her heat and was relegated to the repechage rounds along with Ella Williams (WGM) who suffered a shock loss in her heat. Williams contested the highest scoring heat of the round missing progression after leading the heat and being pushed back into third in the last two minutes by Hawaiian Tatiana Weston – Webb and South African Nicole Pallet.

Smith and Williams will now have to contest the Under 18 Girls Division via the long route of the repechage rounds.

The boys in the Under 18 Boys Division surfed well in their 15 minute heats with Sean Kettle (Tara), Dune Kennings (WGM) and Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) all progressing through to the third round. However it was Mackenzie Christie (BOP) that was the team’s first casualty placing third in his heat scoring 10.40. Chrisite finished the event placed 49th.

It was Sean Kettle that set the standard earlier for the Under 18 Boys placing second in his heat to advance. Kettle posted an 11.40 to advance alongside American Colin Moran on 16.06.

“Yeah I’m feeling good heading into the next round just got to focus on each heat” said Kettle.

Kennings won the following heat scoring 13.0 including his highest scoring wave of the event an 8.17.

Elliot Paerata – Reid was next dominating his heat to win with a 15.33 point heat total to advance and meet team mate Kennings in the third round.

“Because it was a 15 minute heat I tried to just go out and get a quick start. In the first two minutes I got a 7.0 then backed it up with an 8 so I’m stoked” said Paerata – Reid.

“I didn’t realise Dune and I are in the same heat in the next round but I’m just going to treat it like any other heat” he added of the match up between the two team mates.

Earlier in the day the three Kiwis in the Under 16 Boys Division made a clean sweep of their repechage heats, Daniel Farr (Tara) being the standout winning his heat with a 10.44 point heat total.

“I was having fun, I didn’t get the best waves but I’m happy to get first in the heat, I would like to get through a some more heats though” commented Farr on his performance. “Most of us are in the repechage rounds so we are all in the same boat and we just have to encourage each other as much as possible” he added of his team’s predicament with all but two surfers in the repechage rounds.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Harrison Whiteside (Chch) both placed second in their heats to progress. Butler posted an 8.33 point heat total and Whiteside an 8.56 point heat total.

Late in the day the team lost their second surfer with Dayna Story (Gis) bowing out of her repechage heat.

The swell is expected to build slightly throughout day four with perfect offshore winds also forecast.

The World Championship includes 30 countries and 300 entrants and takes place from the 8th – 16th June.

Please see below for results from day three of the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championships presented by Billabong held at Jilquiste Beach, Nicaragua today (Wednesday 12th June NZT).

Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 2
Heat 4

1, 16.06, Colin Moran, USA, 2, 11.40, Sean Kettle, NZL, 3, 7.57, Jose Luis Ramos, SAL, 4, 3.33, Jorge Soto, CHI

Heat 5
1, 13.00, Dune Kennings, NZL, 2, 8.93, Joaquin del Castillo, PER, 3, 8.33, Gabriel Farias, BRA, 4, 6.43, Carlos Dominguez, MEX

Heat 7
1, 15.33, Elliot Paerata-Reid, NZL, 2, 12.84, Elliot Ivarra, FRA, 3, 8.94, Garen Pryce, JAM, 4, 5.13, Lucca Piscione, URU

Heat 10
1, 14.04, Luan Wood, BRA, 2, 12.80, Arne Bergwinkle, GER, 3, 10.77, Mackenzie Christie, NZL, 4, 7.30, Taz Knight, UK

Under 18 Girls Repechage Qualifying Round 2
Heat 1

1, 9.67, Nikki Veisins, USA, 2, 7.47, Josephine Costes, FRA, 3, 7.10, Jasmine Smith, NZL, 4, 3.43, Emily Currie, UK

Heat 3
1, 13.33, Nicole Pallet, RSA, 2, 13.17, Tatiana Weston-Webb, HAW, 3, 12.50, Ella Williams, NZL, 4, 2.06, Marie Troja, FRA

Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 2
Heat 3

1, 10.47, Dax McGill, HAW, 2, 7.40, Jasmine Smith, NZL, 3, 4.73, Anoush Zakarian, RSA, 4, 2.70, Lliana Aguirre, ECU

Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 2
Heat 3

1, 11.10, Aldo Chirinos, CRI, 2, 8.33, Kehu Butler, NZL, 3, 7.03, Jose Luis Ramos, SAL, 4, 2.30, Jose Recordon, CHI

Heat 5
1, 11.00, Bruno Carvalho, CRI, 2, 8.56, Harrison Whiteside, NZL, 3, 5.63, Max Payne, UK, 4, 3.43, Julius Wenzel, GER

Heat 11
1, 10.44, Daniel Farr, NZL, 2, 9.40, Angus Scotney, UK, 3, 6.86, Gary Gonzalves, ECU, 4, 6.13, Maikel Cardenas, VEN


Kiwi Girls Perform As Boys Get The Jitters

Day two of the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong saw the girls divisions contested with Ella Williams (WGM) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) advancing out of their Qualifying heats. However it was the boys that suffered defeats in their talent-laden second round match ups, Korbin Hutchings (Gis) the only male surfer to enjoy success.

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team encountered a slight decrease in wave size with a solid 1.0m of swell on day two at Jiquileste Beach, Brazil. Conditions over the mid to high tide were great but the low tide conditions during the middle of the day made high scoring tough.

Hutchings, competing in the Under 16 Boys Division, was the stand out performer winning his second round match up which included two of the event favourites. He looked to have rid himself of the first round nerves we saw on day one, leading his heat from the outset.

“Yeah it felt good today, my preparation was better and I got a good early start which set me up nicely for my backups” said Hutchings in reference to his wave scores later in the heat.

Hutchings finished with a 12.06 point heat total which comprised 6.33 and a 5.73 to progress with Australian surfer Jacob Wilcox in second place on 11.77.

“I was really hungry to take it to those boys as they were both in the finals last year and are big names from top nations in this comp” said Hutchings of his performance and desire to do well at the event.

Hutchings’ team mates in the Under 16 Boys Division did not do so well with both Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Daniel Farr (Tara) being relegated to the repechage rounds. Butler suffered his loss at the hands of yet another heat in the low tide conditions which have been far from favourable. Meanwhile Farr also surfed in a low scoring heat and was left needing a 4.88 point ride to progress but fell short. Both surfers along with Harrison Whiteside (Chch) will be next up in Repechage Round 2.

2013 ISA World Surfing Games Finalist, Ella Williams (WGM), led the girls to a successful start at the event. Williams expectedly won her first round match up posting 10.54 to beat her opponents from Brazil, Panama and Nicaragua. Williams will next face off against day one stand out Tatiana Weston – Webb, Nicole Pallet (ZAF) and Maria Troja (FRA) in the second round for a chance to push through to the top 12 surfers.

Jasmine Smith (Gis) got to surf two heats on the first day contesting both the Under 18 and Under 16 Girls Divisions. Smith placed second in her Under 18s heat progressing alongside long time ISA competitor Chelsea Tauch of Barbados.

Smith also won her earlier heat in the Under 16 Girls Division which was held over the low tide which she found a real challenge.

“The surf reminds me a lot of Wainui Beach back home at Gisborne” said Smith. “It is real punchy and rampy like Wainui, I really like this wave although when its low tide it closes out and is quiet tricky and that was the case in my first heat of the day” she added.

Smith who is also a stand out surf life saving athlete back here in New Zealand is the only surfer at the event contesting two divisions but is rising to the occasion. “I enjoyed surfing the two divisions today” said Smith. “I was confident in my surfing, and I just tried to be as dominant as possible so I’m super happy to make it through both of them.”

Smith has a long week ahead of her. The further she can progress in the qualifying rounds, the lighter her workload will become as she avoids the multiple heats that need to be contested through the repechage rounds.

Unfortunately fellow Gisborne surfer Dayna Story could not navigate her way through her heat and the low tide blues on the second podium but she will get another chance in the repechage rounds which are likely to be contested on Day 3.

Late in the day the stand out performers from the first day of the event in the Under 18 Boys Division all suffered defeats and relegation to the repechage rounds.

Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) challenged for progression and had opportunities late in his heat but fell on a critical wave in what ultimately was one of the highest scoring heats of the round. Mackenzie Christie (Mnt) also had his chances on his final wave of the heat but fell. The two surfers join Sean Kettle (Tara) and Dune Kennings (WGM) who also lost their heats.

The swell is expected to ease further for day three with the start of a new swell filling in during day four. Middle of the day low tides will affect conditions with more close out waves but both morning and afternoon conditions will be much more contestable.

The World Championship includes 30 countries and 300 entrants and takes place from the 8th – 16th June.

Please see below for results from day two of the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championships presented by Billabong held at Jilquiste Beach, Nicaragua today (Wednesday 12th June NZT).

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 3
1, 13.27, Arthur Lassee, FRA, 2, 12.03, Kai Hing, AUS, 3, 7.10, Kehu Butler, NZL, 4, 5.40, Rhys Barfield, UK

Heat 12
1, 13.60, Chris Zaffis, AUS, 2, 8.40, Timonthe Bisso, FRA, 3, 7.57, Esnaider Zambrano, ECU, 4, 6.10, Daniel Farr, NZL

Heat 13
1, 12.06, Korbin Hutchings, NZL, 2, 11.77, Jacob Wilcox, AUS, 3, 7.40, Nomme Mignot, FRA, 4, 5.17, Harry De Roth, UK

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 1
Heat 2
1, 16.17, Chelsea Tuach, BAR, 2, 8.64, Jasmine Smith, NZL, 3, 5.80, Leticia Freitas, BRA, 4, 0.00, Cindy Obando, NIC

Heat 7
1, 10.54, Ella Williams, NZL, 2, 8.14, Larissa Santos, BRA, 3, 1.50, Monica Mumm, PAN, 4, 0.00, Paola Espinoza, NIC

Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 1
Heat 2
1, 10.40, Larissa Santos, BRA, 2, 4.83, June Geiser, SWI, 3, 3.83, Dayna Story, NZL, 4, 3.33, Wuileidis Farina, VEN

Heat 7
1, 7.93, Jasmine Smith, NZL, 2, 5.37, Karol Ribeiro, BRA, 3, 3.07, Pia Grossi, VEN, 4, 2.27, Nadia Geiser, SWI

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 3
1, 12.70, Dylan Lightfoot, RSA, 2, 11.67, Junino Urcia, PER, 3, 9.00, Sean Kettle, NZL, 4, 7.30, Kevin Cortez, NIC

Heat 6
1, 15.07, Cam Richards, USA, 2, 11.87, Andy Criere, FRA, 3, 9.34, Miles Lee Hargreaves, UK

4, 8.43, Dune Kennings, NZL

Heat 7
1, 16.00, Koa Smith, HAW, 2, 12.73, Diran Zakarian, RSA, 3, 12.26, Elliot Paerata-Reid, NZL, 4, 6.27, Sebastian Correa, PER

Heat 9
1, 13.73, Kevin Schulz, USA, 2, 13.67, Kain Daly, HAW, 3, 10.33, Lucca Mesina, PER, 4, 9.96, Mackenzie Christie, NZL

The World Junior Surfing Championships is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. New Zealand has been one of the top nations at each event with Jay Quinn (Gis) securing New Zealand’s first World Championship in the Under 18 Men’s division in 2001. In 2012 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Panama.


Sound Start For Kiwi Team In Nicaragua

The Rip Curl New Zealand Surfing Team got off to a sound start on the first day of the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong with 11 of 12 surfers progressing through to the second qualifying round.

The eight day event is being held at Jiquliste Beach in Nicaragua and the first day presented clean 1.0m – 1.5m waves groomed with offshore winds. Despite the mid day low tide causing a few close outs, the conditions were great and the Kiwi team made the most of what was on offer.

The charge was led by the more experienced surfers in the Under 18 Boys Division where all four team mates progressed through to the second round, two surfers winning their heats and two placing second.

Despite being one of the oldest surfers in the team, Sean Kettle is a first time New Zealand representative at an ISA event. He got the team off to the best possible start winning a tightly contested heat posting 11.34 points to progress alongside Wesley Santos (BRA) in second place on 11.33.

“The waves were bad for my heat because of the low tide but I got a quick start and managed to get the win so yeah, I am pretty stoked to get the first heat done and out of the way and I am looking forward to the next round and hopefully better conditions” commented Kettle.

Kettle set the performance levels and from there on in it was up to his team mates to match him, which they did. Dune Kennings (WGM) followed soon after winning his heat with a 12.33 point heat total. Kennings got off to a quick start posting a 7.0 point ride for a single blistering forehand top turn. He then played the waiting game for over ten minutes before locking in another 5.33 point ride and a comfortable win and progression into the second round alongside Panamanian Roberto Diaz.

“The first day was really good. The team were super supportive and that was really motivating for me. It just set up a really good vibe” said Kennings who like Paerata – Reid was amped on how the team performed on the first day of the event.

Both Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Mackenzie Christie (Mnt) placed second in their heats with strong performances. Paerata – Reid, up against commanding Brazilian surfer Gabriel Andre, posted an 11.20 point heat total using his own powerful backhand to score 5.87 and 5.33 point rides.

“My game plan was to get the lefts. I had a couple of mid range scores in my heat and ended up getting second which keeps me in the qualifying rounds” said Paerata – Reid. “I am just going to take it heat by heat and hope to do well in my next one” he added.

Christie looked equally impressive firstly flying down the line on his backhand and finishing one of his waves cleanly with a big end manoeuvre before taking to his forehand on his last was to post a 5.10 point ride for a solid first round progression behind Brazilian Luan Wood on 10.93.

“The Brazilian in my heat was real aggressive, hassling from before the heat even started. So that made it hard to find a rhythm but it is good to get that heat out of the way” added Christie.

On the second podium, the Kiwis in the Under 16 Boys Division had a tougher time of it with three surfers progressing in second place while Harrison Whiteside (Chch) suffered defeat at the hands of Adrian Garcia (PER) and division favourite Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA).

Australian based Korbin Hutchings, formerly of Gisborne, surfed a strong heat with his progression never looking in doubt finishing second on 10.13 points behind Tomas Tudela (PER) on 12.17.

“It was hard in my heat because I was one of the last heats so it was a real long draining day” said Hutchings. Like the rest of the team, Hutchings felt the early round nerves but was really happy to make the heat and is looking forward to the next round.

The two youngsters of the team Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Daniel Farr (Tara) both progressed through low scoring heats, Butler posting 5.33 points out of 20 to place second and Farr posting 6.70. They now head into the second round where nothing short of their best surfing will see them advance alongside the best young surfers from around the globe. It is the first time representing New Zealand for both surfers and today’s progression will do their confidence a world of good.

Whiteside slips into the repechage rounds where he gets the chance to start fresh however with only one life remaining in the event which uses a double elimination format.

The Under 18 and Under 16 Girls Divisions were not contested on day one of the event but are likely to be in the water on day two along with the second qualifying rounds of both boys divisions.

The swell is expected to ease further for day two of the event and further out to day three with the start of a new swell filling in during day four. Middle of the day low tides will affect conditions with more close out waves but both morning and afternoon conditions will be much more contestable.

The World Championship includes 30 countries and 300 entrants and takes place from the 8th – 16th June.

Please see below for results from day one of the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championships presented by Billabong held at Jilquiste Beach, Nicaragua today (Monday 10th June NZT).

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 1
Heat 8
1, 11.34, Sean Kettle, NZL
2, 11.33, Wesley Santos, BRA
3, 7.50, Jean Carlos Gonzalez, PAN
4, 0.20, Jorge Soto, CHI

Heat 12
1, 12.33, Dune Kennings, NZL
2, 8.36, Roberto Diaz, PAN
3, 6.00, Armani Green, JAM
4, 3.17, Gabriel Farias, BRA

Heat 16
1, 13.27, Gabriel Andre, BRA
2, 11.20, Elliot Paerata-Reid, NZL
3, 5.70, Elishama Beckford, JAM
4, 3.56, Jose Luis Rodriguez, PAN

Heat 20
1, 10.93, Luan Wood, BRA
2, 9.37, Mackenzie Christie, NZL
3, 6.73, Giancarlo Marin, VEN
4, 1.60, Christopher Herold, CHI

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 1
Heat 6
1, 8.25, Lucas Saldivar, PER
2, 5.35, Kehu Butler, NZL
3, 1.55, Jose Recordon, CHI

Heat 11
1, 14.00, Adrian Garcia, PER
2, 11.00, Leonardo Fioravanti, ITA
3, 6.55, Harrison Whiteside, NZL

Heat 23
1, 12.5, Alonso Correa (PER)
2, 6.70, Daniel Farr (NZL)
3, 5.10, Ronald Hastings (JAM)

Heat 26
1, 12.17, Tomas Tudela, PER
2, 10.13, Korbin Hutchings, NZL
3, 4.60, Sebastian Oliva, CHI

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 1 (Yet to be surfed)
Heat 2
Leticia Freitas, BRA
Jasmin Smith, NZL
Chelsea Tuach, BAR
Cindy Obando, NIC

Heat 7
Larissa Santos, BRA
Ella Williams, NZL
Monica Mumm, PAN
Paola Espinoza, NIC

Under 16 Girls Qualifying Round 1 (Yet to be surfed)
Heat 2
Larissa Santos, BRA
Dayna Story, NZL
Wuileidis Farina, VEN
June Geiser, SWI

Heat 7
Karol Ribeiro, BRA
Jasmine Smith, NZL
Pia Grossi, VEN
Nadia Geiser, SWI

The World Junior Surfing Championships is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. New Zealand has been one of the top nations at each event with Jay Quinn (Gis) securing New Zealand’s first World Championship in the Under 18 Men’s division in 2001. In 2012 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Panama.


2013 Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team Claim SANZ Trophy

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team has today (Thursday 6th June) claimed the annual SANZ Trophy event held between the New Zealand and South African junior surfing teams. It is the first time in five years that the Trophy will return to New Zealand, the Kiwis not getting the wood over their counterparts since 2008.

The SANZ Trophy, which is into its eleventh year, was contested at Playa Popoyo on the Nicaraguan Pacific Coast. The event is being used as a final hit out before the teams contest the 2013 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong which starts this Sunday.

The World Championship includes 30 countries and 300 entrants and will commence with the Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony this Sunday before the surfing action kicking off on Monday morning (New Zealand time). The event takes place from the 8th – 16th June.

Today, fun 1.0m – 1.5m waves broke all day for the SANZ Trophy and the level of competition between the two rivalling teams was excellent.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) topped off the New Zealand team tally with two wins each. Butler dominated his Under 16 Boys Division heats from start to finish and looks in excellent form heading into the main event.

“It was really fun surfing today in the SANZ. I really enjoyed the contest and meeting the South African team. It was really good to see the level of the South Africans like Dylan Lightfoot” said the 13 year old and youngest surfer in the New Zealand Team.

After the completion of the event and prize giving, Butler was awarded a South African team shirt as a memento of his first ISA event.

Jasmine Smith put in an outstanding performance competing in both the Under 16 Girls Division and the Under 18 Girls Division winning two heats during the day. She dominated her heats, and showed power with progressive surfing to win comfortably.

Smith has grown in confidence since 2012 when she first attended the event and is looking sharp and fit. “I feel very privileged to be part of the team who won back the SANZ Trophy” said Smith.

“Today was a really good warm up for the contest and I am really excited about the ISA event. I reckon this year we have such a strong team and if everyone surfs like they did today we will do really well this year” Smith added.

Other stand out surfers were Dune Kennings (WGM), who landed a huge 360 air in his first heat winning comfortably, and Sean Kettle (Tara) who also punted a massive air reverse in one of his heats. Both surfers were competing in the Under 18 Boys Division.

Dayna Story (Gis) won one of her match ups in the Under 16 Girls Division and Ella Williams (WGM) also claimed a win in the Under 18 Girls Division.

The format for the contest was four person heats, two from each country. Surfers were awarded ten points for a win, eight points for second, six points for third and four points for fourth. Each surfer competed twice.

“It was awesome to get such a good result in some pretty testing conditions at times” commented Team Coach Jason Ruddell on the team’s performance.

“In terms of a build up for the main event I am pretty happy with how everyone went today, and it just shows the level of performance within our team is right up there with the best. I am really excited about moving into the main event” he added.

Team Manager Tony Baker also echoed the strength of the team and the eagerness to get the main event underway. “Today our team put on a solid performance. We are stoked to win the SANZ and today was great start in our build up to the ISA event. Collectively the team worked well and we have one of the strongest teams in recent years” said Baker.

Team results:

Under 16 Girls
Jasmine Smith (Gis) -3rd, 1st
Dayna Storey (Gis) – 1st, 2nd

Under 18 Girls
Ella Williams (WGM) – 1st, 3rd
Jasmine Smith (GIis) – 3rd, 1st

Under 16 Boys
Korbin Hutchings (Gis) – 2nd, 2nd
Kehu Butler (Mnt) -1st, 1st
Harrison Whiteside (Chch) – 4th,4th
Daniel Farr (Tara) – 4th,4th

Under 18 Boys
Elliot Paerata – Ried (Piha) – 4th,4th
Sean Kettle (Tara) – 2nd,2nd
Dune Kennings (WGM) – 1st,2nd
MacKenzie Christie (Mnt) – 3rd,3rd

Total points:
South Africa 166
New Zealand 172

The World Junior Surfing Championships is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. New Zealand has been one of the top nations at each event with Jay Quinn (Gis) securing New Zealand’s first World Championship in the Under 18 Men’s division in 2001. In 2012 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Panama.


Williams Wins Copper Medal at World Surfing Games

New Zealand surfer Ella Williams (WGM) has surfed to fourth place at 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games completed at Santa Catalina, Panama this morning (Monday 13th May).

It is the best international result yet for the young 18-year-old surfer from Whangamata. Williams was competing in the World Surfing Games for the first time in her career.

Williams’ star continues to rise after she won the New Zealand Women’s Open in April and subsequently a starting position in the ASP World Championship Tour event held at New Plymouth. Williams finished 13th at that event competing against the best surfers in the world.

Today’s final was held in 1.0m waves with onshore sea breeze winds. It was the biggest the surf had been since the start of the event eight days ago.

Williams finished with a 10.83 point heat total behind gold medallist Dimity Stoyle (AUS) on 13.30 points, Codie Klein (AUS) on 12.63 and Suelen Naraisa (BRA) on 12.47.

Williams was within striking distance of the gold medal the entire final needing a 6.43 point ride to surpass her opponents and take gold.

The final got off to a slow start with a lack of waves for the first ten minutes. Williams along with Klein and Naraisa got mid-range six point rides but it was Stoyle that broke away with a near perfect 9.5 point ride to take the lead.

Several big sets of waves rolled through the line up late in the final but Williams could not capitalise on them for a chance at the title leaving Stoyle victorious.

Earlier in the day Williams had the chance to advance directly to the final via the qualifying rounds but placed fourth in her heat. From there she had to contest the repechage semifinal which she won, advancing to the final alongside Codie Klein.

Williams will remain in Central America for the next three weeks and will then join up with the Rip Curl New Zealand Surfing Team who will contest the 2013 Dakine ISA World Junior Championships in Nicaragua starting on the 8th of June.

Williams’ result helped the Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team to jump up to twelfth after an average start to the event that saw them fall as low as 14th on the team standings.

Paige Hareb (Tara) was the last New Zealand surfer to gain a podium finish at the World Surfing Games finishing runner up in 2010. Hareb went on to place seventh at the most recent edition of the event also held in Panama in 2011 where the team placed ninth.

Below are results from the final day of the event as well as final team standings.

Women’s Qualifying Semifinal
1, 12.74, Dimity Stoyle, AUS, 2, 10.16, Suelen Naraisa, BRA, 3, 7.90, Anali Gomez, PER, 4, 6.60, Ella Williams, NZL

Women’s Repechage Semifinal
1, 12.84, Ella Williams, NZL, 2, 10.10, Codie Klein, AUS, 3, 6.47, Nao Omura, JPN, 4, 5.56, Anali Gomez, PER

Women’s Final
1, 13.30, Dimity Stoyle, AUS, 2, 12.63, Codie Klein, AUS, 3, 12.47, Suelen Naraisa, BRA, 4, 10.83, Ella Williams, NZL

Men’s Final
1, 17.66, Shaun Joubert, RSA, 2, 14.90, Jean Carlos Gonzalez, PAN, 3, 12.93, Cristobal Del Col, PER, 4, 6.93, Russell Molony, AUS

Team Placings
1. South Africa
2. Australia
3. Peru
4. Brazil
5. Panama
6. Costa Rica
7. Argentina
8. Chile
9. Venezuela
10. Mexico
11. Ecuador
12. New Zealand

New Zealand Results

Open Men’s
31st Sean Peggs (Tai)
37th Matt Hewitt (Mnt)
43rd Billy Stairmand (Rag)
49th JC Susan (Mnt)

Open Women
4th Ella Williams (WGM)
25th Thandi Tipene (Tara)

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games were held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May.

Over 120 surfers from 24 countries are competed at the event in 2013.


Williams Into Last Six At World Surfing Games In Panama

New Zealand surfer Ella Williams (WGM) has surfed her way into the top six surfers at the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games being held at Santa Catalina, Panama.

Williams surfed two heats this morning (Sunday 11th May) advancing through to the final six surfers in conditions that remain small and challenging. Williams is the last of six Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team members alive at the event going into the final day of action which starts at 1:00am Monday 13th May (New Zealand time).

In her final heat of the day, Williams found herself pitted against the Australian duo of Dimity Stoyle and Codie Klein. Williams won the low scoring heat finishing with 7.23 points to advance alongside Stoyle (7.10) with Klein finishing in third (3.56) and moving to the repechage round.
“I am just really excited” exclaimed Williams post heat. “I went into the heat with two Aussies and it was a big ask to beat them but I wanted to surf well and I got those two waves which allowed me to win” added Williams.

“I am on a high, so stoked right now” said Williams who will face off against Stoyle as well as Anali Gomez (PER) and Suelen Naraisa (BRA) in the Qualifying Semifinal. A win in this heat will see her contest the Grand Final. A loss will push her back into the repechage semifinal where she will have a further opportunity to make the Grand Final.

Today’s heat started out slowly with the incoming tide killing the less than 1.0m swell with onshore winds continuing to affect surface conditions.

Appearing to be stuck between the two Australian surfers, Williams managed to navigate her way out of the situation to get the first decent scoring ride – a 4.33 point ride. It was a wave that she rode all the way to the inside of the right hand point break, pushing through flat sections and doing turns where she could.

The wave was enough to put Williams into first place and reduce the strategic upper hand the Australians had.

Stoyle answered back to Williams’ wave scoring a 6.0 point ride and pushing Williams into second. But it was Williams who looked the hungriest of the three for progression, keeping busy and eventually scoring another 2.9 point ride to take the lead back and advance through the heat.

“You have to make the most of any wave you get and link it through to the inside where possible. The waves are fickle and challenging and you just have to run with what you can get” said Williams of her performance.

New Zealand was languishing in 14th place after day six of competition but the surfing of Williams will have helped the Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team on the penultimate day of the event.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games are being held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May.

Over 120 surfers from 24 countries are competing at the event in 2013.

You can watch the final day of surfing live via the event website. Action takes place from approximately 1:00am New Zealand time each morning.

Open Women’s Qualifying Round 3
Heat 3 1, 14.00, Suelen Naraisa, BRA, 2, 10.33, Ella Williams, NZL, 3, 3.46, Kelly Ann Laide, PUR, 4, 2.80, Maria Lucia Cosoleto, ARG

Open Women’s Qualifying Round 4
Heat 2 1, 7.23, Ella Williams, NZL, 2, 7.10, Dimity Stoyle, AUS, 3, 3.56, Codie Klein, AUS

Open Women’s Qualifying Semifinal Anali Gomez, PER, Dimity Stoyle, AUS, Ella Williams, NZL, Suelen Naraisa, BRA

The New Zealand team finished ninth out of 27 nations at the 2011 edition of the biennial event when it was also held at Panama. Australia claimed the gold medal. Paige Hareb (Tara) was the highest placed surfer finishing seventh.


Small Surf Delays Williams Next Appearance At World Surfing Games

Small surf has continued to hamper progress at the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games meaning Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team member Ella Williams (WGM) has not entered the water for a third straight day.

The event, being held at Santa Catalina, Panama only saw seven heats held overnight on the sixth of eight competition days.

Williams has had to remain flexible with the amended schedule of events, holding her focus enough in case she is called up to compete yet also relaxed as the protracted wait to get back in the water continues.

Today’s surf conditions saw well under a metre of swell accompanied by onshore winds. The action did not commence until late in the afternoon where two repechage rounds were contested. The qualifying rounds were deferred until Sunday morning when the swell is expected to build slightly with improved surface conditions.

When Williams next enters the water she will face off against Maria Lucia Cosoleto (ARG), Kelly Ann Laide (PUR) and Suelen Naraisa (BRA) for chance to advance into the top six girls in the qualifying round.

Williams has two lives left at the event which uses a repechage format giving all surfers two chances before they are eliminated from the event.

Williams is the last Kiwi remaining in the event after her five team mates exited in tough conditions over the past two days.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games are being held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May.

Over 120 surfers from 24 countries are competing at the event in 2013.

You can watch all the action live via the event website. Action takes place from approximately 1:00am New Zealand time each morning.

Pending heat for Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing team member Ella Williams is below. There is a high chance that Qualifying Round 3 of the Women’s Division will be contested first thing in the morning meaning Williams could surf as early as 1:40am on Sunday morning (New Zealand time).

Open Women Qualifying Round 3 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 3
Ella Williams, NZL, Maria Lucia Cosoleto, ARG, Kelly Ann Laide, PUR, Suelen Naraisa, BRA

The New Zealand team finished ninth out of 27 nations at the 2011 edition of the biennial event when it was also held at Panama. Australia claimed the gold medal. Paige Hareb (Tara) was the highest placed surfer finishing seventh.


Half of Team Alive At World Surfing Games Half Way Point

After four of eight days of competition at the 2013 Reef, ISA World Surfing Games being held at Santa Catalina, Panama, the Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team has half of the team remaining in the event.

 

The surf overnight was small again with some tight low-scoring heats that saw Sean Peggs (Tairua) progress through to Repechage Round 4. He was the only surfer to progress through to Repechage Round 4 after Matt Hewitt (Mnt), Billy Stairmand (Rag) and JC Susan (Mnt) were eliminated in their heats today.

 

Peggs is joined by Ella Williams (WGM) and Thandi Tipene (Tara) who remain alive in the Women’s Division, both surfers having a lay day today.

 

Williams is the only Kiwi surfer to remain in the qualifying rounds meaning she has two lives left at the event which uses a repechage format where every surfer has two lives.

 

Today it was Peggs that snuck through his third round match up in a bizarre set of circumstances.

Contesting his heat alongside team mate Billy Stairmand, they found themselves in third and fourth place respectively. Stairmand got one last wave, and after long deliberation was scored a lowly 4.60 point ride which was not enough for progression needing a 6.17 and his chances were extinguished.

 

However, with the final hooter having already sounded, second placed surfer Angello Bonomelli (ITA) was judged to have interfered with another surfer, handing Peggs progression and a place amongst the last 33 surfers.

 

Peggs progressed with an 8.86 point heat total behind local Panamanian surfer Gary Saavedra. Missing out in that heat was Billy Stairmand finishing in fourth place and 43rd overall.

 

Matt Hewitt suffered the narrowest of defeats. Every Kiwi watching as well as the commentators thought he had done more than enough to get the 4.01 point ride required to progress on his last wave that he caught with 20 seconds remaining. However, the scores came in short at 3.33 for what appeared to be two nice turns out the back and a connection through to the inside section.

It was a bitter loss to swallow with Hewitt confident he had the score when finishing his wave as the siren sounded. Hewitt finished third in the heat and 37th overall.

 

Earlier in the day JC Susan (Mnt) was eliminated in Repechage Round 2 struggling in the small less than 1.0m waves that were affected by the cross shore winds. Like his team mates, Susan surfed a final wave to progress but needing a 3.69, scored a 3.33 point ride and finished the heat in third place and 49th overall.

 

Peggs is joined by Ella Williams and Thandi Tipene who competed on day three. Williams surfed to a great heat win and moved through to the last 12 surfers in the qualifying rounds. She progressed alongside one of the event favourites Anali Gomez (Per) and will face off against surfers from Brazil, Argentina and Peurto Rico in her next match up.

 

Tipene was another New Zealand surfer to suffer a close defeat on day three. She was holding down second position for much of the heat before her three South American counterparts made it difficult for her to get a wave. In the last ten seconds of the heat it was the Argetinian surfer Maia Cheer that found a good wave pushing her into an advancing position and relegating Tipene to the repechage rounds.

 

All three remaining New Zealand surfers are likely to be back in action on day five of the event as they look to advance their cause toward a podium finish and medals.

 

The swell is expected to be small again but build slightly for the last couple of days of the event.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games are being held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May. The event uses a double elimination format where surfers get ‘two lives’ before they are completely eliminated from the event.

Over 120 surfers from 24 countries are competing at the event in 2013.

You can watch all the action live via the event website. Action takes place from approximately 1:00am New Zealand time each morning.

New Zealand results from day four of the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games held at Santa Catalina, Panama today (Thursday 9th May) are as follows:

Open Men’s Repechage Round 1
Heat 3

1, 10.06, Matt Lewis-Hewitt, NZL, 2, 7.57, Santiago Madrid, URU, 3, 5.77, Christian Mendez, GUA
Heat 7
1, 15.00, Billy Stairmand, NZL, 2, 8.57, Amos Rivera, GUA, 3, 8.57, George Acosta, URU
Heat 9
1, 12.40, J C Susan, NZL, 2, 8.36, Francisco Porcella, ITA, 3, 6.43, Orlando Ortega, PAN
Open Men’s Repechage Round 2
Heat 3

1, 11.40, Russell Molony, AUS, 2, 10.33, Matt Lewis-Hewitt, NZL, 3, 8.70, Marcelo Rodriguez, ARG, 4, 4.30, Michael Panton, JAM
Heat 6
1, 11.33, Miguel Tudela, PER, 2, 7.80, Sean Peggs, NZL, 3, 4.37, Mario Vega, GUA, 4, 3.77, Nicolas Vargas, CHI
Heat 7
1, 13.33, Billy Stairmand, NZL, 2, 6.70, Icah Wilmot, JAM, 3, 6.37, Julio Quinones, MEX, 4, 5.63, Freddie Meadows, SWE
Open Men’s Repechage Round 3
Heat 2

1, 14.33, Wade Carmichael, AUS, 2, 6.36, Tristan Aicardi, CHI, 3, 6.00, J C Susan, NZL, 4, 4.56, Ronley Lewis, JAM
Heat 3
1, 11.94, Jonathan Chila, ECU, 2, 9.33, Rafael Pereira, VEN, 3, 9.03, Matt Lewis-Hewitt, NZL, 4, 6.53, Josie Graves, PUR
Heat 4
1, 10.07, Gary Saavedra, PAN, 2, 8.86, Sean Peggs, NZL, 3, 8.47, Angelo Bonomelli, ITA, 4, 7.53, Billy Stairmand, NZL

 

Open Women’s Qualifying Round 2
Heat 1

1, 14.67, Dominic Barona, ECU, 2, 6.37, Maia Cheer, ARG, 3, 4.50, Thandi Tipene, NZL, 4, 4.00, Sofia Alfonso, URU
Heat 4
1, 11.77, Ella Williams, NZL, 2, 11.34, Anali Gomez, PER, 3, 5.80, Enilda Alonso, PAN, 4, 4.64, Cindy Lone, GUA

 

Open Women Qualifying Round 3 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 3

Ella Williams, NZL, Maria Lucia Cosoleto, ARG, Kelly Ann Laide, PUR, Suelen Naraisa, BRA
Open Women’s Repechage Round 2 (yet to be surfed)
Heat 1

Thandi Tipene, NZL, Tanika Hoffman, RSA, Nao Omura, JPN, Evelin Centeno, SAL

The New Zealand team finished ninth out of 27 nations at the 2011 edition of the biennial event when it was also held at Panama. Australia claimed the gold medal. Paige Hareb (Tara) was the highest placed surfer finishing seventh.


Kiwi Girls Make Better Start At World Surfing Games

The two female representatives in the Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team got their international campaigns off to great starts early this morning (Tuesday 7th May New Zealand time) both winning their first round match ups in Panama.

Entering the water for the first time at the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games, Ella Williams (WGM) and Thandi Tipene (Tara) made the most of the dying 1.0 – 1.5m waves on the righthand point break at Santa Catalina.

Williams amassed the second highest heat score of the day for the Women’s Division, 14.33 points out of a possible 20. Looking busy from the start of the heat, it was not long before Williams blitzed apart a wave completing a vertical backhand re-entry followed by a sharp climb over an oncoming section to score 7.83 out of a possible 10 points.

“That wave was so fun…then after that I was hunting for anything else that I could get a back-up score on to improve my score line” said Williams who did just that scoring a 6.50 point ride and a substantial lead over her opponents from South Africa, Canada and Italy.

“It’s really great to start with a win, it gives you a good boost, I gotta keep going now, don’t stop until the end” said Williams after exiting the water full of confidence and eager to contest her next round.

Williams was joined by team mate Thandi Tipene in the winners circle. Tipene won the first heat of the women’s round scoring 10.84 out of a possible 20 points.

Tipene claimed the lead eight minutes into the heat with a fantastic 6.67 point ride and never looked back. The long running righthanders are not dissimilar to the waves found around the Taranaki coastline and that will give Tipene confidence to take her campaign a long way at this event.

Both Williams and Tipene are likely to be back in the water tomorrow (day three of the event) contesting Qualifying Round 2. Tipene will face off against surfers from Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay while Williams will face off against surfers from Peru, Panama and Guatemala.

Earlier in the day Sean Peggs (Tairua) placed third in his qualifying round heat and was relegated to the repechage rounds.

Peggs fought hard in his heat jumping in and out of a progression situation. He scored a 5.77 point ride with less than five minutes remaining to jump into second place before Mexican surfer Dylan Southworth answered back with a 5.87 point ride shortly after pushing Peggs back into third. With time running out Peggs had two last ditch efforts to get the 5.28 point ride required to advance but fell short and finished with a 10.17 point heat total, less than a point behind the Mexican surfer.

Peggs is likely to surf the second round of the repechage late on day three along with Matt Hewitt (Mnt), Billy Stairmand (Rag) and JC Susan (Mnt) who will be contesting the first repechage round.

The swell is expected to decrease further over the next two days before increasing for the last four days of the event.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games are being held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May. The event uses a double elimination format where surfers get ‘two lives’ before they are completely eliminated from the event.

Over 150 surfers from 24 countries are competing at the event in 2013.

You can watch all the action live via the event website.

Day three schedule (Wednesday 8th May, New Zealand time)
1:00am – Women’s Repechage Round 1
1:40am – Women’s Qualifying Round 2 (Thandi Tipene @ 1:40am, Ella Williams at 2:40am)
3:40am – Men’s Repechage Round 1 (Matt Hewitt @ 4:20am, Billy Stairmand @ 5:40am and JC Susan @ 6:20am)
5:40am – Men’s Repechage Round 2 (Sean Peggs @ 7:20am plus surfers yet to be confirmed from first round)

New Zealand results from day two of the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games held at Santa Catalina, Panama today (Tuesday 7th May) are as follows:

Open Men Qualifying Round 2
Heat 6

1, 14.66, Jean Carlos Gonzalez, PAN, 2, 11.04, Dylan Southworth, MEX, 3, 10.17, Sean Peggs, NZL, 4, 9.34, Israel Barona, ECU

Open Men Repechage Round 1 (to be surfed on Wednesday New Zealand time)
Heat 3

Santiago Madrid, URU, Christian Mendez, GUA, Matt Lewis-Hewitt, NZL,
Heat 7
George Acosta, URU, Amos Rivera, GUA, Billy Stairmand, NZL
Heat 9
Orlando Ortega, PAN, Francisco Porcella, ITA, J C Susan, NZL

Open Women’s Qualifying Round 1
Heat 1

1, 10.84, Thandi Tipene, NZL, 2, 9.67, Tanika Hoffman, RSA, 3, 7.44, Jessica Anderson, CHI, 4, 5.43, Valentina Vitale, ITA
Heat 8
1, 14.33, Ella Williams, NZL, 2, 8.60, Faye Zoetmulder, RSA, 3, 5.93, Leah Oke, CAN, 4, 4.10, Greta Dalle Luche, ITA

Open Women’s Qualifying Round 2 (To be surfed on Wednesday New Zealand time)
Heat 1

Thandi Tipene, NZL, Maia Cheer, ARG, Dominic Barona, ECU, Sofia Alfonso, URU
Heat 4
Anali Gomez, PER, Enilda Alonso, PAN, Ella Williams, NZL, Cindy Lone, GUA

The New Zealand team finished ninth out of 27 nations at the 2011 edition of the biennial event when it was also held at Panama. Australia claimed the gold medal. Paige Hareb (Tara) was the highest placed surfer finishing seventh.


Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team Stumble On Day One of World Surfing Games

The Quiksilver New Zealand Surfing Team stumbled on day one of the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games with three of the four surfers in the Open Men’s Division being relegated to the repechage rounds. Sean Peggs (Tai) was the only Kiwi surfer to advance out of his first heat placing second.

The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games are being held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May. The event uses a double elimination format where surfers get ‘two lives’ before they are completely eliminated from the event.

The seventh seeded New Zealand team drew opponents from South Africa, Chile and Jamaica and made difficult work of the 2.0m long running right handers at Santa Catalina. The surf started out clean before the onshore winds affected surface conditions making high scoring waves difficult to find.

It was Tairua’s Sean Peggs on his backhand who placed second in his heat to advance through to Qualifying Round 2 alongside young South African surfer Davey Brand.

Peggs finished with a 9.77 point heat total out of a possible 20 points. He opened up with a 5.17 point ride five minutes into the heat and backed that up with a 4.6 point ride for a comfortable second placing.

Peggs will face off against opponents from host nation Panama as well as Ecuador and Mexico when his second round heat is contested tomorrow (Tuesday 7th May New Zealand time).

Matt Hewitt (Mnt), Billy Stairmand (Rag) and JC Susan (Mnt) all finished third in their heats, Stairmand being the closest to progression. Stairmand required a 4.2 point ride on his last wave but fell short scoring 3.5 out of a possible ten points.

Hewitt, Stairmand and Susan will have a rest day tomorrow. Day two will commence with Qualifying Round 2 of the Open Men’s Division featuring Sean Peggs. This will be followed by the first round of the Open Women which will see Thandi Tipene (Tara) and Ella Williams (WGM) enter the water for the first time at the event.


Wallis and Smith Win Survival of Fittest Test at Mount Maunganui

Piha’s Tane Wallis and Gisborne’s Jasmine Smith emerged victorious after eight hours of surfing in tough conditions at Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach at the Aerial7 Backdoor Pro Junior event completed Saturday 4th May.

The one day event, catering for surfers under the age of 20, had an option of running on either Saturday or Sunday but with conditions expected to increase throughout Saturday, the decision was made to go ahead with the event in the wild 2.0m waves. A change in location to the Main Beach was forced after dawn conditions at Tay Street looked too unsafe to contest.

Wallis was a standout surfer all day completing big powerful turns tight in the pocket. By the time the final came around late in the day the lanky natural footer was basically the surfer who held his composure the best in the challenging conditions.

“It was pretty hard out there in the final and congrats to everyone who surfed today, the conditions took their toll for sure and for me in the fourth and final heat of the day, fatigue was definitely a factor and I think that showed in the amount of times I fell.

Despite several falls in the final, Wallis finished with an 11.33 point heat total which was enough to secure him his second straight win on the New Zealand Pro Series and with that, the number one ranking in the Under 20 Men’s Division.

“I am just happy to be surfing at the event here this weekend and thanks Aerial7 and Backdoor for supporting all of the young surfers in New Zealand, this has been a cool and very fast paced event.”

Placing second today was McKenzie Bowden (WGM) who only required a mid-range score for the win but got bounced off his last scoring opportunity in the middle of the beach. Bowden quietly went about his work all day strategically navigating the sometimes unruly line up of massive waves.

Third in the final was the youngest competitor in the Boys Division, 13-year-old local surfer Kehu Butler who finished with a 8.47 point heat total, less than half a point behind runner up Bowden but ahead of fourth placed Jules Craft (Gis) who could not muster up another rampaging performance such as those that secured him a finals berth.

In the first semifinal of the day Butler and Wallis eliminated Mackenzie Christie (BOP) and Waretini Wano (Piha) while in the second semifinal it was Craft and Bowden who eliminated Sean Kettle (Tara) and Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata).

In the girls division Jasmine Smith (Gis) got the best of a low scoring final posting a mere 6.67 points out of a possible 20 for the win. All four girls battled the line-up and outgoing tide. As time wound down in the 25 minute final, they found themselves scratching toward the inside to try and find any wave that had scoring potential to take out the title but nobody could better Smith.

“There was a massive drift and we all struggled to find waves out there” said Smith. “I am pretty stoked to win, it wasn’t a great start to the day conditions wise but this event has been a good practice run for the worlds” she added of her major international focus coming up in four weeks time at the World Junior Championships in Nicaragua. Smith will continue to train hard over the coming weeks to fine tune her surfing before taking on the best in the world in her second outing at the World Junior Championships.

Like the boys, the girls found the one day event a challenge with multiple heats in the one day but Smith said that the continual heats were great to keep her focused on the event and surfing competitively with very little down time throughout the day.

Placing second today was Gabriela Sansom (Albany, Auckland) who missed victory by less than half a point. Sansom had focussed her efforts on some of the lefts that were running into corner of the beach but in the final the scoring opportunities deserted her.

Grace Spiers (WGM) placed third in the final. Spiers saw scoring opportunities on the inside waves late in the final but was unable to link any decent turns to score the four point ride needed for the win. Bianca Sansom (Albany, Auck) placed fourth in the final.

Earlier in the day Spiers and Gabriela Sansom defeated Claudia Fraser (Piha) in the first semifinal while Smith and Bianca Sansom defeated Dayna Story (Gis) in the second semifinal.

The Aerial7 Backdoor Pro Junior was the third nationally sanctioned Pro Junior event in 2013. The first event was the Rip Curl Pro held at Raglan followed by the South Island Championships held at Dunedin.

Set out below are the final results from the Aerial7 Backdoor Pro Junior held at Main Beach, Mount Maunganui, Saturday 4th March 2013.

Under 20 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Tane Wallis (Piha), 11.93, 1, Luca Cressy (Mnt), 6.5, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 2.97, 3
Heat 2
Mackenzie Christie (Mnt), 9.27, 1, Ware Wano (Piha), 9.1, 2, Harry Macintosh (Waiheke), 4.33, 3
Heat 3
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 8, 1, Callum Chuter (TGA), 4.83, 2, Drew Davey (Mnt), 4.67, 3, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 3, 4
Heat 4
Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach), 12.17, 1, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 9.9, 2, Dune Kennings (WGM), 6.07, 3
Heat 5
Jules Craft (Gis), 9.37, 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 6.97, 2, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri), 1, 3
Heat 6
Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 10.3, 1, Caleb Braithwaite (Whaka), 4.03, 2, Jack Mills (Mnt), 3.6, 3
Heat 7
McKenzie Bowden (WGM), 9.33, 1, Sean Kettle (Tara), 8.6, 2, Kayden Mayes (Mnt), 5.3, 3
Heat 8
Adam Grimson (Gis), 5.47, 1, Andrew Fraser Mackenzie (TGA), 5.07, 2, Corey Asplin (Ham), 4.73, 3

Under 20 Men’s Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Tane Wallis (Piha), 17.67, 1, Mackenzie Christie (Mnt), 9.27, 2, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 7.53, 3, Callum Chuter (TGA), 7.27, 4
Heat 2
Ware Wano (Piha), 12.1, 1, Kehu Butler (Mnt), 11.4, 2, Luca Cressy (Mnt), 10.53, 3, Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach), 6, 4
Heat 3
Sean Kettle (Tara), 10.2, 1, Jules Craft (Gis), 8.5, 2, Andrew Fraser Mackenzie (TGA), 5.37, 3, Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 2.53, 4
Heat 4
Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 10.4, 1, McKenzie Bowden (WGM), 9.17, 2, Adam Grimson (Gis), 6.97, 3, Caleb Braithwaite (Whaka), 5.07, 4

Under 20 Men’s Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Mnt), 13.17, 1, Tane Wallis (Piha), 11.13, 2, Mackenzie Christie (Mnt), 9.43, 3, Ware Wano (Piha), 9.43, 4
Heat 2
Jules Craft (Gis), 11.67, 1, McKenzie Bowden (WGM), 9.77, 2, Sean Kettle (Tara), 9.57, 3, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 8.43, 4

Under 20 Men’s Final
Tane Wallis (Piha), 11.33, 1, McKenzie Bowden (WGM), 8.77, 2, Kehu Butler (Mnt), 8.47, 3, Jules Craft (Gis), 6.77, 4

Under 20 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Dayna Story (Mnt), 12.67, 1, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 7.53, 2, Kea Smith (Mnt), 4.73, 3, Britt Kindred (Mur), 4.6, 4
Heat 2
Grace Spiers (Mnt), 7.5, 1, Gabriela Sansom (Auck), 5.67, 2, Tiana-Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 3.33, 3
Heat 3
Bianca Sansom (Auck), 10.9, 1, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 5.1, 2, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 3.97, 3, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt), 3.37, 4

Under 20 Women’s Semifinals
Heat 1

Grace Spiers (Mnt), 11.77, 1, Gabriela Sansom (Auck), 6.83, 2, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 5.67, 3
Heat 2
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 8.2, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 6.83, 2, Dayna Story (Mnt), 6.2, 3

Under 20 Women’s Final
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 6.67, 1, Gabriela Sansom (Auck), 6.23, 2, Grace Spiers (Mnt), 3.6, 3, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 2.83, 4


New Pro Junior Event For Mount Maunganui

A new, nationally sanctioned, surfing event for surfers under the age of 20 will take place at Mount Maunganui in early May. The Aerial7 Backdoor Pro Junior surfing event will take place on either the 4th or 5th of May – whichever day produces the best surf.

The addition of the event which is being hosted by local Bay Boardriders Club sees the Under 20 Boys Division being joined by an Under 20 Girls Division, an age category that is generally not contested by females in New Zealand. The event will have a $1,700 cash prize pool as well as prizes up for grabs.

The Bay of Plenty continues to reap the rewards of a stellar summer of surf and as we head into the depths of autumn, it is hoped that the run of swell continues for this event come the start of May.

Current Under 20 Boys ratings leader, Dune Kennings (WGM) is fresh back from a two event stint in Tahiti where he has been competing on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series. Kennings placed 17th at both events and is looking forward to coming back to New Zealand and competing against guys his own ability level.

“It will be good to go into the Pro Junior event at the Mount as number one seed” said Kennings. “I have been in Tahiti and Aussie competing and the standard of surfing is so high, it has been good to go over there and lift my levels, but I look forward to surfing against guys my own ability when we go to the Mount” added Kennings who was stoked to have a stand-alone Pro Junior event that all the young guys could confidently surf at without the pressure of the older guys watching on.

Local Mount Maunganui surfer and New Zealand representative Mackenzie Christie will be another surfer to watch at the event. Christie most recently won the Under 18 Boys Division at the Backdoor GromBash, his first national level win.

“It is so good to have an event like this at home” said Christie. “It gives local surfers a bit of an advantage and I feel I have been surfing good recently so I am looking forward to this event to complete my competitive build up for the World Junior Championships in June” added Christie who was also thankful to his boardriders club who have made the event possible.

Tane Wallis (Piha) won the Pro Junior Division at the South Island Championships held during Easter at Dunedin. Wallis has looked in excellent form all summer and a good result at the Mount could see him claim the number one ranking. Other surfers to watch for include Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), Waretini Wano (Piha) and Taranaki’s Sean Kettle who is always lethal in the type of beach break conditions that Tay Street, Mount Maunganui dishes up.

With Ella Williams (WGM) absent from the event as she starts her campaign at the ISA World Surfing Games in Panama, the field widens for an inaugural winner of the Girls Division to be found. The Sansom twins of Albany, Auckland will be hard to beat with Gabriella winning the most recent Backdoor GromBash event at Raglan. New Zealand Junior Surfing Team members Jasmine Smith (Gis) and Dayna Story (Gis) will also be using this event as the last warm up before heading to the World Junior Championships in Nicaragua in June.

The top female seeds will again be challenged by the strong group of young Mount Maunganui girls who despite all being under 14 years of age, are fast improving and hunting for big scalps in the water.

The new look Pro Junior event adds to the competitions pathway for surfers in New Zealand and Brent Alexander of Aerial7 says they are pleased to be part of this pathway. “Aerial7 along with Backdoor have seen a gap in competition opportunities for Kiwi surfers at the Pro Junior level.”

“Surfers around the 16-20 age bracket sometimes get left out or they are lumped in with the older guys so we wanted to give them their own event and see them pushing their surfing. For Aerial7 to be part of an event that the younger groms can aspire to is also great” added Alexander.

The Aerial7 Backdoor Pro Junior is the third nationally sanctioned Pro Junior event in 2013. The first event was the Rip Curl Pro held at Raglan followed by the South Island Championships held at Dunedin.

Set out below are the current ratings leaders for the boys division.

Under 20 Boys Division – Top 10
1, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
2, Tane Wallis (Piha)
3, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha)
4, Mackenzie Christie (Tau)
5, Jules Craft (Gis)
6, Sean Kettle (Tara)
7, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata)
8, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri)
9=, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch)
9=, Jordan Griffin (Mnt)

Entry into the event can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under events.

Further Information
For further information on the Backdoor GromBash please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Alternatively contact Backdoor via Geoff Hutchison – hutch@backdoor.co.nz.


Christie and Sansom Surf To Titles In Pumping Raglan Waves

In perfect surf at Manu Bay, Raglan, young Mount Maunganui surfer Mackenzie Christie surfed to his first ever victory at national level winning the premier Under 18 Boys Division of the Backdoor GromBash today (Sunday 14th).

With surf sitting around the 1.5m – 2.0m mark all day with next to no wind, the scene was set for an amazing day of surfing that included firsts, double titles and a whole lot of fun for the country’s best young surfers.

Christie claimed his victory late in the day surfing to a 14.0 point total.

“Yeah so stoked, it’s about time I won an event, it is one of my last events in the Under 18 Boys Division so yeah….. it is definitely about time” said an almost lost for words Christie.

“The boys were getting such big scores in the lead up to the final but in the final it went a bit dry and I had two decent scores already” he added of his 7.17 and a 6.83 point rides.

Christie was the only goofy footer in the final which gave him a point of difference as he completed big tight hooks in the pocket. The result will give him a confidence boost as he continues his build up to the World Junior Championships in June.

“This event is one of the last before we head off to the World Junior Champs so it is good to get a win and in good waves too, probably some of the best I have had in a comp” added Christie.

Placing second in the final was Mckenzie Bowden (WGM) scoring 10.83 points. Like Christie, Bowden got to work early getting what waves he could to build on his heat total. With lulls becoming more frequent, Bowden’s strategy paid off with third placed surfer Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) being left stranded on one scoring wave, the highest of the final – 8.17 points. Moretti scrambled for a wave at the end of the final but was held off and requiring only a 5.83 point ride, was left to think what might have been.

Placing fourth in the final was Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) who also played the waiting game for the big sets that had rolled in all day long. However it was not to be with the number one seed and stand out surfer of the weekend finishing in fourth place.

On her last wave, Gabriella Sansom (Auck) snatched victory with 30 seconds remaining in the final of the Under 18 Girls Division. Sansom scored an 8.17 point ride for victory with a 14.23 point heat total.

“There was a lot of pressure in that last minute ‘cos I knew I needed a score and when I got that wave I kinda played it a bit easy but still got the score” said Sansom.

“Manu Bay is such a cool wave and we surf here a lot and practice here because it is so close to home in Auckland. The waves have been so good today so it is cool to win when conditions are like this” she added.

Missing her second win of the day was Jasmine Smith (Gis) who had led the final for the entire 20 minutes until Sansom’s last wave. Smith scored 13.93 points in the final to complete a very successful weekend.

Placing third in the final was Dayna Story (Gis) ahead of Claudia Fraser (Piha) in fourth.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) claimed his second of two titles in the Under 16 Boys Division. Completely unstoppable all weekend, Butler again posted a phenomenal 16.83 point score line in the final leaving the remaining three surfers requiring a combination of scores to catch him.

Butler left local surfer Raglan surfer Taylor Hutchison in second place for the third consecutive event. The young Raglan surfer has proven a real force throughout the summer rivalling Butler on several occasions but has been unable to come away with a win. Hutchison finished with a 12.90 point heat total today finishing ahead of Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) in third and Harrison Whiteside (Chch) in fourth.

Jasmine Smith (Gis) returned to the top of the podium winning her third consecutive event that she has entered in the Under 16 Girls Division. Smith and runner up Claudia Fraser (Piha) battled for the lead but it was Smith’s excellent 8.0 point ride that gave her the advantage over Fraser finishing with a 14.23 point total compared with Fraser’s 13.43. Dayna Story fought back in the dying stages of the final with a 7.17 point ride but ran out of time for a second good ride finishing in third ahead of Elin Tawharu (Mnt) in fourth.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) won his third event of the year in the Under 14 Boys Division. Butler looked most at home of all grommets in the idyllic conditions with his smooth style and top to bottom surfing fitting the waves perfectly. Butler finished with an 18.17 point heat total to defeat Daniel Farr (Tara) who finished in second place making a late comeback scoring 12.17. Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) placed third with Taine Craig – Ranga (Mnt) in fourth.

The youngest of the four finalists in the Under 14 Girls Division surpassed her opponents with a commanding forehand performance. Elin Tawharu (Mnt), all of 12 years old, posted a 12.50 point heat total for the win in her first of two finals. Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) equalled her best result of runner up for the season beating Tiana Breeze De Mooij (Mnt) in third and Raiha Ensor (Mnt) in fourth.

Awards were also handed out for the best aerial which went to Elliot Paerata – Reid, re-entry which went to Paul Moretti, cutback which went to Quin Matenga and barrel which went to Waretini Wano for the warm up session before the event started today. Jared Gebert won the brand new surfboard in the spot prize.

Set out below are the final results from the Backdoor GromBash completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Sunday 14th April).

Under 18 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 14.17, 1, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 10.67, 2, Waretini Wano (Piha), 9.73, 3, Adam Clegg (Tara), 6.03, 4
Heat 2
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 14.1, 1, Adam Grimson (Gis), 9.9, 2, Wade Kindred (Auck), 8.7, 3, Luca Cressy (Arataki), 6.8, 4
Heat 3
Mackenzie Christie (Tau), 12.83, 1, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 11.53, 2, Isaac Kettle, 8.3, 3, Tangaroa Rawiri (Rag), 6.7, 4
Heat 4
Jules Craft (Gis), 17.67, 1, Kayden Mayes (Tau), 11.3, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 8.53, 3, Caleb Braithwaite, 4.92, 4

Under 18 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 17.5, 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 16.6, 2, Adam Grimson (Gis), 10.7, 3, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 9.57, 4
Heat 2
Mackenzie Christie (Tau), 16.0, 1, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 14.6, 2, Jules Craft (Gis), 12.07, 3, Kayden Mayes (Tau), 11.87, 4

Under 18 Boys Final
Mackenzie Christie (Tau), 14.0, 1, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 10.83, 2, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 9.33, 3, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 8.17, 4

Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 8.17, 2, Zac Curle (Katikati), 8.17, 3, Luciano Harth (Rag), 7.73, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 17, 1, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 11.9, 2, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 8.9, 3, Callum Chuter (Tau), 8.37, 4
Heat 3
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11.73, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 9.93, 2, Adam Clegg (Tara), 7.27, 3, Campbell Ivory (Tairua), 6.73, 4
Heat 4
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 11.53, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 11.27, 2, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 8.6, 3, Taine Craig Ranga (Tau), 8.13, 4

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.37, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 14.17, 2, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 11.93, 3, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 9.67, 4
Heat 2
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 14.50, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 13.30, 2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 11.53, 3, Daniel Farr (Tara), 10.37, 4

Under 16 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 16.83, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 12.90, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 11.73, 3, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 10.87, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 15.67, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 14.83, 2, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 7.6, 3, William Barnes (Mnt), 6.57, 4
Heat 2
Daniel Farr (Tara), 10.67, 1, Taine Craig Ranga (Tau), 9.57, 2, Braedyn Louie (Piha), 8.57, 3, Shane Kraus (Piha), 5.8, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 18.17, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 12.17, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 11.53, 3, Taine Craig Ranga (Tau), 7.77, 4

Under 18 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 9.23, 1, Dayna Story (Gis), 8.2, 2, Britt Kindred (Mur), 7.6, 3
Heat 2
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 15.2, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.4, 2, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 5.2, 3

Under 18 Girls Final
Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 14.83, 1, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 13.93, 2, Dayna Story (Gis), 10.50, 3, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 9.80, 4

Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Claudia Fraser (Auck), 14.83, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 11.77, 2, Milly Crew (Muri), 8.33, 3
Heat 2
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 14.67, 1, Dayna Story (Gis), 14.03, 2, Kea Smith (Arataki), 7.83, 3

Under 16 Girls Final
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 14.23, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 13.43, 2, Dayna Story (Gis), 10.83, 3, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.27, 4

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 12.07, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 11.33, 2, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 7.1, 3
Heat 2
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 16.67, 1, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 13.5, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 6.33, 3

Under 14 Girls Final
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 12.50, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 11.73, 2, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 9.43, 3, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 9.17, 4


New Zealand’s Best Groms Make Most of Magnificent Manu Bay

New Zealand’s top school aged surfers couldn’t believe their luck on day one of the Backdoor GromBash today (Saturday 13th April) with perfect waves up for grabs at Manu Bay, Raglan making for a perfect start to the two day event.

The Under 18s divisions were added to the event in a change from traditional grom events and the surfers instantly showed their appreciation by taking apart the building 1.0m groundswell.

Waihi Beach surfer Levi Stewart, who now attends the Raglan Surfing Academy, showed that he has taken a liking to his newfound home posting the highest heat score of the day 17.17. Stewart used his knowledge of the break to complete some critical backhand turns and march his way into the quarterfinals.

“I have been here studying this year and working with Deane (Hishon) and Larry (Fisher) who are my coaches at the Academy” said Stewart. “I have got to know the wave a lot better and I feel comfortable out there so I am looking forward to the rest of the event” he added.

The surf is likely to build overnight and Stewart said the recent big swells have been good practice for what he hopes will be a successful final day of the event.

Stewart progressed alongside Luca Cressy (Mnt) in his heat and will face off against Adam Clegg (Tara), Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) and Waretini Wano (Piha) – one of the more talent filled heats of the division.

Wano was also in devastating form flaring his tail on every other turn surfing to a 15.17 point heat total. Wano alongside good friend Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) looked unstoppable in their heats, Paerata – Reid also surfing to 16.5 point heat total.

“I waited for a while and then got caught behind my first wave but then I got that nine” said Paerata – Reid. “It was pretty much the wave that got the score, it let me do any turn I wanted.”

With heats only 15 minutes duration due to the massive field of surfers in the event, Paerata – Reid noted the importance of changing heat strategies and getting busy in the water to make sure you did not get left stranded with only one wave in the sometimes inconsistent conditions.

Making a comeback from a several knee injury today was Gisborne surfer Adam Grimson who made short work of his first heat at national level in over twelve months.

“I haven’t competed at a national event in over a year, actually the last event I surfed in was here for the secondary schools event” said Grimson who won the Gisborne Boys High School Champs last week giving him enough confidence to return to national level competition. Grimson is one of a number of surfers that will hope the forecasted increase in swell comes to fruition for the final day of the event and potentially some barrels on the ledge at Manu Bay.

Other surfers to progress in style included Jules Craft (Gis), Isaac Kettle (Tara) and McKenzie Christie (Mnt).

The Under 16 Boys and Girls contested their heats over the full tide with perfect glassy conditions. Jasmine Smith (Gis) dominated the Under 16 Girls Division posting 17.37 with her aggressive forehand approach to the waves.

Smith has been absent from the previous two events but proved yet again that she is a threat posting the highest heat score in the round. Smith was followed closely by young 12-year-old surfer Elin Tawharu (Mnt). Tawharu surfed in both the Under 14 Girls Division and Under 16 Girls Division placing second behind Smith but winning her Under 14 Girls Division heat with a score of 15.83 out of a possible 20 points.

Dayna Story (Gis) looked in top form posting 11.57 In her heat to move through to the semifinals. Smith, Tawharu and Story will be joined by Caludia Fraser (Piha), Milly Crewe (Tara) and Kea Smith (Mnt).

Harrison Whiteside (Chch) kicked off the Under 16 Boys Division in style scoring 14.43 points for a comprehensive win. Whiteside is one of four surfers up from Christchurch. He was joined by Jack Wilson who placed second in his heat to move through to the quarterfinals and keep Christchurch hopes alive.

It was another battle of the lightweights between Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Tane Bowden (WGM) with both surfers locking in high scoring heats, Butler getting the nod with 16.9 to Bowden’s 16.3. Other surfers to impress were Taine Craig – Ranga (Mnt), Daniel Farr (Tara), Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), Quin Matenga (Mnt) and Taylor Hutchison (Rag).

The two day event runs throughout Saturday and Sunday (13-14 April) with an action packed schedule of surfing and activities on land including a skate ramp for everyone to use. All entrants in the event also go in the draw to win a new surfboard as well as prizes up for grabs for best re-entry, cutback, barrel and air.

The Backdoor GromBash event is the sixth nationally sanctioned event for the majority of surfers competing this weekend. The action packed summer of surfing started at the National Championships at Piha before heading to Mount Maunganui, Whangamata, back to Piha and then New Plymouth.

Set out below are the results from day one of the Backdoor GromBash held at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Saturday 13th April).

Under 14 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.43, 1, Taine Craig Ranga (Mnt), 7.53, 2, Reef Matthews (Waitara), 5.93, 3, Samuel Sands (ChCh), 5.33, 4
Heat 2
Daniel Farr (Tara), 10.5, 1, William Barnes (Mnt), 5.67, 2, Jake Trafford (Papamoa), 4.87, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 3.3, 4
Heat 3
Jared Gebert (Ohope), 7.33, 1, Braedyn Louie (Piha), 6.43, 2, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 5.6, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 3.43, 4
Heat 4
Shane Kraus (Piha), 11.5, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 11.5, 2, Reuben Mottart (Gis), 9.43, 3, Joel Clegg (Tara), 6.4, 4

Under 14 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 15.83, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 11.5, 2, Grace Pevats (Whngrei), 2.8, 3, Georgia Wederell (ChCh), 2.57, 4
Heat 2
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 13, 1, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 8.3, 2, Amber Bailey (Auck), 3.77, 3, Holly Marson-Wood (Piha), 0, 4
Heat 3
Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 9.03, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 6.47, 2, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 5.5, 3, Kea Smith (Mnt), 4.47, 4

Under 16 Boys Round of 40
Heat 1

Harrison Mossop (Tau), 9.67, 1, Blake Brown (Gis), 7.10, 2, Kobe Johnson (Gis), 4.50, 3
Heat 2
Luciano Harth (Rag), 13.57, 1, Zac Curle (Katikati), 9.50, 2, Jack Virtue (Gis), 4.03, 3, Dylan Cook (Whngrei, 3.70, 4
Heat 3
Taine Craig Ranga (Tau), 12.77, 1, Reef Matthews (Waitara), 9.87, 2, Leo Copley (Auck), 5.53, 3, Travis Morton (Waihi Bch), 5.00, 4
Heat 4
Reuben Mottart (Gis), 9.70, 1, Joel Clegg, 8.63, 2, Maddy Gowthorpe Mnt), 6.17, 3

Under 16 Boys Round of 32
Heat 1

Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 14.43, 1, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 10.43, 2, Harrison Mossop (Tau), 8.70, 3, Samuel Sands (ChCh), 6.90, 4
Heat 2
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 16.17, 1, Callum Chuter (Tau), 12.17, 2, Andrew Fraser-Mackenzie (Tau), 11.10, 3, Blake Brown (Gis), 9.30, 4
Heat 3
Quin Matenga (Mnt), 12.03, 1, Luciano Harth (Rag), 10.77, 2, Jack Mills (BOP), 7.57, 3, Riccardo Lucibella (Tara), 7.43, 4
Heat 4
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 16.90, 1, Zac Curle (Katikati), 10.03, 2, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 8.47, 3, Lewis Mennie (Auck), 4.57, 4
Heat 5
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 12.33, 1, Taine Craig Ranga (Tau), 8.33, 2, Simon Fraser-Mackenzie (Tau), 5.57, 3, Zach Poulton (Auck), 1.77, 4
Heat 6
Adam Clegg (Tara), 12.67, 1, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 10.53, 2, Reef Matthews (Waitara), 10.17, 3, Ben McCulloch (Gis), 9.37, 4
Heat 7
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 13.49, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 11.57, 2, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 9.53, 3, Reuben Mottart (Gis), 7.13, 4
Heat 8
Daniel Farr (Tara), 13.83, 1, Campbell Ivory (Tairua), 8.93, 2, Joshua Farr (Tara), 7.33, 3, Joel Clegg, 0.00, 4

Under 16 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Jasmine Smith (Gis), 17.37, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 13, 2, Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis), 9.17, 3, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 3.53, 4
Heat 2
Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.33, 1, Milly Crew (Muri), 4.23, 2, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 3.67, 3, Britt Kindred (Muri), 0, 4
Heat 3
Dayna Story (Gis), 1157, 1, Kea Smith (Arataki), 9.3, 2, Tiana Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 6.27, 3, Jennifer Rockwell (Auck), 0.93, 4

Under 18 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Waretini Wano (Piha), 15.17, 1, Wade Kindred (Auck), 7.63, 2, Morgan Munroe (Waiheke), 6.6, 3, Joshua Farr, 6.57, 4
Heat 2
Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 17.2, 1, Luca Cressy (Arataki), 13.3, 2, Corey Asplin (Ham), 12.3, 3, Riccardo Lucibella, 9.57, 4
Heat 3
Adam Grimson (Gis), 14.9, 1, Adam Clegg (Tara), 10.8, 2, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 8.33, 3, Sam Sands (Chch), 5.8, 4
Heat 4
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 16.5, 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 13, 2, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 12.37, 3, Daniel Tingey (Rag), 6.43, 4
Heat 5
Mackenzie Christie (Tau), 13.8, 1, Kayden Mayes (Tau), 13.3, 2, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri), 9.2, 3, Tom Mason (Auck), 6.83, 4
Heat 6
Isaac Kettle (Tara), 13.9, 1, Caleb Braithwaite, 9.87, 2, William Davey (Mnt), 7.47, 3, Harry Macintosh (Rag), 7.03, 4
Heat 7
Jules Craft (Gis), 13.4, 1, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 11.9, 2, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 6, 3, Barry Taniwha (Whtane), 4.6, 4
Heat 8
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 10.8, 1, Tangaroa Rawiri (Rag), 9, 2, Jack Mills (Mnt), 8.83, 3, Peri Matenga (Papamoa), 6, 4

Under 18 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Claudia Fraser (Auck), 11.5, 1, Britt Kindred (Mur), 9.27, 2, Milly Crewe (Muri), 5.53, 3, Nam Northcott (Tara), 5.4, 4
Heat 2
Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 12.8, 1, Dayna Story (Gis), 8.8, 2, Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 7.43, 3
Heat 3
Jasmine Smith (Gis), 16.2, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 9.77, 2, Indica Ratima (Rag), 5.03, 3, Jennifer Rockwell (Auck), 2.53, 4

Further Information
For further information on the Backdoor GromBash please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Alternatively contact Backdoor via Geoff Hutchison – hutch@backdoor.co.nz.


Talented 2013 New Zealand Surfing Team Announced

Surfing New Zealand has today (Thursday 11th April 2013) announced a talented line up of six surfers to compete at the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games. The event is being held at Playa Santa Catalina in Panama from the 4th – 12th May.

The team comprises a mixture of seasoned talent and youth with Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) competitors Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Matt Hewitt (Mnt) leading the way for the men. Ella Williams (WGM) will lead the way for the women competing at this event before going on to represent New Zealand at the ISA World Junior Championships in Nicaragua three weeks later.

Aside from pursuing a place on the esteemed ASP World Tour for the past four years, this will be the first time Stairmand has competed for a New Zealand Team since 2007 when he attended the World Junior Championships in Brazil. However this opportunity proved too good to pass up for Stairmand who currently sits in 70th place as New Zealand’s highest ranked surfer on the ASP world rankings.

“I haven’t been to Panama before and the idea of competing in a team for New Zealand has always been important to me as long as it fits in with the ASP schedule” said an upbeat Stairmand. “This year with the event being held in Panama, it fitted perfectly with the next stop of the World Tour in Brazil” he added.

Stairmand is joined by Matt Hewitt (Mnt), Sean Peggs (Tairua) and JC Susan (Mnt) to contest the Men’s Division, a team that he is thrilled with. “We have a solid team, Peggsy has been ripping and won the Rip Curl Pro at Raglan, he was in the junior team the last time I competed for New Zealand actually. Also JC has been ripping as well and won the South Island Champs and of course Matt is competing on the ASP World Qualifying Series so is very familiar with international competition” added Stairmand who feels that a top five finish at the event is not out of the question.

A top five finish would see the team qualify for the ISA China Cup in January next year, an invitational event catering for the top seven nations in the world. New Zealand has not been represented at the event in the past two years that it has run.

Like Stairmand, Matt Hewitt (Mnt) saw the opportunity to compete at the event in Panama and with the event fitting into his WQS campaign, he was instantly keen to represent New Zealand.

Hewitt is the only New Zealand surfer that has competed in China placing 17th at an ASP four star event in 2012.

“A strong finish at Panama and qualification for the 2014 China Cup would be huge for the team” said Hewitt.

“We have a strong team and I think that we can do well at the event this year” said Hewitt who noted the strength of our females and how important they are for getting a good overall team result.

It will be the first of two Central American events for 18-year-old Ella Williams (WGM) who most recently won the New Zealand Women’s Open and hence the wildcard into the ASP Dow Agro Sciences Pro at New Plymouth last week where she placed 13th.

Williams is currently in Tahiti contesting an ASP Australasian Pro Junior event and will be home for less than three weeks before her busy schedule sees her heading off to Panama with the team.

It will be the first time that Thandi Tipene has represented New Zealand and she is the only new cap. But the 2012 National Champion has shown the type of consistent form all summer that warranted selection and a shot at the best surfers in the world. Tipene placed third at the most recent Women’s Open event at her home break of Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth.

The New Zealand team finished ninth out of 27 nations at the 2011 edition of the biennial event when it was also held at Panama. Australia claimed the gold medal. Paige Hareb (Tara) was the highest placed surfer finishing seventh.

The 2013 New Zealand Surfing Team is as follows:

Open Men
Billy Stairmand (Rag)
JC Susan (Mnt)
Matt Hewitt (Mnt)
Sean Peggs (Tairua)
Reserve – Bachelor Tipene (Tara)

Open Women
Ella Williams (WGM)
Thandi Tipene (Tara)
Reserve – Grace Spiers (WGM)

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.


Backdoor GromBash with a Twist for Young Kiwi Surfers

The inaugural Backdoor GromBash set for Raglan this weekend brings a twist to the traditional grommet event with Under 18 Boys and Girls divisions being added to the fold.

The Under 18 Divisions are a break away from the traditional premier division being the Under 16s at most events. The change will see New Zealand’s best grommets use the event as part of their build up to the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships scheduled for June in Nicaragua.

The two day event runs throughout Saturday and Sunday (13-14 April) with an action packed schedule of surfing and activities on land including a skate ramp for everyone to use. All entrants in the event will also go in the draw to win a new surfboard as well as prizes up for grabs for best re-entry, cutback, barrel and air.

Backdoor will host a surfboard swap meet for everyone. Surfers will be able to buy and sell their equipment with Backdoor staff on hand to give advice on board pricing as well as the best equipment to purchase.

With a good swell forecasted for the weekend the performance levels will rise significantly with the likes of New Zealand representatives Sean Kettle (Tara), Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Mackenzie Christie (Mnt) all making an appearance at the event. The introduction of the ‘older’ grommets will also spur on the younger surfers who have had a summer of events to themselves.

Piha’s Elliot Paerata – Reid is the current Under 18 Boys New Zealand Champion. His powerful backhand and calculated competitive strategy will have him go into the event as the number one seed and one of the favourites to progress through to the final stages of the event.

The Under 18 Boys Division will also see the likes of Waretini Wano (Piha), Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), Jordan Griffin (Mnt) and Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach) take to the water. A return to competition for Peri Matenga (Mnt) and Adam Grimson (Gis), who has been injured for the past five months, will make the field of surfers the toughest seen this summer.

Gisborne’s Jasmine Smith will lead the way for the Under 18 Girls Division after also winning the National Championships at Piha in January. Smith will head to Nicaragua with Paerata – Reid and the rest of the New Zealand Team in June with this event being one of the last national outings before they depart. Smith will contest both the Under 16 Girls Division and the Under 18 Girls Division along with her counterparts Dayna Story and Abby Falwasser – Logan from Gisborne and Claudia Fraser from Piha who will all be on double duty this weekend.

Smith will be hoping to find her winning ways in the Under 16 Girls Division as well after missing the last two events of the season. Smith, who is also a top ranked competitor in surf lifesaving, has had to juggle both sports over summer but will want to press for a win this weekend to climb back up the ratings from seventh where she currently stands.

In the Under 16 Boys Division, Kehu Butler (Mnt) has had a firm grip on the number one ranking winning three of the five events to date this summer. However it could be local surfer Taylor Hutchison that uses his knowledge of the Manu Bay line up to secure a breakthrough win. Hutchison has placed runner up at the last two events, beating Butler on one occasion. The smooth and stylish natural foot surfer knows Manu Bay as good as any surfer in the event having surfed the break since well before his teens.

Others to look out for in the Under 16 Boys Division will be Isaac Kettle (Tara) and Callum Chuter (Mnt) both having tight forehand surfing that will suit Manu Bay. Youngsters Tane Bowden (WGM) and Daniel Farr (Tara) may also find themselves in the mix if conditions suit.

The youngest division contested at the event will be the Under 14 Boys and Girls Divisions. This being the last event of the season, every entrant will be keen to finish on a high.

The Backdoor GromBash event is the sixth nationally sanctioned event for the majority of surfers competing next weekend. The action packed summer of surfing started at the National Championships at Piha before heading to Mount Maunganui, Whangamata, back to Piha and then New Plymouth.

Set out below are the current ratings leaders for the respective divisions.

Under 18 Boys Top 5
1, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
2, Waretini Wano (Piha)
3, Jules Craft (Gis)
4, Sean Kettle (Tara)
5, Mackenzie Christie (Mnt)
5, Josh Taylor (Mnt)

Under 18 Girls Top 5
1, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
2, Ella Williams (WGM)
3, Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis)
4, Bianca Sansom (Auck)
5, Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis)
5, Gabriella Sansom (Auck)

Under 16 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
3, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
4, Callum Chuter (Tau)
5, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)

Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
2, Kea Smith (Arataki)
3, Britt Kindred (Muri)
4, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Dayna Story (Gis)

Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Daniel Farr (Tara)
4, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Thomas Dixon-Smith (Gis)

Under 14 Girls Top 5
1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
2, Kea Smith (Mnt)
3, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki)
4, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt)

Entry into the events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under events.


JC Susan Claims His First New Zealand Pro Series Event at the South Island Surfing Championships

Mount Maunganui surfer JC Susan has claimed his first New Zealand Pro Series title winning the 2013 South Island Championships completed at St Clair Beach, Dunedin today (Sunday 31st March).

The final day of the event was held in clean 1.5m waves with excellent surface conditions.

Susan, a student at Otago University, won the final over Piha surfer Zen Wallis, Hayden Brain (Chch) and local surfer Joshua Thickpenny (Dun).

In a tightly contested low scoring final it was JC Susan with a score of 11.60 that did enough to defend his title after taking an early lead.

“I got one straight off the bat then got another wave in the middle of the final before the ocean went flat as the tide came in” said Susan.

“I am so stoked to back up my fourth place at the Rip Curl Pro two weeks ago with this win and also to defend my title here especially now that the event is nationally rated” he added.

Susan has been in great form of late and the win this weekend will see him climb three places to third overall on the New Zealand Pro Series ratings.

Grace Spiers (WGM) returned to the winners dais taking out the Open Women’s Division in emphatic style. Spiers posted a 13.17 point heat total to win out over Hayley Coakes (Dun), Alexis Poulter (Rag) and Tash Mattingly (Dun) who finished second through fourth respectively.

“I haven’t won an event since 2011, it feels amazing to win again” said a jubilant Spiers.

“This win has lifted my confidence going into the New Zealand Women’s Open at Taranaki on Tuesday. I have an amazing board from G4 and I am feeling real good on it” added Spiers who flies out to Taranaki first thing on Monday morning before getting back into a coloured vest on Tuesday for the Open.

Winning the Under 20 Men’s Division was Tane Wallis of Piha. Wallis opened his finals account with an excellent 8.0 point ride but it was not until his last 7.33 point wave on the final hooter that he felt confident of the win. Wallis defeated Jules Craft (Gis), Cody McCusker (Chch) and Tom Bracegirdle (Dun) who finished second through fourth respectively.

“It was good to finally come out of a big results slump and get a win” said Wallis who has felt like his surfing has been there but has simply not put good performances into 20 minute heats.

“I have had a few unlucky results and a few injuries, things just haven’t gone my way of late but this win was good and i have enjoyed coming down to the South Island, getting some good waves and surfing in a great event” he added.

The South Island Champs are co-sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association (SISA) with a 3-star rating and over $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.


Butler and Fraser Prove Worthy of their Number One Rankings

Kehu Butler (Mnt) has again dominated the country’s best junior surfers winning his way to the Under 16 Boys Division title at the Hareb Deken MotorGroms presented by Central Finance completed at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Sunday 31st March).

Both Butler as the number one seed in the Boys Division and Claudia Fraser (Piha), the number one seed in the Girls Division won their respective divisions and proved worthy of their rankings.

The surf increased for the final day of the event with 1.0m waves and strong onshore winds that made life difficult for the groms.

Butler’s victory came easy in the Under 16 Boys Division as he surfed to a 14.4 point heat total. After initially getting off to a slow start, he bounced back with a pair of seven point rides that his other three opponents never challenged.

“The final didn’t pan out the way I thought it would, I got a bit of a slow start, I wanted to catch the first wave of the final and get under way quickly but Taylor and Callum caught waves before I got started” said Butler.

“I am stoked to win because my goal is to win the New Zealand Grommet Series for both the Under 16 and Under 14 Divisions and this result helps a lot” he added, with his sights clearly set on the overall series which wraps up at Raglan in two weeks time.

Raglan’s Taylor Hutchison placed runner up in today’s final, equalling his best result of the season that he secured at Piha three weeks ago. Hutchison started the final well with a 5.17 point ride before finishing with a 10.7 point heat total. The result elevates him to third overall on the ratings.

Placing third today was triple finalist Tane Bowden (WGM) who simply ran out of energy after surfing five heats throughout the day. Mount Maunganui’s Callum Chuter continued to make inroads into the top echelon of grommets placing fourth in the final equalling his previous best result of the season.

Claudia Fraser (Piha) claimed her first win at a national event winning the Under 16 Girls Division. Fraser won the three-event Billabong Grom Series held over the past two months but did not manage to win an event outright. This weekend she used her knowledge of big stormy surf to surf to amass a 10.83 point heat total and finally reach the top of the podium.

“Well I surf Piha all the time so I am used to these types of waves and the onshore wind and messy conditions. All of those surfs at home have finally paid off” said Fraser.

“I am super stoked…the conditions were real challenging in the final but I did it in the end” added Fraser who also commended the efforts of the other finalists.

Fraser, who returns to school this week, missing the World Tour event, extends her lead on the New Zealand Grommet Series with one event remaining.

Placing second today was Kea Smith (Mnt) who was unable to repeat her Under 14 Girls Division victory. Smith finished with an 8.3 point heat total narrowly ahead of third placed Britt Kindred (Mur) who surfed in her first final of the season. Taranaki surfer Milly Crewe placed fourth in the final.

Tane Bowden claimed his second win of the day in the Under 14 Boys Division Final leading from start to finish after posting a 7.83 point ride on his very first wave. It was his third win of the season in the Under 14 Boys Division but he still finds himself trailing today’s runner up Kehu Butler (Mnt) in the overall ratings. Butler fought back in the final today scoring a 6.83 point ride on his last wave but it was not enough finishing with a 13.4 point heat total and second place. Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) placed third in the final ahead of local surfer Joel Clegg (Tara) who was surfing in his first final of the season.

Kea Smith (Mnt) claimed her first win of the year in the Under 14 Girls Division after coming from behind scoring a 5.17 point wave on her last scoring ride for a big committed re-entry over an oncoming section. Smith has placed in all four finals to date this year, her best result being a runner placing at Whangamata. Today she finished with a 10.17 point heat total to win out over Raiha Ensor (Mnt). Ensor briefly held the lead in the final but finished with a 9.0 point heat total ahead of Elin Tawharu (Mnt) in third and Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) in fourth.

Tane Bowden (WGM) claimed his first of two finals in the Under 12 Boys Division when he cleaned up his opponents with a 16.10 point heat total. Bowden’s dominance of the division is highlighted by the fact that he has won all four outings on the New Zealand Grommet Series this year for a perfect record. James Ririnui (Mnt) made the most of the final placing runner up – his best result of the season. William Van Der Beek (Mnt) placed third in the final ahead of Caleb Cutmore (Ham) making his second finals appearance of the season.

The surfers in the Under 12 Girls Division battled the full tide conditions with only Gabriella Paul (Piha) making it out the back before getting washed in to join the rest of her opponents. It was Paul that made the best of her opportunities going on to win the final with a 7.33 point heat total. Local girl Ariana Shewry placed second in the final ahead of ratings leader Iritana Butler (Mnt) in third and Skylar Ellington (Tara) in fourth.

Please see below for final results from the Hareb Deken MotorGroms presented by Central Finance completed at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Sunday 31st March).

Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Callum Chuter (Tau), 9.1, 1, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.73, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 8.27, 3, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 6.6, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 13.33, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 7.3, 2, Joshua Farr (Tara), 7.27, 3
Heat 3
Isaac Kettle (Tara), 11.67, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 8.83, 2, Riccardo Lucibella (Tara), 5.37, 3, Reef Matthews (Tara), 4.8, 4
Heat 4
Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Waitara), 10.07, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 9.23, 2, Adam Clegg (Tara), 8.2, 3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 5.97, 4

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Callum Chuter (Tau), 12, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 9.9, 2, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 9.77, 3, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 9.2, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 15.9, 1, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12.3, 2, Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Waitara), 8.03, 3, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 6.43, 4

Under 16 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.4, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 10.7, 2, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 9.33, 3, Callum Chuter (Tau), 6.83, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 15.33, 1, Kehu Butler (Mnt), 13.43, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.0, 3, Joel Clegg (Tara), 5.47, 4

Under 12 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 16.17, 1, James Ririnui (Mnt), 10.33, 2, William van der Beek (Mnt), 6.33, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 5.20, 4

Under 16 Girls Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 9, 1, Milly Crewe (Tara), 5.7, 2, Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 3.87, 3, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 2.2, 4
Heat 2
Claudia Fraser (Auck), 11.3, 1, Tiana Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 6, 2, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 2.47, 3
Heat 3
Kea Smith (Arataki), 7.33, 1, Britt Kindred (Muri), 6.57, 2, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt), 6.5, 3

Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Milly Crewe (Tara), 11.5, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 8.53, 2, Tiana Breeze de Mooj (Mnt), 4.13, 3
Heat 2
Britt Kindred (Muri), 10.3, 1, Kea Smith (Arataki), 9.43, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.07, 3

Under 16 Girls Final
Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.83, 1, Kea Smith (Arataki), 8.30, 2, Britt Kindred (Muri), 7.8,3, Milly Crewe (Tara), 5.67, 4

Under 14 Girls Final
Kea Smith (Mnt), 10.17, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 9.0, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.77, 3, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 5.4, 4

Under 12 Girls Final
Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 7.33, 1, Ariana Shewry (Tara), 6.03, 2, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 5.83, 3, Skylar Ellington (Tara), 4.67, 4


Challenging Conditions Create Tight Heats For New Zealand’s Best Grommets

A throng of the country’s best groms battled tricky, small waves at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Saturday 30thMarch), the first day of the Hareb Deken MotorGroms presented by Central Finance. However the conditions did not stop some heated battles on the water with some brilliant surfing from the youngsters.

The new event has been added to the New Zealand Grommet Series this year and is also part of the TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Festival which kicked off on Good Friday and runs through to 7th April.

The surf remained around the 0.5m mark all day with light onshore northwest winds. Conditions did not permit the older age groups hitting the water with attention shifting to the Under 14 and Under 12 Boys and Girls Divisions.

Current ratings leader in the Under 14 Girls Division, Raiha Ensor (Mnt) had an excellent semifinal making her way into her third final of the year. Ensor scored 12.3 points out of a possible 20 in her semifinal, a performance highlighted by a perfectly ridden righthander at the start of the heat that netted her 7.0 points.

“It was kinda hard out there but I got a couple of good ones” claimed Ensor who was surfing a new board that she has only ridden a handful of times but clearly likes.

Ensor will have a busy final day of the event as she competes in the Under 16 Girls Division which is yet to start. “The final of the Under 14s will be my main priority but I want to do well in the Under 16s as well” added Ensor who was joined by Kea Smith (Mnt) progressing in second place.

One of Ensor’s good mates Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) who she surfs with every week was another stand out on day one. Reid – Bennett posted a 10.0 point heat total that included a nice 7.0 point ride. It was enough for second place behind Elin Tawharu (Mnt).

Reid – Bennett will surf in her fourth consecutive final tomorrow showing excellent consistency in her performances.

“I hope I come first tomorrow, I haven’t won a final before in any national event” said Reid – Bennett who obviously has a title on her mind.

Late in the day the Under 14 Boys surfed their way through to the final four. Kehu Butler (Mnt) easily surfed his way through to the final alongside Joel Clegg (Tara) who will contest his first final of the summer. The second semifinal was a tightly contested 20 minutes of surfing with Tane Bowden (WGM) edging his way through to the final with Jonas Tawharu (Mnt). Bowden scored 13.5 in the semifinal with Tawharu progressing on 11.6 points, the two surfers eliminating Daniel Farr (Tara).

Tane Bowden (WGM) continued to dominate the Under 12 Boys Division winning his way through to the final of that division also. He progressed alongside James Ririnui (Mnt) in second place, the two surfers scoring 12.3 and 6.7 point heat totals respectively. In the second semifinal it was Hamilton’s Caleb Cutmore who placed first ahead of William Van Der Beek (Mnt) in second place. The two surfers both placed in the finals at the most recent New Zealand Grom Series event held at Piha and will look to better their results this weekend and improve their national ranking.

In the Under 12 Girls Division it was Gabriella Paul (Piha) who dominated her opponents moving through to the final with an 8.8 point heat total ahead of ratings leader Iritana Butler (Mnt). The two surfers will meet locals Ariana Shewry and Skylar Ellington in the final.

Day two of the event will kick off at 9:00am on Sunday morning at Fitzroy Beach. Prize Giving will take place at the beach immediately after the finals.

Please see below for results from day one of the Hareb Deken MotorGroms presented by Central Finance held at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Saturday 30th March).

Under 14 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 12.67, 1, Thomas Dixon-Smith (Gis), 8.13, 2, Sonny Rapira Martin (Tara), 4.53, 3, James Ririnui (Mnt), 3.33, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 13.87, 1, Joel Clegg (Tara), 6.73, 2, William Van der Beek, 4.97, 3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 4.8, 4
Heat 3
Daniel Farr (Tara), 13.5, 1, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 11.43, 2, Reef Matthews (Waitara), 6.73, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 3.53, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 13, 1, Joel Clegg (Tara), 5.8, 2, Thomas Dixon-Smith (Gis), 4.6, 3
Heat 2
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 13.5, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 11.63, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 9.07, 3

Under 12 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Tane Bowden (Whmata), 14.67, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 5.07, 2, Jason Bond (Tara), 1.4, 3, Wilson Clegg (Tara), 1.2, 4
Heat 2
William van der Beek (Mnt), 9.43, 1, Felix Ferris (Tara), 5.63, 2, Mac Rogers (Waiheke), 3.93, 3
Heat 3
Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai), 7.6, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 4.37, 2, Harry Clegg (Tara), 2.8, 3
Heat 4
Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 7.77, 1, James Ririnui (Mnt), 7.5, 2, Lucca Lind (Tara), 4.37, 3, Simon Bond (Tara), 1.4, 4

Under 12 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12.3, 1, James Ririnui (Mnt), 6.7, 2, Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai), 6.03, 3, Felix Ferris (Tara), 4.97, 4
Heat 2
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 8.77, 1, William van der Beek (Mnt), 6.93, 2, Tom Butland (Tara), 5.53, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 4.17, 4

Under 14 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.23, 1, Kea Smith (Mnt), 5.43, 2, Gabriella Paul (Piha), 4, 3
Heat 2
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 8.23, 1, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 5.67, 2, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 4.83, 3
Heat 3
Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 8.5, 1, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 5, 2, Treyarn Barbarich (Arataki), 2.97, 3

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 12.33, 1, Kea Smith (Mnt), 9.5, 2, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 3.6, 3
Heat 2
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 10.67, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 10, 2, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 5.3, 3

Under 12 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Ariana Shewry (Tara), 5.27, 1, Skylar Ellington (Tara), 4.47, 2, Teina Smith (Mnt), 3.2, 3, Rebecca Farr (Tara), 1.73, 4
Heat 2
Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 8.8, 1, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 6.67, 2, Kahana Ngaia (Tara), 3.5, 3, Georgia Humphreys (Wai), 2, 4

Further Information
For further information on the 2013 Hareb Deken MotorGroms presented by Central Finance please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Alternatively contact Craig Williamson on 0276874122 or email mail@surfingtaranaki.org.


South Island Champs on the Menu for Easter Holidays

The 2013 South Island Surfing Championships are set to be the main focus of surfers from around the country this long weekend with the three day event kicking into action on Good Friday at St Clair Beach, Dunedin.

The event, which takes place from 29th – 31st March has attracted top surfing talent from both islands including four time national champion Maz Quinn (Gis).

The event is co-sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand and the South Island Surfing Association (SISA) with a 3-star rating and over $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.

The swell forecast is showing a small swell for the first two days of the event with a good increase in swell for the final day on Sunday. Light winds are forecast throughout the three days.

Otago University student JC Susan (Mnt) is the defending champion in the Open Men’s Division. Susan, a former New Zealand Open and Junior Surfing Team member has been studying at Otago University for the past two years. Susan travelled north to the Rip Curl Pro held at Raglan less than two weeks ago where he surfed into the final and placed fourth.

The in-form Susan is now ranked sixth in New Zealand and a good result this weekend could see him climb up into the top three ranked surfers in the country. Current number two Quinn, is likely to take the number one ranking post event trailing ratings leader Sean Peggs (Tai) by only a small margin.

Joshua Thickpenny (Dun) leads the SISA ratings after two of five events. The Dunedin surfer will be hunting out a good result this weekend to keep the number one ranking ahead of Ben Rees (Chch) and Hugh Ritchie (Chch) who are close behind in second and third place respectively.

Two surfers to watch will be the winners of the first two events of the season, Hayden Brain (Chch) who won the Cape Classic held at Westport and Levi O’Connor who won the Go For Gold event held at Greymouth.

Other top ranked surfers to be heading south this weekend include the Wallis brothers Zen and Tane of Piha who are regulars at the South Island Champs. Also, Raglan surfers Ben Poulter and his older sister Alexis who will be competing in the Women’s Division.

Alexis will be joined by Grace Spiers (WGM) who will make a fleeting appearance at the event before heading back up to New Plymouth to contest the New Zealand Women’s Open on Tuesday.

From the South Island it is Leilani Brain (Chch), Brook Money (Chch) and Alethea Lock (Chch) that have had one win a piece on the SISA circuit this year and will be looking forward to taking on the girls from the North Island.

Tane Wallis and Ben Poulter will also contest the Under 20 Men’s Division alongside top ranked South Island surfers Hugh Ritchie, Harrison Whiteside (Chch) and Cody McCusker (Chch).

The event will also include a further eight divisions ranging from Under 14 Grommets through to Over 45s that are all part of the SISA ratings.

The host club, South Coast Boardriders Association, has run the event since the early 1970s and are pleased to be hosting an array of surfing talent attending the event this weekend.

The primary contest site is at St Clair, a natural amphitheater for a surfing event always providing a variety of contestable conditions over the course of an event. Many other world class surf breaks are located within a 30 minute drive so options to relocate the event are plentiful.

The last time the event was nationally sanctioned was 2006.

Please see below for the current New Zealand Pro Series Ratings

Open Men’s Top 10
1, Sean Peggs (Tairua)
2, Maz Quinn (Gis)
3, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
4, Chris Malone (Gis)
5, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt)
6, JC Susan (Mnt)
7, Zen Wallis (Piha)
8, Leon Santorik (Rag)
9, Bachelor Tipene (Tara)
10, Ben Poulter (Rag)

Open Women’s Top 5
1, Ella Williams (Whmata)
2, Mischa Davis (Auck)
3, Alexis Poulter (Rag)
4, Thandi Tipene (Tara)
5, Gabriella Sansom (Auck)

Under 20 Men’s Top 5
1, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
2, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha)
3, Mackenzie Christie (Tau)
4, Sean Kettle (Tara)
5=, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata)
5, Tane Wallis (Piha)

Further Information
For further information on the 2013 South Island Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Alternatively contact South Coast Boardriders – southcoastboardriders@xtra.co.nz / Mark Stevenson on 0212980326.


New Zealand Junior Surfing Team Announced

Surfing New Zealand has today (Tuesday 19th March 2013) announced a team of twelve surfers to represent New Zealand at the 2013 ISA World Surfing Championship which takes place in Nicaragua from 8 – 16 June 2013.

The team includes surfers under the age of 18 with eight boys and four girls named in the team. The team is led by National Champions Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), Korbin Hutchings (Gis), Jasmine Smith (Gis) and Dayna Story (Gis).

“The team named today has a lot of surfing ability” commented National Selector Lee Ryan.

“These surfers have shown they can step up at key times during events. They have shown both myself and team management that they are prepared to work hard in terms of individual performance and as a team. We are confident that they will achieve good results at the event and improve on their 2012 performances” added Ryan.

The team shows a lot of strength across the board with eight of the twelve surfers having previously competed at the event. Elliot Paerata – Reid is the most experienced of the team having competed at the past three events in the Under 16 Boys Division with a best placing of 17th in 2012 when the event was held in Panama.

For the girls Ella Williams (WGM) has competed at the event for the past two years and was the top performer in 2012 placing ninth overall in the Under 18 Girls Division.

New to the team in 2013 is Sean Kettle (Tara) competing in the Under 18 Boys Division, Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Daniel Farr (Tara) in the Under 16 Boys Division. New faces for the girls are Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis) in the Under 18 Girls and Dayna Story (Gis) in the Under 16 Girls.

The New Zealand team finished tenth in 2012 with the event playing host to 31 countries from around the world.

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Boys
Dune Kennings (Whangamata)
Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
Mackenzie Christie (Mount Maunganui)
Sean Kettle (Taranaki)
Non travelling reserve – Jordan Griffin (Mount Maunganui)

Under 18 Women
Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gisborne)
Ella Williams (Whangamata)
Non travelling reserve – Claudia Fraser (Piha)

Under 16 Boys
Daniel Farr (Taranaki)
Harrison Whiteside (Christchurch)
Kehu Butler (Mount Maunganui)
Korbin Hutchings (Gisborne)
Non travelling reserve – Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay)

Under 16 Girls
Dayna Story (Gisborne)
Jasmine Smith (Gisborne)
Non travelling reserve – Claudia Fraser (Piha)

Team Manager: Tony Baker (Mangawhai)
Team Coach: Jason Ruddell (Whangarei)
Team Assistant Manager/Coach: Warren Asplin (Hamilton)

The World Junior Surfing Championships is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. New Zealand has been one of the top nations at each event with Jay Quinn (Gis) securing New Zealand’s first World Championship in the Under 18 Men’s division in 2001. In 2012 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Panama.

Prior to the main event the team will meet South Africa to contest the annually run ‘SANZ’ Trophy held between the two teams. South Africa currently holds the trophy after winning it in tight battle in Panama. The two teams will fine tune their competitive strategies only days out from the main event. The unique trophy that is up for grabs is made out of a solid pounamu base with paua inlay and a surfboard made out of South African hardwood.


Butler outclasses Opponents When It Counts

Mount Maunganui surfer Kehu Butler finished the 2013 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge with two series titles after the final of the three event series was wrapped up at Piha Beach today (Sunday 10th March).

Butler, who claimed the Under 16 Boys Division series title on the first day of the event, went on to clinch the double with the Under 14 Boys title to upset previous front runner Tane Bowden (WGM).

The final day started out with small conditions on the full tide but as the morning progressed the swell continued to build to a solid 1.5m with light winds slowly going sea breeze.

In a switch of fortune for Butler, it was the first time this year he has not won the Under 16 Boys Division, Tane Bowden taking the win today. However it was Tane Bowden, who won the first two events in the Under 14 Boys Division that gave the final event to Butler after an uncharacteristic loss in the semifinals.

“I was thinking about winning both divisions on Friday but I didn’t really know how I was going to do it, with Tane already winning two events in the 14s” said Kehu who admitted that being in Australia last week watching the best surfers in the world got him fired up to do whatever he could to win this weekend.

The Piha event win by Bowden in the Under 16 Boys Division came one day after his twelfth birthday and he is the youngest surfer to win the division since the series started in 2005.

“It is the first one I have ever won in the 16s, it is great” said Bowden of his belated birthday present.

Bowden scored 12.50 in the final to beat Taylor Hutchison (Rag) who secured his best ever result in the Billabong Grom Series. Hutchison held the lead for much of the final after getting off to a good start before Bowden came back late. Series winner Kehu Butler placed third in the final ahead of Isaac Kettle (Tara) in fourth who has featured in all three finals of the series.

Claudia Fraser (Piha) was stoked to officially claim the overall series for the Under 16 Girls despite placing second to Kea Smith (Mnt) in the final.

“It is great to finally win something” said Fraser. “I didn’t mind the size, it is my home break and I know it pretty well, I wasn’t too scared” added Fraser of the solid surf the girls were fronted with. Fraser will join Smith at the New Zealand Selection Camp tomorrow before the team is named in just over one weeks time.

In the final of the Under 16 Girls it was Smith who claimed her first win in the division. With big sets rolling around the corner from the south, the girls had to battle some solid conditions. Smith was the first to fire with a two turn combo on a solid wave that netted her an 8.0 point ride. Fraser fought back with 5.83 and 4.5 point rides to take the lead back. However it was Smith that had one last chance to get back in the lead and on her last wave she scored a 3.83 point ride which was enough for the win. Fraser finished in second place ahead of double finalist Elin Tawharu (Mnt) in third and Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) in fourth.

“At the start of our final it was massive, I was freaking out so much but I had one good one and only needed that last wave and I was so happy when I got it” said Smith.

Kehu Butler (Mnt) claimed his first win of the series in the Under 14 Boys Division. As the surf began to build, Butler made the most of the lefts on the Piha Bar. He finished with a 14.83 point heat total and the win was exactly what was required to claim the overall series win from Tane Bowden (WGM) after his early exit. Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) claimed his first finals berth after being a stand out surfer all weekend and made a great fist of the final placing second scoring 10.77. Local Piha surfer Shane Kraus, also surfing in his first final of summer placed third ahead of Daniel Farr (Tara) in fourth.

The youngest of the finalists in the Under 14 Girls, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), surfed to an amazing win. The twelve-year-old from Mount Maunganui had looked sharp all weekend, especially on her backhand where she performed some tight hacks in the pocket. In the final Tawharu scored 10.83 to beat Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) in second place. Third and fourth place getters Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt) and Kea Smith both had a chance of winning the overall series going into the event in second equal. After front runner Raiha Ensor (Mnt) was eliminated in the first round, both surfers had to win the final but consequently came up short. That meant Ensor, despite her seventh placing this weekend, claimed the overall title.

Tane Bowden (WGM) left his opponents chasing the minor placings in the Under 12 Boys Division. Bowden raced away to victory posting a 13.50 point heat total with his youthful power surfing. Bowden had the series wrapped up prior to the final but made sure he claimed his third win in three events in the division. Mount Maunganui’s William van der Beek managed to sneak ahead of the pack to snatch a runner up placing, his best result of the summer. Oli Meadows (Waiheke Is) placed third in his first ever final and Caleb Cutmore (Ham), also surfing his first final, placed fourth.

After three years of competing in the Under 12 Girls Division, the tiny Iritana Butler (Mnt) finally won her first event and in doing so jumped to victory in the overall standings. Butler got one screamer of a wave that scored 8.17. The scored jolted her out into the lead over Grace Pevats (Ocean Beach) who finished in second place. Wairarapa surfer Georgia Humphreys finished the final in third place.

The Sony Playstation for Performance of the Weekend went to Shane Kraus (Piha) who made it through to his first final in the Under 14 Boys Division, surfed with a smooth style all weekend and used his local knowledge of the break to pick out the best waves in every heat.

Set out below are the results from the final day of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Piha Beach today (Sunday 10th February).

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 12.7, 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 10.8, 2, Callum Chuter (Tau), 9.17, 3, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 8.23, 4
Heat 2
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.8, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 8.5, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 7.8, 3, Ben McCulloch (Gis), 7.27, 4

Under 16 Boys Finals
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12.50, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 9.20, 2 Isaac Kettle (Tara), 4.97, 3, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 4.53, 4,

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Daniel Farr (Tara), 11.27, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.33, 2, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.83, 3, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 3.33, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 15.17, 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 9.83, 2, Samuel Sands (ChCh), 5.9, 3, Reuben Mottart (Gis), 3.33, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.83, 1, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.77, 2, Shane Kraus (Piha), 6.97, 3, Daniel Farr (Tara), 5.83, 4

Under 12 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

William van der Beek (Mnt), 11.93, 1, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 9.1, 2, Tom Butland (Tara), 7, 3, Otis Hill (Piha), 4.13, 4
Heat 2
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 15, 1, Oli Meadows (Waiheke), 10, 2, James Ririnui (Mnt), 6.6, 3, Cory Vercoe (Mangawhai), 3.17, 4

Under 12 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 13.5, 1, William van der Beek (Mnt), 7.4, 2, Oli Meadows (Waiheke), 5.27, 3, Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 2.63, 4

Under 16 Girls Final
Kea Smith (Arataki), 11.83, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.33, 2, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 2.33, 3, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt), 1.17, 4

Under 14 Girls Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 10.7, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 10.3, 2, Ella Jungwirth (Gis), 6.23, 3, Ashsa Skidmore (Piha), 4.43, 4
Heat 2
Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 9.13, 1, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 8.97, 2, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 7.67, 3, Lucy Pownall, 2.07, 4
Heat 3
Kea Smith (Mnt), 7.67, 1, Amber Bailey (Auck), 5.83, 2, Holly Marson-Wood (Piha), 4.33, 3, Liv Redman (Auck), 3, 4

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 12.5, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 9.9, 2, Tiana Breeze – de Mooij (Mnt), 8.53, 3
Heat 2
Kea Smith (Mnt), 14.67, 1, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 5.77, 2, Amber Bailey (Auck), 4.17, 3

Under 14 Girls Final
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 10.83, 1, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 8.67, 2, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 5.87, 3, Kea Smith (Mnt), 5.73, 4

Under 12 Girls Final
Iritana Butler (Arataki), 13.80, 1, Grace Pevats (Whrei), 11.57, 2, Georgia Humphreys (Wairarapa), 7.77, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 0, 4

Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge Rankings

Under 16 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
3, Te Rapai Barbarich Love
4, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
5, Callum Chuter (Tau)

Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Daniel Farr (Tara)
4, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Shane Kraus (Piha)

Under 12 Boys Top 5
1, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
2, William van der Beek (Tau)
3, James Ririnui (Mnt)
4, Oli Meadows (Waiheke)
5, Caleb Cutmore (Ham)

Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
2, Kea Smith (Arataki)
3, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
4, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)

Under 14 Girls Top 5
1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
2, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki)
3, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
4, Kea Smith (Mnt)
5, Tiana Breeze – de Mooj (Mnt)

Under 12 Girls Top 5
1, Iritana Butler (Arataki)
2, Grace Pevats (Whrei)
3, Teina Smith (Tau)
4, Georgia Humphreys (Wairarapa)
5, Saffi Vette (Gis)


Three of Six Champions Crowned On First Day of Final Billabong Grom Series Event At Piha

Local Piha surfer Claudia Fraser, surfing in the Under 16 Girls Division, was one of three surfers that claimed division titles on day one of the final 2013 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at the south end of Piha today (Saturday 9th February).

Fraser was joined by Kehu Butler (Mnt) in the Under 16 Boys Division and Tane Bowden (WGM) in the Under 12 Boys Division.

The surf remained around the 1.0m mark all day with offshore winds battling against the sea breeze. The full tide conditions were great but as the tide went out, competitors were challenged with plenty of close outs making wave selection crucial.

Fraser, after winning her semifinal today, moved through to the final four surfers of her division. She scored 9.30 in her semifinal surfing he local break at the south end of Piha. With the absence of previous ratings leader Jasmine Smith (Gis) and her cousin Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis) due to Surf Life Saving commitments, Fraser will be lining up her first win at national level.

On the final day Fraser will be matched up against three younger opponents surfing up a division from the Under 14 Girls Division. Elin Tawharu, Maaia Reid – Bennett and Kea Smith all of Mount Maunganui will do their best to upset Fraser in the final on Sunday.

Tane Bowden (WGM) was the second surfer to claim the series, this time in the Under 12 Boys Division. Bowden progressed through his first round heat and into the semifinals. After winning the first two events of the series, Bowden was always expected to claim the Under 12 Boys Division but his true test will come in the Under 14 Boys where he also leads the pack of surfers.

Bowden progressed through one round of the Under 14 Boys Division early today. However so did his nearest rivals including Kehu Butler (Mnt), Daniel Farr (Tara) and Jonas Tawharu (Mnt). Bowden needs to place third or better in the final of the division to claim the title.

Late in the day the Under 16 Boys Division contested the all-important quarterfinals in tricky low tide conditions. Competitors had to hunt out the very infrequent peeling wave that rattled down the bank.

Taylor Hutchison (Rag) led the boys out winning the first quarterfinal match up. Hutchison was quick to rack up a couple of good waves in his heat, his first, a 6.67 being the best of the heat. He finished with a 12.0 point heat total to move through to the semifinals alongside Callum Chuter (Mnt) in second.

Ratings leader Kehu Butler (Mnt) dominated his heat scoring an 8.83 point ride for a series of sharp backhand turns and a 13.07 point heat total. By way of making it through to the semifinals, Butler secured the series title with his opponents now unable to bridge the big points gap after he won the first two events of the series.

Butler returned less than 24 hours before the event after having been in Australia taking in the first Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour event for 2013 held on the Gold Coast. He will contest both the Under 16 and Under 14 Boys Division on the final day of the event tomorrow (Sunday 10th March).

Tane Bowden (WGM) and Daniel Farr (Tara) won the last two heats of the day.

Set out below are the results from day one of event three in the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Piha Beach today (Saturday 9th February).

Under 16 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11.17, 1, Andrew Fraser-Mackenzie (Tau), 10, 2, Joshua Farr (Tara), 8.53, 3, Daniel Kleinhans (Auck), 2.07, 4
Heat 2
Callum Chuter (Tau), 9.67, 1, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 8.17, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 5.73, 3, Lewis Mennie (Auck), 4.67, 4
Heat 3
Adam Clegg (Tara), 12.1, 1, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 8.5, 2, Maddy Gowthorpe Mnt), 5.63, 3, Simon Fraser-Mackenzie (Tau), 2.1, 4
Heat 4
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 12, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 6.4, 2, Campbell Ivory (Tairua), 6.1, 3
Heat 5
Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 13.7, 1, Ben McCulloch (Gis), 12, 2, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 5.4, 3, Thomas Jay Bullock, 2.8, 4
Heat 6
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 13.4, 1, Samuel Sands (ChCh), 7.97, 2, Riccardo Lucibella (Tara), 6.5, 3, Cory Wood Auck), 3.23, 4
Heat 7
Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Waitara), 12.17, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 9.43, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 7.3, 3, Max Dicken (Auck), 4.27, 4
Heat 8
Daniel Farr (Tara), 11.7, 1, Jack Mills (BOP), 10.9, 2, Harrison Mossop (Tau), 5.83, 3, Schalk Willem Van der Merwe (Auck), , INJ

Under 14 Boys Round of 18
Shane Kraus (Piha), 12.17, 1, Jordan Knight, 3.67, 2, Sonny Rapira Martin, 1.93, 3, Connor Kennedy (Waiheke), 1.13, 4

Under 14 Boys Round of 16
Heat 1

Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 14.50, 1, Reuben Mottart (Gis), 7.83, 2, Thomas Dixon-Smith (Gis), 4.87, 3, Connor Seaman (Auck), 3.27, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 16.33, 1, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 11.13, 2, Joel Clegg (Tara) , 5.60, 3, Jordan Knight, 2.67, 4
Heat 3
Daniel Farr (Tara), 13.57, 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 10.43, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 7.5, 3, Brayden Louie (Piha), 3.27, 4
Heat 4
Samuel Sands (ChCh), 9.47, 1, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 8.3, 2, Reef Matthews (Waitara), 5.07, 3, Fraser Falconer (Auck), 3.23, 4

Under 12 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 4.2, 1, James Ririnui (Mnt), 4.1, 2, Felix Ferris, 3.77, 3, Jai Wallis, 3.37, 4
Heat 2
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 1, Otis Hill (Piha) 2, Henry Copley (Piha), N/S, Sam Copley (Piha), N/S
Heat 3
William van der Beek (Mnt), 7.03, 1, Cory Vercoe (Mangawhai), 6.17, 2, Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai), 4.9, 3, Boss Meadows (Waiheke) T/P, 1.83, 4
Heat 4
Oli Meadows (Waiheke) , 6, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 5.23, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Gis), 4.7, 3, Cody Lucas (Auck), 3, 4

Under 16 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Claudia Fraser (Auck), 9.3, 1, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt), 9.17, 2, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 5.63, 3, Britt Kindred (Muri), 5.17, 4
Heat 2
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 9.43, 1, Kea Smith (Arataki), 9.3, 2, Dayna Story (Gis), 5.63, 3, Jennifer Rockwell (Auck), 2.57, 4


Front runners on the 2013 Hyundai Tour ratings had an early encounter

Today when Daniel Procter (Gis) and Ant McColl (Mnt/Tara) unexpectedly found themselves contesting the same quarterfinal heat.

It was Procter that got the edge in the heat with McColl progressing into the semifinals behind Procter in second place.

The fifth and final event of the 2013 Hyundai Tour is being held at Mount Maunganui and today saw some sensational conditions early on with 1.5m waves and offshore winds. The swell decreased throughout the day making for difficult conditions later the afternoon.

Procter who is the current ratings leader and McColl, ranked second, will go head to head for the second time at the event early on Sunday before potentially meeting each other for a third time in the final should the both progress. First the two surfers will have to get past two local surfers in Owen Barnes and Cale Tolley in the semifinal tomorrow.

Procter needs to equal or better McColl’s result at the event to claim his first Hyundai Tour title while McColl needs to finish one place higher than Procter to claim his first title.

In other key match ups on the first day of the event, winner of the Sandy Bay and Taranaki legs of the tour, Thomas Kibblewhite (Red Beach), had a very close encounter narrowly progressing through to the semifinals in second place behind Zen Wallis (Piha).

Kibblewhite held second throughout the heat but was challenged on the final hooter by Jamie Andrews (Tara) who rode a great wave that came up less than 0.5 points short of causing a major upset. Kibblewhite keeps his chances alive of becoming the first surfer to ever win three straight events on the Hyundai Tour.

2011 Hyundai Tour Champion Dylan Barnfield (Ohope) was the other surfer to win through to the semifinals after winning his heat over Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata)

The Stand Up Paddleboard Division contested two rounds of heats early with the usual suspects moving through to the semifinals. Daniel Kereopa (Rag) dominated his heats to ensure he will claim the Tour for the second year running regardless of the results. Likewise the chasing pack kept their race going for the minor placings with Shayne Baxter (Chch), Armie Armstrong (Rag) and Karlos Aarsen (WGM) all moving through to the semifinals.

Craig Anderson (Mnt), front runner in the Over 40s Longboard Division dominated the first round scoring 12.33 points to move into the semifinals. Brian Moore (Auck), Justin Bamberry (Auck) and local surfer James Atutahi (Mnt) also won their heats to keep their hopes alive on the final day of the event.

Surf conditions are expected to remain the same for Saturday with a slightly decreasing 1.0m swell and light variable winds.

Action will take place on from 8:00am at Tay Street. The finals will take place from 2:00pm. The Logger Division will take place prior to the finals with the King of the Waves Race at 10:30am and the Long Distance Race at 2:00pm.

Please see below for results from day one of the fifth and final 2013 Hyundai Tour event held at Mount Maunganui today (Friday 1st March).

Men’s Longboard Round 1
Heat 1
Daniel Proctor (Gis), 12.2, 1, Cale Tolley (Mnt), 8.73, 2, Eli Barnfield (Ohope), 7.17, 3, Carl Aitchison (Auck), 4.57, 4
Heat 2
Ambrose McNeill (ChCh), 9.2, 1, Ben Poulter (Rag), 8.9, 2, Sam Bradford (Pakiri), 6.33, 3, Kayne Duncan (Port Wai), 3.17, 4
Heat 3
Glen Johnson (Auck), 6.37, 1, Sam Bound (Tara), 4.77, 2, Mike Smith (Mnt), 4.4, 3, Jordan Tanner, 3.37, 4
Heat 4
Jamie Andrews (Waitara), 12.1, 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 9.43, 2, James Schedwy (Auck), 5.5, 3, Ollie De Geus (Tau), 2.4, 4

Men’s Longboard Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Daniel Procter (Gis), 13.5, 1, Ant McColl (Mnt), 9.63, 2, Tim Renouf (Gis), 5.23, 3, Ben Poulter (Rag), 3.7, 4
Heat 2
Owen Barnes (Mnt), 13.2, 1, Cale Tolley (Mnt), 8.77, 2, Duncan Cameron (Mnt), 8.5, 3, Ambrose McNeill (ChCh), 5.23, 4
Heat 3
Dylan Barnfield (Ohope), 10.77, 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 9.0, 2, Glen Johnson (Auck), 8.2, 3, Phil Morris (Auck), 7.83, 4
Heat 4
Zen Wallis (Piha), 11.67, 1, Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck), 9.17, 2, Jamie Andrews (Waitara), 8.97, 3, Sam Bound (Tara), 4.87, 4

Stand Up Paddleboard Round 1
Heat 1
Ben Poulter (Rag), 11.8, 1, Mike Cann (Auck), 6.9, 2, Scott Elliott (Auck), 3, 3, Paul Davidson (Mnt), 3, 3
Heat 2
Te Peehi Fairlie (Tolaga Bay), 9.57, 1, Daren Jones (Auck), 8.93, 2, Te Atapo Kirikiri (Tolaga Bay), 2.77, 3
Heat 3
Charlie Bush (Auck), 8.67, 1, Glenn Bright (Mnt), 6.33, 2, Jeremy Stephenson (Auck), 5.67, 3, Ken Macpherson (Mnt), 4.2, 4
Heat 4
Shayne Baxter (ChCh), 2, 1, Hiria Minnell-Rolleston (Tau), 1, 2, Jayden Brooker (Tolaga Bay), N/S
Heat 5
Armie Armstrong (Rag), 9.83, 1, Ben Greenleaf (Tau), 6.27, 2, Max Tamatea (Tau), 5.67, 3, David Storck (Auck), 5.63, 4
Heat 6
Annabel Anderson (Auck), 6.83, 1, Shaan Miller (Auck), 4.6, 2, Maria Kingi (Piha), 3.6, 3, Fergus Robertson (Mnt), 2.8, 4
Heat 7
Karlos Aarsen (Whmata), 9.5, 1, Michael O’Dwyer (Napier), 7, 2, Regan Fairlie (Tolaga Bay), 6.7, 3
Heat 8
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 15, 1, Rob Hawkins (Rag), 7.83, 2, Shane Murrell (Auck), 5.33, 3, Troy Reid (Tara), 4.8, 4

Stand Up Paddleboard Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Te Peehi Fairlie (Tolaga Bay), 6.73, 1, Ben Poulter (Rag), 6.17, 2, Hiria Minnell-Rolleston (Tau), 1.27, 3, Glenn Bright (Mnt), 0, N/S
Heat 2
Shayne Baxter (ChCh), 12.5, 1, Mike Cann (Auck), 6.3, 2, Daren Jones (Auck), 5.8, 3, Charlie Bush (Auck), 4.7, 4
Heat 3
Armie Armstrong (Rag), 10.3, 1, Michael O’Dwyer (Napier), 9.73, 2, Shaan Miller (Auck), 4.97, 3, Rob Hawkins (Rag), 4.8, 4
Heat 4
Daniel Kereopa (Rag), 16.2, 1, Karlos Aarsen (Whmata), 9.23, 2, Ben Greenleaf (Tau), 6.9, 3, Maria Kingi (Piha), 4.7, 4

Overall the Hyundai Tour boasts $12,000 in prize money which is boosted to $20,000 with another $8,000 distributed to boardrider clubs and community groups at locations the tour frequents.

Hyundai have teamed up with Global Surf Industries and Starboard to provide boards to raffle off at each event location. All proceeds from this weekend’s raffles go back to the Taranaki Scholastic Surfing Team.

The final event on the 2013 Hyundai Tour follows:

Hyundai Tour Event 5, 1-2 March, Mount Maunganui (4-star)

Entry into the events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under “events.” Entry into each event closes on the Monday prior to the event commencing. Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in.


Bay Of Plenty Trounce Surfing Opponents

The Bay of Plenty Junior Surfing Team claimed an emphatic victory at the 2012 National Scholastic Surfing Championships completed at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Friday 5th October) regaining the team title they have now held for five of the past seven years.

The Bay of Plenty team had eight of their twelve surfers competing in the finals showing an excellent all round performance to beat runners up, Auckland who secured their best ever team performance and the defending champion Gisborne team who placed third.

The surf built throughout the day to 1.0m – 1.5m with yet more onshore winds which made conditions challenging but highly surfable over the full tide.

Despite team honours convincingly going to Bay of Plenty, the eight individual titles up for grabs were spread amongst the eight regions competing. Gisborne and Coromandel took two titles each with Northland, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Canterbury claiming one title each.

Gisborne’s Jules Craft surfed to his first ever national level victory in the Under 18 Boys Division amassing an event high 18.0 out of a possible 20 points in the final. Craft caught the two best waves of the final – long running lefthanders that wound up the beach. Craft had his opponents requiring two scores to catch him and the final was effectively over in the first 15 minutes.

“I am so stoked to have finally won an event” Craft said. “Those two waves ran so far and they allowed me to get in some big turns and plenty of them, I am stoked to be able to finish the event with a win for Gissy” added the team captain of the twelve surfer Gisborne team.

Placing second in the final was arguably the form surfer of the division, Joshua Taylor (BOP). Taylor looked sharp in the final landing one big air reverse but could not find the quality waves that Craft rode and finished in second place. Northland’s Paul Moretti placed third in the final with defending champion Ben Poulter (Wai) in fourth after incurring an interference midway through the final.

The Under 18 Girls Division was a low scoring affair with very few waves coming through during the 25 minutes. Gisborne’s Jayda Martin – Fitzharris held a strong lead for much of the final after getting a good start and building her score line. However it was Coromandel’s Ella Williams that nudged ahead with less than two minutes remaining. Williams was patient searching for good waves but then had to scratch around for any waves she could find. After Williams rode a small inside wave, both surfers stood on the beach with their teams waiting for final scores to be read out. Williams was given the nod 8.97 to 8.57. Northland surfer Robyn Turnball finished in third place ahead of Demi Hewitt (Mnt) in fourth.

Coromandel picked up their second gold medal through McKenzie Bowden in the Under 16 Boys Division. Up against three surfers from the Bay of Plenty, Bowden kept to a game plan scoring a 13.70 point heat total. Bowden steered clear of any trouble with his three counterparts who all needed excellent scoring rides to get close to challenging for the lead. Kayden Mayes eventually fought his way ahead of his team mates to claim runner up ahead of Luca Cressy after a see-saw battle, Cressy finishing in third and Jordan Griffin in fourth.

The Under 16 Girls Division was pitched as Gisborne vs Auckland and the result ultimately had a bearing on the final team placings after the Sansom twins Bianca and Gaby out surfed Dayna Story and Jasmine Smith. Gaby Sansom had all but won the final when she got caught up trying to defend her lead. Both Gaby and Smith caught the same wave, the incident resulting in an interference to Gaby which gifted the win to her sister who scored 12.27 points to win the final. Gaby had held such a strong lead that even with the interference she managed to hold second place scoring 11.23 ahead of Story in third and Smith in fourth.

Manu Scott – Arrieta of Northland went head-to-head with Taranaki’s best Under 14 Boys Isaac Kettle and Daniel Farr to claim the Under 14 Boys Division. Scott – Arrieta had a brilliant final scoring 14.37 points but was never certain of the victory with the two Taranaki surfers capable of big turns and producing excellent scores. However, as time wound down, neither could find the right wave and both falling on big turns. Kettle finished the final runner up and Farr placed third. Bay of Plenty surfer Jonas Tawharu placed fourth in the final.

In the Under 14 Girls, Gisborne claimed their second individual title through Abby Falwasser – Logan. Logan defeated the Auckland duo of Britt Kindred who placed second and Milly Crewe who placed third. Coromandel’s Jana O’Connor placed fourth in the final.

The Longboard Final was dominated by Bay of Plenty with Hone Douglas eventually taking the win ahead of team mate Joe Stewart. Defending champion Sam Poulter (Wai) placed third in the final with Sunny Brown (Gis) in fourth.

Canterbury surfer Jack Blackman won the final of the two-man Bodyboard Division with local surfer Makino Skelton placing second.

Everyone can keep up with the action via the Surfing New Zealand website and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on your mobile.

Please see below for final results from the 2012 National Scholastic Surfing Championships held at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Friday 5th October).

Team Points
1, Bay of Plenty, 17948
2, Auckland, 15730
3, Gisborne, 15661
4, Taranaki, 15096
5, Northland, 14253
6, Canterbury, 13066
7, Coromandel, 12900
8, Waikato, 9745

Under 18 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1
Jules Craft (Gis), 14, 1, Ben Poulter (Wai), 13, 2, Sean Kettle (Tara), 8.63, 3, Josh Kettle (Tara), 5.93, 4
Heat 2
Josh Taylor (BOP), 11.7, 1, Paul Moretti (Nrthld), 11.13, 2, Ware Wano (Auck), 10.87, 3, Eli McDonald (Tara), 4.17, 4

Under 18 Boys Final
Jules Craft (Gis), 18, 1, Josh Taylor (BOP), 13.67, 2, Paul Moretti (Nrthld), 9.93, 3, Ben Poulter (Wai), 7.68, 4

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1
McKenzie Bowden (Coro), 12.37, 1, Luca Cresssy (BOP), 9.03, 2, Max Marshall (Chch), 7.13, 3, Quin Matenga (BOP), 6.9, 4
Heat 2
Kayden Mayes (BOP), 13.17, 1, Jordan Griffin (BOP), 12.6, 2, Harrison Whiteside (Chch), 11.9, 3, Rory Edmonds (Chch), 4.1, 4

Under 16 Boys Final
Heat 1
McKenzie Bowden (Coro), 13.7, 1, Kayden Mayes (BOP), 10.1, 2, Luca Cresssy (BOP), 9.57, 3, Jordan Griffin (BOP), 8.63, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Manu Scott-Arrieta (Nrthld), 14.37, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 13.1, 2, Josh Farr (Tara), 10.7, 3, Jonas Tawharu (BOP), 8.2, 4

Under 18 Girls Final
Ella Williams (Coro), 8.97, 1, Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis), 8.57, 2, Robyn Turnbull (Nrthld), 2.5, 3, Demi Hewitt (BOP), 0.77, 4

Under 16 Girls Final
Bianca Sansom (Auck), 12.27, 1, Gaby Sansom (Auck), 11.23, 2, Dayna Story (Gis), 7.7, 3, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 5.8, 4

Under 14 Girls Final
Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis), 9.27, 1, Britt Kindred (Auck), 7.73, 2, Millie Crew (Auck), 6.97, 3, Jana O’Connor (Coro), 2.27, 4

Under 18 Boys Longboard Final
Hone Douglas (BOP), 13, 1, Joe Stewart (BOP), 11.1, 2, Sam Poulter (Wai), 8.33, 3, Sunny Brown (Gis), 8.1, 4

Under 18 Bodyboard Final
Jack Blackman, 11, 1, Makino Skelton (Tara), 4.17, 2


Bay of Plenty and Taranaki To Battle It Out For The Title Race

The Bay of Plenty Junior Surfing Team have come out on top of opposing teams on the penultimate day of the 2012 National Scholastic Surfing Championships after overtaking the host Taranaki team for the first time at the five day event.

Thursday (4th October) offered more of the same conditions as have been experienced for the previous three days with strong onshore winds and messy 1.0m waves at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth.

The Bay of Plenty Team finished the day with an astonishing nine of their twelve surfers left in the event going into the last day. Taranaki who led the charge for the first three days has six surfers remaining in the event and will need good results from all of their surfers to challenge Bay of Plenty and claim their first ever Scholastic.

Six Bay of Plenty surfers progressed through today’s action and they were led by Jordan Griffin who posted a 15.0 point heat total to move through to the semifinals of the Under 16 Boys Division. Jordan was joined by Quin Matenga, Kayden Mayes and Luca Cressy who all progressed through to the semifinals and fill half of the remaining field.

The Bay also had Jonas Tawharu progress to the Under 14 Boys Division Final and Josh Taylor progress through to the Under 18 Boys Semifinal.

Taranaki were led by the Kettle brothers, all three advancing through their heats today. Sean Kettle left his run late in his heat before boosting a huge aerial to post an 8.0 point ride. Josh followed soon after in the Under 18 Boys Division while earlier in the day the youngest of the trio Isaac moved through to the final of the Under 14 Boys Division.

All eight teams remain alive going into the final day including the eighth placed Waikato Team who were led by Ben Poulter today. In the tricky conditions, Poulter surfed to 16.0 points out of a possible 20 after riding a near perfect nine point ride on one right hander where he threw buckets of spray on every move. Poulter was selective during his performance surfing a wave at the start of the heat before waiting patiently before catching the right hander – one of the biggest waves of the day.

Poulter is one half of another family combination with his younger brother Sam competing in the Longboard Division and making it through to the final. The two will hope to lift their Waikato team off the bottom of the table.

The defending champion Gisborne Team fell off the pace slightly today but retain six surfers in the event giving them a faint hope of a title defence. With several highly touted surfers amongst their ranks, they will need nothing short of a stellar performance from all six surfers on the last day of the event to give the front runners a scare.

Tomorrow (Friday 5th October) will see the final day of the event kick off at 8:00am with a decision on the location and order of events determined once conditions are assessed. The surf is expected to increase for the final day of the event.

Everyone can keep up with the action via the Surfing New Zealand website and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on your mobile.

Please see below for results from day four of the 2012 National Scholastic Surfing Championships held at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today (Thursday 4th October).

Team Points
1, Bay of Plenty, 19583
2, Taranaki, 18020
3, Auckland, 16560
4, Gisborne, 15856
5, Northland, 15333
6, Canterbury, 14953
7, Coromandel, 13060
8, Waikato, 10975

Under 18 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Sean Kettle (Tara), 13.07, 1, Jules Craft (Gis), 12.47, 2, Levi Stewart (Coro), 10.43, 3
Heat 2
Ben Poulter (Wai), 16.17, 1, Josh Kettle (Tara), 10.93, 2, Flynn Hart (Nrthld), 5.53, 3
Heat 3
Eli McDonald (Tara), 12.57, 1, Paul Moretti (Nrthld) , 10.6, 2, Wade Kindred (Auck), 4.87, 3
Heat 4
Josh Taylor (BOP), 10.63, 1, Ware Wano (Auck), 7.4, 2, Max Cooke (Chch), 6.77, 3

Under 16 Boys Round 2
Heat 1
McKenzie Bowden (Coro), 15.93, 1, Mahorahora McCloud (Tara), 12.33, 2, Matt McGregor (Nrthld), 9.3, 3, Blake Haven (Auck), 4.47, 4
Heat 2
Luca Cresssy (BOP), 12.63, 1, Max Marshall (Chch), 8.47, 2, Campbell Ivory (Coro), 2.37, 3, Luciano Harth (Wai), 1.47, 4
Heat 3
Quin Matenga (BOP), 14.6, 1, Caleb Braithwaite (BOP), 8.83, 2, Te Rapai Barbarich – Love (Tara), 8.43, 3, Adam Clegg (Tara), 7.2, 4
Heat 4
Matt Hansen (BOP), 12.1, 1, Harrison Whiteside (Chch), 9.37, 2, Tom Mason (Auck), 9.03, 3, Russell Keenan (Coro), 5.63, 4
Heat 5
Kayden Mayes (BOP), 14, 1, Zane Hicks (Nrthld), 8.87, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Wai), 7.6, 3, Ryan Renall (Nrthld), 4.13, 4
Heat 6
Jordan Griffin (BOP), 12.27, 1, Rory Edmonds (Chch), 8.5, 2, Toa McDonald (Tara), 6.47, 3, Jack Virtue (Gis), 4.43, 4

Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1
McKenzie Bowden (Coro), 12.1, 1, Max Marshall (Chch), 10.03, 2, Caleb Braithwaite (BOP), 8.7, 3
Heat 2
Quin Matenga (BOP), 13.17, 1, Luca Cresssy (BOP), 12.77, 2, Mahorahora McCloud (Tara), 8.7, 3
Heat 3
Kayden Mayes (BOP), 10.13, 1, Rory Edmonds (Chch), 9.77, 2, Matt Hansen (BOP), 7.43, 3
Heat 4
Jordan Griffin (BOP), 15, 1, Harrison Whiteside (Chch), 8, 2, Zane Hicks (Nrthld), 5.5, 3

Under 14 Boys Qualify Semifinal
Heat 1
Ben McCulloch (Gis), 14.17, 1, Travis Morton (Coro), 9, 2, SW Van der Merwe (Auck), 4.33, 3, Blake Brown (Gis), 2.83, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinal
Heat 1
Manu Scott-Arrieta (Nrthld), 10.4, 1, Josh Farr (Tara), 8.53, 2, Travis Morton (Coro), 6.33, 3, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 5.1, 4
Heat 2
Jonas Tawharu (BOP), 9.2, 1, Issac Kettle (Tara), 6.33, 2, Jack Wilson (Chch), 6.07, 3, Ben McCulloch (Gis), 5.47, 4

Under 16 Girls Requalify 1
Heat 1
Gaby Sansom (Auck), 10.83, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 6.77, 2, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 3.9, 3, Nam Northcott (Tara), 1.9, 4

Under 14 Girls Requalify 1
Heat 1
Milly Crewe (Auck), 4.83, 1, Jana O’Connor (Coro), 3, 2, Samantha Croker (Coro), 1.93, 3


New Zealand Surfers Gain International Scholarships

Two New Zealand surfers have been confirmed as scholarship recipients from the International Surfing Association (ISA) today (Monday 3rd September). The surfers are Piha’s Waretini Wano and Gisborne’s Dayna Story.

The two surfers are included in a group of 27 surfers from around the world who have been selected to be part of the programme for the next twelve months.

Story found herself excitedly jumping up and down around her computer while accompanied by her family.

“I think it is going towards getting a new surfboard, I have wanted one for ages so this money will help out with that. It will just help me all round with my surfing” said Story who has been making the most of the good waves and “warmer than usual” water at Gisborne this winter.

“I am so excited for the upcoming season and this scholarship has added more motivation for me” added Story.

Wano is currently overseas and was with his Mum, brothers and girlfriend when they saw the email confirmation.

“The scholarship will help my surfing heaps, I’ll be able to buy better equipment like boards and get some coaching” said Wano. “It will also boost my surfing for the up and coming summer comps here in New Zealand. I am very grateful to the ISA and everyone who helped me to obtain the scholarship” he added.

The two surfers were selected from five New Zealand applicants.

Formal letters from the International Surfing Association President Fernando Augerre have already been sent to recipients congratulating them on their inclusion in the programme.

“As a 2012 ISA Scholarship Recipient, you are an ISA Ambassador, and you will forever represent the ISA in your country as a dedicated surfer and student who strives and achieves success in and out of the water” said ISA President Fernando Augerre.

“To be an ISA Ambassador is an extremely great honour, and your effort in submitting a heartfelt and well-deserving application speaks to your dedication to both your surfing and education” added Augerre of the two New Zealand recipients.

Wano and Story each receive $1,000 USD to help them achieve their goals in surfing and succeed at school.

New Zealand has had two other scholarship recipients in the past being Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) in 2009 and Mahorahora McLeod (Tara) in 2010.

The ISA Scholarship Program has consistently grown since it first started in 2007, due to the generous funding from The Quiksilver Foundation, Billabong, Reef Redemption and Greenpacha Sold At Varoq.com, as well as the continued support from ISA Member Organisations.


Learn To Surf Programme Set For Auckland

Auckland students will be hitting the water in October with a three week long learn to surf programme which will be staged at Piha Beach on the West Coast. The programme will give students the ultimate chance to hit the waves as the country winds into another summer of fun at the beach.

Surfing New Zealand has partnered up with ASB Community Trust to deliver a three week long ASB Community Trust Have A Go Surfing Days which will take place from the 17th October through to the 7th of November.

The programme is aimed at Year 8 and below school children who are keen to give surfing a go. Over ten schools from West and South Auckland have already signed up to be part of the action. Many of the schools have noted that most of their students would not have had the chance to experience surfing without this programme but they are super keen to give it a shot.

Approximately 800 students from approximately 15 schools will take part in the programme which is already experiencing high demand with limited spaces available.

“We are excited to partner up with ASB Community Trust and bring this learn to surf programme to Auckland” says Surfing New Zealand Development Manager Lee Ryan. “This is the biggest learn to surf project that we have undertaken. Schools will get bussed out to Piha for the day and have lessons from internationally accredited surf instructors. We are sure they will have the time of their lives” added Ryan of the daily activities.

The surf lessons include a fun-filled practical lesson in the water as well as some theory on land prior to getting wet. Students learn about the ocean and ways to stay safe in the water as well as the best techniques to get up and riding and enjoy the thrill of catching waves.

“We have a big focus on beach safety and teaching the kids about rips and currents and how to keep out of danger. These skills remain with kids for a life time. Even if they do not continue to surf they can use these skills whenever they go to the beach” said Ryan.

Partners, ASB Community Trust, are delighted to be helping Auckland students get to the beach for the programme. The Trust’s CEO Jennifer Gill said it is a great opportunity for children to participate in a popular KiwiSport.

“We support organisations that focus on community participation and engagement in recreation,” she says. “and we like the way Surfing New Zealand has designed this project to allow children from lower-decile schools to get out and try a new sport.”

The programme follows on from the successful implementation of the Kiwi Sport Have A Go Surfing Days that have been held in Northland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Wellington. Over 1100 eager youngsters from forty schools have had a taste of surfing in these five regions, some of whom are now hooked on the sport.

The learn to surf programme is the first step of the development pathway for surfers who can then move on to surfing at events. Events include the Primary School Championships, the New Zealand Grommet Series which offers three divisions for boys and girls – Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16 and the Regional and National Scholastic Championships held each year.

Information
For more information on the ASB Community Trust Have A Go Surfing Days please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Alternatively, please contact Surfing New Zealand Development Manager Lee Ryan on 0211160160 or lee.ryan@surfingnz.co.nz.


Hareb Qualifies For 2013 ASP World Tour

Taranaki surfer Paige Hareb has qualified for the 2013 ASP World Tour overnight after progressing through to the third round of the Nike US Open of Surfing and ensuring a fourth straight year at the elite level of women’s surfing.

Hareb went head-to-head with fellow Kiwi Sarah Mason in the second round of the event in a must win heat to keep her qualification hopes alive. Sitting in tenth equal with travelling companion Rebecca Woods (AUS), the highest placed of the two surfers would see the points-tie split with the highest ranked surfer retaining their place on tour which caters for the elite top 17 surfers in the world.

Hareb defeated Mason 13.0 points to 8.10 points in a heat she dominated from the outset. Hareb posted a 7.33 point ride on her first wave and slowly built her score line until posting a 5.67 point ride leaving Mason requiring an excellent score to progress in the small 0.50m waves at Huntington Beach, California, USA.

Hareb then had to wait until Woods contested the last heat of the round against French surfer Pauline Ado. Ado took hold of the heat late scoring 13.50 to Woods 6.54 sealing the fate of Hareb.

Hareb showed tears of joy as her qualification was confirmed but she was unavailable for comment as she prepared for her third round match up against Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Coco Ho (HAW) which was entering the water early this morning (NZT).

Hareb’s defeat of Mason dashed any remote hopes of Mason requalifying after her first year on tour. Mason would have needed nothing short of a win at the event for any chance of requalifying. Going into the event Mason was ranked 13th needing to rank inside the top ten to requalify.

Hareb is the only New Zealand surfer to have spent more than one year on the ASP World Tour after Maz Quinn (Gis) contested a single year on the men’s tour in 2002.

New Zealand’s highest ranked male surfer is currently Jay Quinn (Gis) who went into the US Open of Surfing ranked 52nd in the world needing to finish inside the top 32 to follow in his older brothers footsteps.


More Surfing Success On World Stage

The weekend brought several big New Zealand surfing performances on the world stage via short and longboarding disciplines held at events in three different continents.

Paige Hareb (Tara) retained her Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world ranking of tenth-equal after a ninth placing at the Roxy Pro held in France. Hareb lost her fourth round match up to young Hawaiian Malia Manuel – 12.10 to 9.16 in small beach break conditions at Biarritz.

Hareb had earlier placed second in her first round match up to event winner and new five-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) before defeating local surfer Pauline Ado. Hareb then lost her third round match up to 2011 World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and Laura Enever (AUS) before being eliminated from the event by Manuel.

Sarah Mason (Gis) placed thirteenth at the event first losing to Courtney Conlogue (USA) in the first round then Sofia Mulanovich (Per) in the second round.

Hareb and Mason have one further ASP World Tour event for the year and need to finish with a ranking inside the top ten to automatically qualify for the 2013 Tour.

The next event is the Nike US Open of Surfing which takes place at Huntington Beach, California, USA. However, prior to that Hareb heads to Peru for a World Qualifying Series event held in Peru. The Movistar Pro presented by Rip Curl starts on the 24th July (Tuesday week).

Hareb can also qualify for the 2013 ASP World Tour by placing inside the top six of the WQS where she is currently ranked sixth. Mason has not contested the WQS in 2012.

New Zealand had two surfers qualify for the ASP World Longboard Tour over the weekend after the final ASP Australasian event was held in Perth. It is the first time that New Zealand surfers have ever qualified for the ASP World Longboard Tour.

The Whalebone Classic saw Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck) place fifth at the event which was enough for him to secure fourth on the overall rankings while Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) placed third in the Women’s Division at the event which was enough for her to gain qualification into the Women’s Division finishing third overall.

The Women’s World Championship Tour event is scheduled for late November. The Swatch Girls Pro will take place in China and is tentatively scheduled for 24th – 28th November.

The Men’s Event is yet to be scheduled.

Both events cater for the top 32 surfers in the world.

Our elite male surfers on the ASP WQS were also competing in South Africa over the weekend with Jay Quinn (Gis) retaining his world ranking of 52nd via a 25th placing at the Billabong Pro held at Jeffreys Bay. Quinn lost his third round heat to current world number 9 Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Lincoln Taylor (Aus).

Richard Christie (Gis), Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Matt Hewitt (Mnt) also contested the event placing 49th, 73rd and 121st respectively. Brazilian Adriano De Souza won the event over Joan Duru (FRA) and De Souza is now leading the world rankings.

Quinn, Christie and Stairmand will now contest the Nike US Open of Surfing (six star prime) while Hewitt will head to Japan to contest the Billabong Pro Tahara (4 star) which starts on the 25th July.


Quinn Jumps to 52nd In World as Kiwis Find Success On World Stage

Jay Quinn (Gis) has jumped up twenty places to 52nd in the world after an impressive ninth placing at the Mr Price Pro held at Ballito, South Africa over the weekend.

Quinn was ousted from the event by the eventual winner Glenn Hall (IRE) but walked away with 2400 points toward his world ranking and $4,300 (USD) in prize money.

Quinn dominated the early part of the event winning his first two heats before placing second in the ‘No Losers’ round. He then defeated Sebastien Zietz (HAW) in Round 4. Quinn also defeated surfers from Australia, France, South Africa, USA and Brazil.

Up against Hall, Quinn struggled to find the right waves and after racking up multiple low scoring rides, finished with a heat total of 7.40 to Hall’s 11.34.

Quinn was the highest placed Kiwi surfer at the event with Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Richard Christie (Gis) finishing 37th and 49th respectively.

Quinn finished the 2011 Association of Surfing World Tour in 41st place and the highest of all Kiwi surfers. The last six months of 2012 sees back-to-back events for Quinn to climb up the ratings further. The top 32 surfers in on the ratings qualify for the World Championship Tour (WCT).

Four New Zealand surfers, Quinn, along with Stairmand, Christie and Matt Hewitt (Mnt) contest the next event of the tour at Jefferies Bay, South Africa starting tonight. The surf is expected to pump for the start of the event which will have all four surfers excited given they are all natural footers. The Billabong Pro has been the domain of the elite 32 surfers on the World Championship Tour until this year when the event became part of the second tier World Qualifying Series (WQS).

Meanwhile Paige Hareb (Tara) and Sarah Mason (Gis) will both contest the Roxy Pro held at Biarritz, France starting tonight. Hareb is the highest ranked of the two girls in tenth place. Hareb faces current ratings leader Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Jacqueline Silva (BRA) in her first round match up. Mason, ranked 13th, will contest the first heat of the day against Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Coco Ho (HAW).

In Australia, New Zealand’s top young surfers have been contesting the Skull Candy Oz Grom Open at Lennox Heads, New South Wales. Kehu Butler (Mnt) was again the top performing grommet this time claiming first place in the Under 12 Boys Division today (Tuesday 10th July).

The final day of the event saw conditions deteriorate somewhat to 0.5m – 1.0m from the perfection they scored over the weekend but that didn’t stop Butler who dominated the final scoring 8.0 points on his first wave and backing that up with a 7.75 on his second, exiting the water to a fine haka from the Kiwis present.

Dune Kennings (WGM) and Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) also surfed in the Under 16 Boys Division at the event with Kennings placing fifth and Paerata – Reid seventh.


Grommet Season Closes Out With Six Champions Announced

The final surfer ratings for the 2012 New Zealand Grommet Series have been completed with six new champions confirmed after five events took place throughout New Zealand during summer and Autumn.

The accolades were dominated by Bay of Plenty surfers who rose to the top in three of the six divisions contested at the events, Kehu Butler (Arataki) being responsible for two titles in the Under 12 and 14 Boys and Elin Tawharu (Mnt) winning the Under 12 Girls.

However the top accolades in the under 16 divisions went to Whangamata and Gisborne with Dune Kennings (WGM) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) both claiming the number one ranking after their performances at the final event of the series – the Quiksilver King of the Groms held at Gisborne at the end of April.

Both surfers went into the final event trailing leaders Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Gabriela Sansom (Albany). With everything on the line, Kennings took the victory in the Under 16 Boys Division while Smith placed second in the Under 16 Girls Division gaining enough points to surpass Sansom who was eliminated in the early rounds.

Kennings who was defending his title from 2011 finished the series with identical placings to Paerata – Reid but gained more points by winning the higher rated National Championships held at Piha in January. Kennings and Paerata – Reid finished with two wins, two runner up placings and a third each.

Smith finished with one win, three runner ups and a fourth placing, the only surfer in her division to feature in all five finals. Smith placed tenth overall in 2011 surfing up a division from the Under 14 Girls.

The top ten placings for the boys comprised a spread of talent with surfers coming from Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Taranaki and Christchurch.

Whangamata’s McKenzie Bowden claimed third overall in the Under 16 Boys Division, up 13 places from 2011 and he was the only other surfer to claim a victory in 2012. Other big movers included fourth placed Jordan Griffin (Mnt) who jumped six places while fifth placed Caleb Braithwaite (Whakatane) jumped 19 places and sixth placed Joe Palmer (Kerikeri) jumped 25 places.

Meanwhile in the girls division, surfers from Auckland and Gisborne dominated the top five placings with the Sansom twins Gabriela and Bianca filling second and third, emerging talent Claudia Fraser (Piha) in fourth and Dayna Story (Gis) in fifth.

The outstandingly talented Kehu Butler took two titles. Despite his spritely young age of only 12, Butler won three events and placed runner up in two others in the Under 14 Boys Division. His record was slightly better in the Under 12 Boys where he won three events and placed runner up in the other. His closest rival in the Under 14 Boys was national champion Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) who could only capture the single win with Taranaki surfer Isaac Kettle the other to take a win. Kettle finished the season in third place.

Milly Crewe (Muriwai) took the honours in the Under 14 Girls Division over good friend Britt Kindred (Muriwai) after she won one of the three events. Third placed surfer Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis) claimed two victories during the series but was absent from the first event of the year.

Elin Tawharu (Mnt) took the spoils in the Under 12 Girls Division which was dominated by her friends from the Bay of Plenty who filled the top four.

The New Zealand Grommet Series comprises the National Championships, the three-event Billabong Grom Series and the Quiksilver King of the Groms. Not all divisions are contested at some events.

Set out below are the top ranked surfers from each of the six divisions contested. Full ratings can be viewed here.

Under 16 Boys Top 10
1, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
2, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
3, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata)
4, Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
5, Caleb Braithwaite (Whtane)
6, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri)
7, Matt McGreggor (Whngrei)
8, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
9, Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
10, Mahorahora McLeod (Waitara)

Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
3, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
4, Daniel Farr (Tara)
5, Taine Craig – Ranga (Waihi Bch)

Under 12 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)
4, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
5, William Barnes (Mnt)

Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
2, Gabriela Sansom (Auck)
3, Bianca Sansom (Auck)
4, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
5, Dayna Story (Gis)

Under 14 Girls Top 5
1, Milly Crewe (Muri)
2, Britt Kindred (Muri)
3, Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis)
4, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
5, Jenny Rockwell (Auck)

Under 12 Girls Top 5
1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
2, Kea Smith (Tau)
3, Iritana Butler (Arataki)
4, Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mnt)
5, Gabrielle Paul (Auck)


King Kennings Crowned Champion

Dune Kennings (WGM) has today (Sunday 29th April) claimed the ultimate prize in New Zealand junior surfing winning the Under 16 Boys Division at Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin. Kennings gains an invite to the international final to be held in France during October which in turn runs alongside the Quiksilver Pro.

The second day of the event was played out in perfect 1.0m peaks at Wainui Beach, Gisborne to the delight of New Zealand’s best grommets. Event namesake Maz Quinn who grew up surfing the exact peaks that were contested today was elated to see the event run in pumping waves where he grew up noting that no national events had been held at that location since the 1991 National Championships.

Kennings won the Under 16 Boys Final scoring 15.17 out of 20 points. He got off to a flying start on the hooter where he scored a 6.33 point ride. He then lucked into a long lefthander where he proceeded to smash several big turns to post an 8.83 out of a possible 10 points. The two waves in the first five minutes of the final set up Kennings so that he could be selective and pick off the best waves from then on. Ultimately his score line did not change for the remainder of the final.

“For sure the best waves win heats and I got a quick start and worked on it from there and got bigger and better waves and it paid off in the final” said Kennings.

“I was talking to Kehu and I said left or right and he said right so I took off on the left, raced down the line and flew over that section and from there the wave opened up and I got a couple more reos in” he added of the final-high 8.83 point ride.

As the clock wound down his opponents slowly worked themselves back into contention. With five minutes remaining the pressure was on and Kennings switched to defensive mode protecting his lead until in the final minute both he and Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) crossed paths with Paerata – Reid incurring an interference pushing him back to third place.

“Yeah well I knew the right was predominant and it was going to peel better so I was going to always go it and he tried to go left and got the interference and I didn’t” said Kennings of the close call.

“I don’t know what to expect in France. Hopefully it is going to be amazing, surf against the best and watch the best basically” mused Kennings on his pending trip overseas.

Bowden continued his good run of form to finish second in the final after earlier exploding in the semifinals. Bowden finished with a 10.90 point heat score ahead of Paerata – Reid on 8.75. Triple finalist Kehu Butler (Mnt) finished fourth in the final clearly running out of energy after surfing his sixth heat of the day.

However it was Butler that claimed his second title of the day in the DC Shoes Under 14 Boys Division. He was unstoppable in the final swinging into a wave on the starting hooter and posting an 8.0 point ride. Midway through the final he eventually took the lead and then went on to score the heat-high 8.60 point ride to extend his lead.

“It was pretty hard to get a wave some times but the barrels were pretty fun” said Butler playing down his double title.

Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) challenged for the lead late scoring a 7.50 point ride to get himself out of a combination situation but he was left requiring a 9.11 point ride and had to settle for second. Taranaki surfer Isaac Kettle finished third in the final scoring 10.20 ahead of Tane Bowden (WGM) in fourth on 8.70.

Butler wins himself a trip to the Gold Coast Quiksilver Pro in March. “I can’t wait to go over to the Quiksilver Pro, I want to watch Kelly Slater surf” said Butler.

Bianca Sansom (Albany, Auck) claimed her first win of the year in the Roxy Under 16 Girls Division overcoming New Zealand representative and local surfer Jasmine Smith who put up a strong fight throughout the 25 minute final. Sansom started the final strong with a 6.0 point ride and then left it until her last wave to score a 7.57 point ride and seal the win. Last minute jitters did creep in as Smith equalled Sansom’s top score. However it was not enough and once the results were read out, with surfers already on the beach, Sansom jumped into her mum’s arms with excitement.

“I was so nervous when Jasmine got that last one but when they (scores) were called out, I don’t know, it just turned to total happiness” said an overwhelmed Sansom. “The girls have been pushing my surfing so much this year and Jasmine has been ripping and pushing my surfing heaps too so it is good to finally win one.

Sansom wins a trip to the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast of Australia next March where she will be able to witness the best female surfers in the world. “It is going to be the best experience ever.”

Placing second in the final was Smith who was the only surfer to put up a serious fight against Sansom scoring 12.80. Piha surfer Claudia Fraser placed third in the final, this event being the fourth time she has placed third at a national event. Local surfer Abby Falwasser – Logan placed fourth in the final.

Kehu Butler took out his first final of the day in the Sequence Surf Shop Under 12 Boys Division after an 8.83 point ride early in the heat pushed him out in front of his opponents. His flawless forehand hacks tight in the pocket saw him ride to his best wave score and he backed that up with a 5.60 point ride for a 14.43 point total. Tane Bowden (WGM) came back at him in the late stages of the final but never really challenged for the lead requiring an 8.88 point ride and he finished in second place overall. Lee Ririnui (Mnt) claimed third place to equal his results from the past two events. In fourth place was Jared Gebert (Ohope) who surfed in his second final of the season.

Please see below for final results from Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin completed today (Sunday 29th April) at Stockroute, Wainui Beach, Gisborne.

Quiksilver Under 16 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 12.8, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 10.7, 2, Caleb Braithwaite (Whtane), 8.4, 3, Joshua Farr (Tara), 5.1, 4
Heat 2
Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 12.6, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 11.7, 2, Matt McGreggor (Whngrei), 7.73, 3, Jack Mills (BOP), 4.07, 4
Heat 3
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 14.5, 1, Te Rapai Barbarich Love, 9.77, 2, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 7.07, 3, Nicolaj Probst (Ohope), 6.17, 4
Heat 4
McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 12.3, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 10.9, 2, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 10.1, 3, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 9.5, 4

Quiksilver Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 16.17, 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 12.67, 2, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 5.87, 3, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 5.37, 4
Heat 2
McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 14.33, 1, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 13.40, 2, Te Rapai Barbarich Love (Tara), 13.07, 3, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 6.83, 4

Quiksilver Under 16 Boys Finals
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 15.17, 1, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 10.90, 2, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 8.75, 3, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 7.57, 4

DC Shoes Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 11.2, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 7.17, 3, Ben McCulloch (Gis), 5.87, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 13.3, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 11.2, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 8.77, 3, Reuben Mottart (Gis), 4.53, 4

DC Shoes Under 14 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki),16.60, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay) 13.33, 2, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 10.20, 3, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.70, 4

Sequence Under 12 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.43, 1, Tane Bowden (Whmata), 10.87, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 7.10, 3, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 6.0, 4

Roxy Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Jasmine Smith (Gis), 12.7, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 11.4, 2, Nam Northcott (Tara), 3.57, 3
Heat 2
Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.2, 1, Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 9.17, 2, Milly Crew (Muri), 7.57, 3

Roxy Under 16 Girls Final
Bianca Sansom (Auck), 13.57, 1, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 12.80, 2, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 8.50, 3, Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 7.53, 4


King of the Groms Back In Action

Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin has New Zealand’s best young surfers fired up for their last national event of the season.

The event, originally scheduled for late March was postponed due to lack of swell. However, this weekend (28 – 29 April) the surf looks set to pump at Gisborne with an easterly swell set to slowly decrease throughout the weekend. Offshore winds are forecast which will make the surf perfect for the grommets.

The King of the Groms comes hot on the heels of New Zealand’s best juniors having been representing New Zealand at the World Junior Surfing Championship at Panama. The team only returned to New Zealand today with members from the Under 16 Boys Division as well as local surfer Jasmine Smith set to lock straight back into competitive mode after an arduous 60 hours of being in transit.

Up for grabs in the Under 16 Boys Division is an invite and all expenses paid trip to the international final of the Quiksilver King of the Groms held in France during late September. At this event the best young surfers from around the world go head-to-head as part of the Quiksilver Pro that also caters for the best surfers in the world.

New Zealand team member Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), the highest placed surfer in the Under 16 Boys Division at the World Junior Champs (17th) has won the New Zealand King of the Groms event for the past two years and will be hoping to make it three in a row this weekend.

Also back from the Worlds and no doubt riding high on confidence will be Jordan Griffin (Mnt) and Harrison Whiteside (Chch). They will be joined by a swag of groms who have been based back here in New Zealand working hard with the aim of a good result at the final event of the season.

In the Under 16 Girls Division, Gabriela Sansom (Auck) will make a return to more familiar territory after having won the New Zealand Women’s Open at Taranaki two weeks ago. Sansom went on to compete against the best female surfers in the world including defending world champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and four time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS).

A star struck Sansom placed 13th at the event with the experience something that she will never forget.

Sansom will be joined by her sister Bianca along with New Zealand representative Smith and local Gisborne friends Abby Falwasser – Logan and Dayna Story as the favourite surfers in their division.

Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let the Sun Get Under Your Skin also includes the Under 14 and Under 12 Boys Divisions.

Twelve year old Mount Maunganui star Kehu Butler has entered all three boys divisions lining himself up for a massive weekend of surfing and a tilt at claiming all three titles. With a focus set on the Under 12 and 14 Boys Divisions, Butler will face off against the likes of the Farr brothers from Taranaki as well as Tane Bowden (WGM), Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), Ben McCulloch (Gis) and Isaac Kettle (Tara), all surfers of which have shown some great promise through the summer of events.

The event also sees prizes being awarded for the highest heat score, highest wave score and the best air.

Maz Quinn himself will be present at the event and keeping an eye on the talent of our young surfers. Quinn spent his whole life surfing the very coastline where the event is to be held. The playground led him to become New Zealand’s most successful male surfer having qualified for the 2002 ASP World Tour.

Action will take place from 8:00am on both Saturday and Sunday. Organisers will assess conditions at several beaches before confirming the event location early on Saturday morning.

King Of The Groms Honours Roll

Under 16 Boys Division
2005 Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2006 Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2007 Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2008 Alex Dive (Mnt)
2009 Ben Poulter (Rag)
2010 Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
2011 Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)

Please see below for the top five ranked surfers in each of the divisions contested at Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin.

Under 16 Boys Top 5
1, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
2, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
3, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata)
4, Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
5, Mahorahora McLeod (Waitara)

Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
3, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
4, Taine Craig Ranga (Waihi Bch)
5, Daniel Farr (Tara)

Under 12 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)
4, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
5, William Barnes (Mt)

Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Gabriella Sansom (Auck)
2, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
3, Dayna Story (Gis)
4, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
5, Bianca Sansom (Auck)

Further Information
For further information on Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. Alternatively please contact Quiksilver Marketing Manager Maz Quinn on 021367629 or email maz.quinn@quiksilver.com.au.


Double Defeat For Williams Ends New Zealand’s Campaign

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team has ended their campaign at the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Playa Venao, Panama overnight (Sunday 22nd April) with Ella Williams (WGM) suffering back-to-back defeats to be eliminate from the event.

The team currently sits in eleventh place and can climb as high as tenth if the results of other teams go their way on the final day.

Williams finished the event as the highest placed Kiwi in ninth place for the Under 18 Girls Division.

“I’m really happy with my result” said Williams as she reflected on a tough day at the beach. “I feel I could have done better in the repechage heat, it didn’t really feel like me surfing the last heat, but that’s alright I have learnt a lot from this” she added.

Williams has one year left in the age group and will no doubt absorb everything from this event as she eyes up another tilt at the title in 2013. “I wanted to win but sometimes it just doesn’t happen but I’m not giving up I learn from my mistakes and move on.”

Williams started the day with two lives remaining under the double elimination format. The first three person heat was a close one with Williams (7.33) being ousted by Australian Ellie – Jean Coffey (10.70) and Hawaiian Mahina Maeda (7.50). After being pushed back to the repechage rounds Williams (8.43) suffered another loss to Hawaiian Dax McGill (14.17) and Australian Bronte Mcaulay (10.07).

“I wasn’t happy with how my last heat unfolded, I wasn’t on my game, I wasn’t surfing like I had been. It wasn’t the best heat but there is always next time” Williams said.

“Overall it was a great comp in a beautiful place and I’m honoured to be a part of it and thanks to everyone in NZ for all your support it means the world to me and I really appreciate it.”

Williams was the sole Kiwi surfer remaining in the event on day seven. A day earlier, four team mates also succumbed to the boiling pot of talent at the event.

Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) surfed in Repechage Round 6 and fought hard to get himself into a progression situation late in the heat. However, with less than a minute remaining the young American surfer picked up a long right hander scoring 4.77 to move into second and eliminate Paerata – Reid who finished with his best ever result at the event of 17th.

Jordan Griffin had surfed in the same division earlier on in the day placing third in his heat to Italian Leonardo Fioravanti and Brazilian Lucas Silveira. Griffin finished the event placed 33rd overall.

Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) surfed two heats on day six. After a standout win in Round 4 scoring 14.67 to beat her Brazilian, American and French opponents, Martin – Fitzharris went on to lose in the next round to Chelsea Tauch (BAR) and Lucia Cosoleto (ARG) and finish the event in 19th place.

Mackenzie Christie (BOP) surfed his Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 5 heat placing fourth to surfers from Australia and USA. Christie finished the event 20th overall.

“In my heat I felt like I could have got the scores if I lucked into a running wave but I never really got one so was only able to do two turns which didn’t compare to the long rides the Aussies and American got. Overall I thought I did quite well considering its my first year in Under 18s and first Worlds event but a heat or two more would have been nice” said Christie of his first foray into international competition.

The swell is expected to decrease for the final day of the event tomorrow (Monday NZT). Please see below for New Zealand results from days six and seven of the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong.

Under 18 Boys Repechage Round 5
Heat 2

1 Colin Moran (USA), 2 Eli Steele (AUS), 3 Cooper Chapman (AUS), 4 Mackenzie Christie (NZL)

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 5
Heat 3

1 Ellie – Jean Coffey (AUS), 2 Mahina Maeda (HAW), 3 Ella Williams (NZL)

Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 8
Heat 2

1 Dax McGill (HAW), 2 Bronte Macaulay (AUS), 3 Ella Williams (NZL)

Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 4
Heat 2

1 Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (MZL), 2 Barbara Segatto (BRA), 3 Frankie Harrer (USA), 4 Kim Veteau (FRA)

Under 18 Girls Repechage Round 5
Heat 2

1 Chelsea Tauch (BAR), 2 Lucia Cosoleto (ARG), 3 Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (NZL), 4 Emma Smith (RSA)

Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 6
Heat 2

1 Elivelton Santos (BRA), 2 Jake Marshall (USA), 3 Elliot Paerata – Reid (NZL), 4 Igor Moraes (BRA)

Under 16 Boys Repechage Round 4
Heat 6

1 Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), 2 Lucas Silveira (BRA), 3 Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 4 Steffan Burrows (RSA)

Overall Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team Results
Under 18 Boys

29th Mackenzie Christie (BOP)
33rd Ben Poulter (Rag)
41st Tane Wallis (Piha)
65th Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata)

Under 18 Girls
9th Ella Williams (WGM)
19th Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis)
37th Jasmine Smith (Gis)
61st Alethea Lock (Chch)

Under 16 Boys
17th Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
33rd Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
49th Korbin Hutchings (Gis)
65th Harrison Whiteside (Chch)

Team Standings (after seven of eight days)
1 Hawaii – 6825
2 Australia – 5915
3 Brazil – 5520
4 USA – 4945
5 Peru – 4663
6 Japan – 4513
7 France – 4455
8 Portugal – 3623
9 South Africa – 3275
10 Costa Rica – 3160
11 New Zealand – 3090

The final day of the event will kick off at 4:00am (NZT). No New Zealand surfers will be in action on the final day of the event.

You can check out the live event website for up to date information, images, video and live action.

You can also follow the progress of the team through the eyes of team coach Jason Ruddell and his blog


New Zealand Surfers Fight Back In Repecharge Rounds

Day four of the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship held at Playa Venao, Panama saw the New Zealand surfers fight back in the repecharge rounds where the first surfers were eliminated from the event.

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team had six surfers in action with four progressing through to the fifth day of competition while two exited the event.

The World Junior Surfing Championship is being held from the 14-22 April and includes over 300 surfers from 31 countries.

In sometimes inconsistent waves in the 1.0m range, Ben Poulter (Rag), Tane Wallis (Piha), Korbin Hutchings (Gis) and Alethea Lock (Chch) progressed through their must-win heats.

Korbin Hutchings left his run late in the shortened 15 minute heats scoring a 6.0 with a few minutes to go in the heat. The wave elevated him from fourth to first and progression alongside the surfer from Jamaica.

“I got an average wave early and tried to keep busy but it was hard out there and the waves didn’t come my way” said Hutchings. “I had to move closer in at the end and try get a second score and that left-hander popped up and I was pretty lucky that it ran all the way to the beach and I got a six” he added in regards to how the final minutes of the heat unfolded.

It is the first time that Hutchings has attended the event and he now moves through to the third round where he faces surfers from Barbados, Portugal and Peru.

In the Under 18 Boys Division Ben Poulter and Tane Wallis progressed via two completely different pathways.

Poulter raced out to the lead in his heat with a near excellent 7.17 point ride on a long right-hander. He caught the wave in the opening minutes of the heat and then immediately backed it up with a 4.0. From that point Poulter put the pressure on his opponents who could not catch up in the short time frame allocated.

“I got off to a good start with a long right that scored 7.17 then backed it up with a 4 straight away which took the pressure off. 15 minute heats are hard, it is so crucial to start strong which I was able to do today” Poulter said.

The team captain will now face off against surfers from Italy, Hawaii and Guatemala in the third round.

Wallis on the other hand left his run late after sitting on a couple of low scoring two point rides until the dying stages of the heat. Sitting in third place, Wallis squeezed out a 3.77 point ride which pushed him up into progression by a mere 0.03 points.

Yet to fire a decent shot at the event, Wallis is through to the third round and due for a strong performance. He will need a solid result tomorrow (Friday NZT) in the third round when he fronts up to surfers from Peru, Portugal and Barbados.

Alethea Lock was the fourth of the Kiwi surfers to move through her repecharge round. The Christchurch surfer did herself no favours early in the heat when she incurred an interference with another surfer. However that made her more determine in her performance as she bounced back with a 7.33 point ride to finish her heat with an 8.23 point heat total.

Lock now meets up with her two team mates Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) in the second repecharge round.

Falling short of progression today were Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) and Harrison Whiteside (Chch). The surfers both finished the event in 65th place.

Both surfers got off to slow starts in their heats which were held over the full tide. Moretti needed a meagre 2.07 point ride and went hunting for it late in the heat only to come up short with a 1.93 point ride finishing in third behind surfers from Brazil and El Salvador.

Whiteside had to contend with a heat practically void of waves, the young South Island surfer left requiring a 3.0 point ride for progression but he was unable to get it.

The swell is expected to build over the next two days and ease for the final day of the event. Please see below for New Zealand results from day four of the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong.

Under 18 Boys Repecharge Round 2
Heat 5

1 Matheus Navarro (BRA), 2 Marco Alvarez (SAL), 3 Paul Moretti (NZL), 4 Francisco Barbot (URU)
Heat 12
1 Franwill Vento (Ven), 2 Tane Wallis (NZL), 3 Garren Price (JAM) , 4 Jose Gonzalez (SAL)
Heat 13
1 Ben Poulter (NZL), 2 Segundo Vargas (URU), 3 Francis Curren (PAN), 4 Paddy Daniel (UK)

Under 16 Boys Repecharge Round 2
Heat 6

1 Korbin Hutchings (NZL), 2 Elishama Beckford (JAM), 3 Kleiver Izquiel (VEN), 4 Joaquin Juarez (ARG)
Heat 14
1 Derek Gomez (VEN), 2 Orlando Ortega (PAN), 3 Harrison Whiteside (NZL), 4 Matias Nobrega (URU)

Under 18 Girls Repecharge Round 1
Heat 8

1 Alethea Lock (NZL), 2 Gabriela Rubi Velez (PRU), M Garcia Sanchez (ECU)

Day five will see a mix of qualifying and repecharge rounds with nine New Zealand surfers in action, some potentially more than once. The only surfer to have a lay day will be Jordan Griffin (Mnt). Surfing kicks off each day at 1:00am New Zealand time. Approximate times for Kiwi heats are below. All qualifying round heats are 20 minutes and all repecharge heats 15 minutes.

Podium 1 (Webcast and live scores)
Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 3
Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 4
Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 4
Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 4
Under 18 Boys Repecharge Round 4

1:40am Ella Williams
4:20am Elliot Paerata – Reid
6:40am Mackenzie Christie
Potentially more surfers subject to progression by Ella Williams, Tane Wallis and Ben Poulter

Podium 2 (Live scores only)
Under 18 Girls Repecharge Round 2
Under 18 Boys Repecharge Round 3
Under 16 Boys Repecharge Round 3
Under 18 Girls Repecharge Round 3

1:30am Jayda Martin – Fitzharris
2:15am Jasmine Smith
2:45am Alethea Lock
5:00am Tane Wallis
5:30am Ben Poulter
6:45am Korbin Hutchings
Potentially more surfers subject to progression from Jayda Martin – Fitzharris, Jasmine Smith and Alethea Lock


Paerata – Reid and Williams Charge Ahead

Only two Kiwi surfers remain in the qualifying rounds of the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship currently being held at Playa Venao, Panama after the third of eight days of competition took place overnight (Wednesday 18th April).

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team battled hard on day three with Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Ella Williams (WGM) remaining in the qualifying rounds but seven of their team mates dropped back into the repecharge rounds.

The conditions on day three were a little slower than the first two with smaller 1.0m waves and bigger lulls between the sets, particularly over the full tide. However the waves were still good when they came with the biggest scores of the event being achieved by some surfers.

Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) surfed the closest heat of the entire event in the third round eventually placing second to Japan’s Takumi Nakamura.

Paerata – Reid got a buzzer-beating wave to equal up the scores with the heat front runners and progress through to the final 16 surfers in the qualifying rounds of the Under 16 Boys Division.

“I got hassled hard at the beginning by the kid from Argentina and missed two good waves then I got a 5.23 and needed like a 4.13 and was getting hassled so hard that I paddled up the beach. I caught a wave with 30 seconds remaining and got the 4.13 and progressed on a count back. I was so lucky” exclaimed Paerata – Reid who admitted to riding a rollercoaster of emotions during the 20 minute heat.

He finished with a 9.36 point heat total out of a possible 20 points, equal with the Argentinean surfer Filipe Suarez. However by way of his highest scoring ride of 5.23 point ride being better than the Argintines (5.03), he progressed in second place behind Nakamura who was 0.01 points ahead.

Ella Williams was the second surfer to survive the qualifying rounds blitzing her heat with an 11.90 point heat score to beat her opponents from Japan, Mexico and Brazil. Williams posted single wave scores of 6.0 and 5.90 to win the heat and move through to the final 24 surfers in that round.

Williams will next face off against Mauarii Maro (TAH), Ana Morau (FRA) and Miluska Tello (PER) in her third round match up.

In another long day of surfing Paerata – Reid acknowledged how tough it was at this time of the event when half of your team start losing heats but said that the team has been great with everyone getting in behind each other and willing everyone on to win.

And indeed, overall it was a tough day for the team with ten of the twelve surfers now relegated to the repecharge rounds.

In the Under 18 Boys it was Tane Wallis (Piha) and Ben Poulter (Rag) that went down in their second round heats. They were followed closely by Mackenzie Christie (Mnt) in the third round who initially got a good start to his heat but fell on a crucial wave that would have seen him in a strong position to move through to the final 16 surfers in the Under 18 Boys Division. Christie finished his heat in third place behind surfers from USA and France.

In the Under 18 Girls Division both Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) failed to move past the second round placing third and fourth respectively in their heats. They now join Alethea Lock (Chch) in the repecharge rounds which are likely to be contested over the next two days.

Harrison Whiteside (Chch) bowed out of Qualifying Round 2 while Jordan Griffin (Mnt) put up a good fight to move through to the third round of the Under 16 Boys before he too was ousted into the repecharge rounds.

The swell is expected to decrease slightly for day four of action. Please see below for New Zealand results from Day three of the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong.

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 12

1 Luke Dillion (UK), 2 Nicholas Vargas (CHI), 3 Tane Wallis (NZL), 4 Michael Venter (RSA)
Heat 14
1 Joshua Hay (AUS), 2 Andy Criere (FRA), 3 Daniel Edghill (BAR), 4 Ben Poulter (NZL)

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 3
Heat 1

1 Tommy Boucaut (FRA), 2 Trevor Thornton (USA), Mackenzie Christie (NZL), 4 Imanol Yeregui (SPN)

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 2
Heat 3

1 Barbara Segatto (BRA), 2 Hinako Kurokawa (JPN), 3 Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (NZL), 4 Marion Philippe (TAH)
Heat 5
1 Mauarii Maro (TAH), 2 Carol Fernandes (BRA), 3 Melanie Giunta (PER), 4 Jasmine Smith (NZL)
Heat 7
1 Ella Williams (NZL), 2 Nagisa Tashiro (JPN), 3 Asaya Brusa (MEX), 4 Karol Ribiero (BRA)

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 12

1 Joshua Burke (BAR), 2 Jordan Griffin (NZL), 3 Jackson Obando (NIC), 4 Jorge Soto (CHI)
Heat 13
1 Benji Brand (RSA), 2 Diego Mignot (FRA), 3 Facundo Arreyes (ARG), 4 Harrison Whiteside (NZL)

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 3
Heat 2

1 Takumi Nakamura (JPN), 2 Elliot Paerata – Reid (NZL), 3 Filipe Suarez (ARG), 4 Lucca Saldivar (PER)
Heat 5
1 Josh Moniz (HAW), 2 Alonso Correa (PER), 3 Aldric God (FRA), 4 Jordan Griffin (NZL)

Day four will see only repecharge rounds contested at the event. Surfing kicks off each day at 1:00am New Zealand time. Approximate times for Kiwi heats are below. Mackenzie Christie, Jayda Martin – Fitzharris, Jasmine Smith, Ella Williams, Jordan Griffin and Elliot Paerata – Reid will not be surfing on day four.

Podium 1 (Webcast and live scores)
Under 18 Boys Repecharge Round 1
Under 16 Boys Repecharge Round 2

6:15am Korbin Hutchings
8:15am Harrison Whiteside

Podium 2 (Live scores only)
Under 16 Boys Repecharge Round 1
Under 18 Girls Repecharge Round 1
Under 18 Boys Repecharge Round 2

4:15am Alethea Lock
6:30am Paul Moretti
8:15am Tane Wallis
8:30am Ben Poulter


Waves Continue to Pump for Kiwis in Panama

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team surfed through another massive day of action at the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship being held at Playa Venao, Panama with some exceptional performances coming out of the Kiwi camp.

Stand out surfers on Day One, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Mac Christie (Mnt) had further success in their round two heats Paerata – Reid notching up an emphatic heat win while Christie placed second to progress in his heat and move through to the last 32 surfers in the Qualifying Round.

Paerata – Reid showed how to surf a perfect heat getting two good scores early in his match up. This left his opponents pushing hard to catch up and consequently forcing them to make uncharacteristic errors.

“I saw a lot of rights before I went out so that is what I targeted and I got that early 5.5 point ride which was good and then I got that left straight after that which bettered my first wave and set me up for the final 15 minutes” said Paerata – Reid who progressed alongside Australian surfer Jacob Wilcox.

“There is a continual rivalry with the Australians in any sport we play against each other so to beat the Jacob today was good. He still did what he had to do and progressed through the heat with me so that is good for him too.”

Paerata – Reid finished with a 12.0 point heat total.

Christie also came up against an Australian opponent in the form of Eli Steele. However it was Christie who progressed behind Will Davey (Great Britain) forcing the Australian surfer into the repecharge rounds.

Earlier in the day Ben Poulter (Rag) finally got his campaign underway and wasted no time in sending a couple of shots across the bows of the more favoured surfers from the powerhouse nations. Poulter surfed to a 13.60 point heat total completing a series of big forehand hacks that impressed everyone.

“It was a little hard on the nerves having to wait an extra day to compete but I’m happy because the waves were good when I surfed” said Poulter who added “Getting over to Panama early has helped a lot for our team’s preparation and certainly my own. I’m pretty confident surfing the wave now and I am also very confident with my equipment.”

The New Zealand girls also hit the water for the first time with success coming by the way of Ella Williams (WGM), Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) who all placed second in their heats.

All three surfers will be in action again on day three of the event. Team captain and four time New Zealand representative Jayda Martin – Fitzharris is excited about her upcoming battle where she will face surfers from Japan, Brazil and Tahiti.

“I now have my first heat nerves out of the way and want to put in a big heat in the next round to further my cause at the event” said Martin – Fitzharris.

The team did suffer three casualties on day two. Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) was relegated to the repecharge round of the Under 18 Boys Division after a very wave starved heat. Korbin Hutchings (Gis) suffered the same fate in the second round of the Under 16 Boys Division while Alethea Lock (Chch) also suffered a first round loss in the Under 18 Girls Division.

All three surfers will have day three off before they hit the water again to contest the do or die repechage rounds.

The swell is expected to increase further for day three of surfing. Please see below for New Zealand results from Day two of the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong.

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 1
Heat 26

1- Ben Poulter (NZL), 2- Yan Daberkow (BRA), 3- Joao Marco Maffini (ITA), 4- Michael Darling (CAN)

Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 4

1- Will Davey (UK) 2- Mackenzie (NZL) 3-Eli Steele (AUS) 4-Harold Zunino (VEN)
Heat 6
1-Tom Cloarec (FRA) 2-Joshua Smit (RSA) 3-Juan Satti (ARG) 4-Paul Moretti (NZL)

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 1
Heat 26

1- Vitor Bernardo (BRA), 2- Harrison Whiteside (NZL), 3- Orlando Ortega (PAN), 4- Guadalupe Sandoval (GUA)

Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 2
Heat 4

1-Elliot Paerata-Reid (NZL) 2-Jacob Wilcox (AUS) 3- Daniel Edghill (BAR) 4- Max Payne (UK)
Heat 6
1-Nomme Mignot (FRA) 2-Leon Glatzer (GER) 3-Korbin Hutchings (NZL) 4-Dane Mackie (BAR)

Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 1
Heat 8

1-Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) 2-Jayda M-Fitzharris(NZL) 3- Isabela Morgner (ECU)
Heat 12
1-Kirsten Ogden (AUS) Jasmine Smith (NZL) M. Christina Sanchez (ECU)
Heat 14
1-Tatiana W.Webb (HAW) 2- Asaya Brusa (MEX) 3- Alethea Lock (NZL)
Heat 16
1- Bronte Macaulay (AUS), 2- Ella Williams (NZL), 3- M Garcia Sanchez (ECU)

Day three will see all three divisions contested on the main podium. Surfing kicks off each day at 1:00am New Zealand time. Aproximate times for Kiwi heats are below. Korbin Hutchings, Alethea Lock and Paul Moretti will not be surfing on Day 3.

Podium 1 (Webcast and live scores)
Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 1 Heats 17-20
Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 2 Heats 9-16
Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 2 Heat 1-6
Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 3 Heats 1-8

3:20am Jordan Griffin
3:40am Harrison Whiteside
5:20am Jayda Martin – Fitzharris
6:00am Jasmine Smith
6:40am Ella Williams
7:00am Mac Christie

Podium 2 (Live scores only)
Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 1 Heats 21-24
Under 18 Boys Qualifying Round 2 Heats 9-16
Under 18 Girls Qualifying Round 2 Heats 7-12
Under 16 Boys Qualifying Round 3 Heats 1-8

3:20am Tane Wallis
4:00am Ben Poulter
3:20am Jordan Griffin
3:40am Harrison Whiteside
7:20am Elliot Paerata – Reid

You can check out the live event website for up to date information, images, video and live action.

You can also follow the progress of the team through the eyes of team coach Jason Ruddell and his blog.

The World Junior Surfing Championship is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. In 2011 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Peru.


Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team Touch Down In Panama

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team have touched down in Panama and are busy practising for their opening match ups at the 2012 DaKine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Billabong which takes place at Playa Venao, Panama from the 14th – 22nd April.

The twelve New Zealand representatives are located beach front at Playa Venao and have been making the most of the clean surf conditions in the build up to the event.

“The waves are a fun 2 – 3ft most days” said team captain Ben Poulter. “The waves are very tidal and change a lot with the different tides so our team have working hard on understanding the break as best possible and the different conditions we are likely to face” he added.

When the event starts, over 300 surfers from 30 nations will compete for medals in the Under 18 Boys and Girls and Under 16 Girls. Each team will also vie for overall team placings with the top eight nations contesting the Aloha Cup tag team style event.

New Zealand Team Manager Tony Baker commented that the team is settling well after the arduous 65 hours of travel to get to their destination at Playa Venao, a journey that Poulter also described as “crazy.”

“The team have been dominating the free surfing sessions at the event site and there are good waves immediately out the front of our accommodation which the team have been taking advantage of as well” said Baker.

Today marks the first day of scheduled activities with team registrations and that will be followed by the annual challenge against South Africa for the SANZ Trophy. The challenge takes place on Saturday (NZT). South Africa currently holds the trophy after winning the challenge at Peru in 2011.

The Olympic-style Opening Ceremony will take place on Sunday with competition to follow on Monday (NZT). The draw for the event will be released once all team registrations have been completed. You can check out the live event website for up to date information, images, video and live action once the event commences.

You can also follow the progress of the team through the eyes of team coach Jason Ruddell and his blog.

The Rip Curl New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Boys
Ben Poulter (Rag)
Mackenzie Christie (Mnt)
Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata)
Tane Wallis (Piha)

Under 18 Girls
Alethea Lock (Chch)
Ella Williams (WGM)
Jasmine Smith (Gis)
Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis)

Under 16 Boys
Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
Harrison Whiteside (Chch)
Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
Korbin Hutchings (Gis)

Team Manager: Tony Baker (Mangawhai)
Team Coach: Jason Ruddell (Whangarei)
Team Assistant Manager/Coach: Warren Asplin (Hamilton)

The World Junior Surfing Championship is an annual event having been held since 2003. New Zealand has competed at the event since its inception as well as competing at the World Grommet Titles as it was formerly known since 1989. In 2011 the New Zealand team placed tenth at the event when it was held in Peru.


Postponement For Quiksilver King of the Groms

Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin scheduled for this weekend at Gisborne has been postponed due to lack of surf forecasted for the region.

The event will now run on the 28-29 April at Gisborne.

“I have looked at the reports all week and I cannot see the surf being big enough to compete in, even for the grommets” the event namesakes Maz Quinn said.

Quinn has spent his whole life surfing the very coastline where the event is to be held and knows the conditions required for decent surf. “We also have a trip for two to France up for grabs in the Under 16 Boys Division and we want to make sure that New Zealand’s best young surfers have a shot at showing their talent in decent surf” added Quinn.

The postponement is the second for nationally rated events this year in what has been a summer season of competition plagued by average surf.

When the event does get underway in late April, New Zealand’s top groms will battle it out in the final event of the domestic season. Four New Zealand representatives will be fresh back from the 2012 World Junior Surfing Championships in Panama with renewed confidence having mixed with the best young surfers in the world. Current ratings leader as Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) as well as Jordan Griffin (BOP), Harrison Whiteside (Chch) and Jasmine Smith (Gis) are all set to compete at the Championships which take place in four weeks time.

Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let the Sun Get Under Your Skin also includes several other divisions with the Under 14 and Under 12 Boys Divisions as well as the Under 16 Girls.

The event also sees prizes being awarded for the highest heat score, highest wave score and the best air.

King Of The Groms Honours Roll

Under 16 Boys Division
2005 Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2006 Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2007 Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2008 Alex Dive (Mnt)
2009 Ben Poulter (Rag)
2010 Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
2011 Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)

Please see below for the top five ranked surfers in each of the divisions contested at Maz Quinn’s Quiksilver King of the Groms presented by Don’t Let The Sun Get Under Your Skin.

Under 16 Boys Top 5
1, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
2, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
3, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata)
4, Jordan Griffin (Mnt)
5, Mahorahora McLeod (Waitara)

Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
3, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
4, Taine Craig Ranga (Waihi Bch)
5, Daniel Farr (Tara)

Under 12 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)
4, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
5, William Barnes (Mt)

Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Gabriella Sansom (Auck)
2, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
3, Dayna Story (Gis)
4, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
5, Bianca Sansom (Auck)


Hansen Claims The Lot At Rip Curl Pro

Gisborne’s Bobby Hansen took home everything on the final day of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Saturday 17th March). Hansen won the Open Men’s Division which included winning the invite to the Padang Cup in Indonesia. In winning the event, Hansen also claimed the overall New Zealand Pro Series for 2012.

The surf remained contestable on day two of the event with clean lines rolling down Manu Bay. However it was the north easterly winds that played havoc with the conditions making the surf almost impossible to surf at some stages of the day.

Hansen put his stamp on the final midway through the 25 minutes when he scored an 8.0 point ride for a series of tight backhand snaps. He then followed up that wave with a 7.50 point ride to leave his opponents requiring massive scores to catch up, a feat that would prove too difficult in the marginal conditions.

“It is the perfect way to finish the season” said Hansen of his win. “It was very average surf in the final but I just got in sync with the two waves I caught and it was a done deal” added Hansen.

“Stoked to win the whole series too, it has always been a goal of mine, it wasn’t something I was thinking about this year but stoked to do it nonetheless.”

Bobby will now compete at the Rip Curl Padang Cup in Indonesia, a specialty invitational event that the world’s best barrel riders contest. The event takes place from the final week of July through to August with the waiting period lasting six weeks in search for the best possible conditions.

“Frothing on Padang, to surf one of the best waves in the world with three other people when it is good will be crazy. I am going to chill in Indo during that time so will definitely be at the event. I was planning on heading up to Bali at around that time anyway” added Hansen.

Placing second today was the second of three Gisborne surfers in the final, Blair Stewart, who was the only surfer in the final not to be combo’ed finishing with a 10.80 point heat total.

Local surfer Mike Banks placed third in the final scoring 9.63 points slightly ahead of Maz Quinn in fourth on 9.60.

Jessica Santorik claimed her first win of the year today in front of a home crowd. In a difficult final Santorik scored 11.53 points in the final, enough to claim the win.

“It was seriously hard to get going out there” said Santorik. “I don’t think I have had a more challenging heat in my life. I mean usually when it is small you can find something but with that wind today it was so hard” she added.

Another local surfer in Alexis Poulter placed second in the final after a 6.5 point ride on her last wave pushed her up into second.

Ella Williams (WGM) placed third in the final unable to claim a ‘threepeat’ of wins on the New Zealand Pro Series. However her third placing was enough for her to secure the Series win. Placing fourth in the final was Taranaki surfer Thandi Tipene.

In the Under 20 Men’s Final it was Alex Dive (Mnt) that eeked out the win in a wave starved final. It wasn’t until the dying stages of the final that Dive scored a low 2.63 point ride that was enough to put him into first place with an 8.3 point heat total.

“So stoked to finally get a win, but is was pretty much flat for the whole 25 minutes and it pretty much came down to one wave” said Dive. “I pretty much waited for a wave the whole time ‘cos I thought a set was going to come through but nothing came and in the end it was that tiny back up wave that I got that was enough to push me into the lead” added Dive.

Sean Kettle (Tara) placed second in the final, just missing his second win of summer in the Under 20 Men’s Division. Local surfer Ben Poulter was another to play the waiting game in the final which resulted in him catching just the single wave, 6.23 points, the highest of the final. It left Poulter only needing a 1.34 point ride but with only a minute to go, time ran out and he placed third ahead of Johnny Hicks (Gis) in fourth.

Sean Kettle (Tara) basically surfed a five minute heat in the GromSearch Final for the Under 16 Boys Division riding two consecutive high scoring waves totalling 15.43 to win a spot at the international final held in conjunction with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia in April.

Kettle was sitting in fourth but showed true mental strength to never give up and he caught his best wave with one minute left on the clock to snatch the victory from Adam Grimson (Gis).

“It was like five minutes to go and I was still combo’d and then I got my seven then that huge sneaker set came through and I got it and got an eight or something” Kettle explained of how the final minutes unfolded.

“I didn’t know if I was going to get on it on time and I thought Adam might sit on me but luckily Adam got the wave before mine.”

Kettle described his pending trip to Bells Beach as the “best opportunity I have ever been given.”

Placing second in the final was Grimson who was pipped in the final seconds of the final scoring 13.43 while Dune Kennings (WGM) placed third and Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) placed fourth.

Ella Williams (WGM) held on to the win in the Girls GromSearch Final fending off a strong comeback from Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis). Williams got off to a quick start in the final ultimately scoring a 10.67 point heat total to secure the trip to Australia. “This is the first time I have ever won the trip. It is so cool, I can’t wait to go over and check out the Rip Curl Pro. I want to perform well in the comp too” said Williams who will juggle the trip to Australia with the long journey to Panama for the World Junior Champs immediately after Australia.

Placing second in the final was Jayda Martin – Fitzharris who scored a 6.0 point ride, 0.84 points short of what was required for the win. Sharing the minor placings were the Sansom twins of Albany with Gabriela getting the nod over her sister for third with Bianca in fourth.

The Kiwi Surf/Hughes Surfboards ‘Boost For Cash’ was taken out by Johnny Hicks (Gis) for a no hands forehand air reverse.

See below for final results from the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley completed at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Saturday 17th March).

Open Men’s Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Tim O’Connor (Mnt), 10.77, 1, Mike Banks (Rag), 10.67, 2, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 8.6, 3, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 7.97, 4
Heat 2
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 14, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 12.67, 2, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 10.9, 3, Zen Wallis (Piha), 8.8, 4
Heat 3
Chris Malone (Gis), 11.6, 1, Matt Scorringe (Whmata), 10.6, 2, Alex Dive (Mnt), 8.37, 3, Larry Fisher (Rag), 8.27, 4
Heat 4
Maz Quinn (Gis), 13.73, 1, Blair Stewart (Gis), 12.8, 2, Luke Cederman (Rag), 12.2, 3, Matt Hewitt (Mnt), 10.33, 4

Open Men’s Semifinals
Heat 1

Bobby Hansen (Gis), 14.17, 1, Mike Banks (Rag), 11.17, 2, Tim O’Connor (Mnt), 10.1, 3, Luke Hughes (Rag), 9.93, 4
Heat 2
Maz Quinn (Gis), 14.33, 1, Blair Stewart (Gis), 12.5, 2, Matt Scorringe (Whmata), 11.77, 3, Chris Malone (Gis), 9.07, 4

Open Men’s Final
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 15.5, 1, Blair Stewart (Gis), 10.8, 2, Mike Banks (Rag), 9.63, 3, Maz Quinn (Gis), 9.60, 4

Under 20 Men’s Quarterfinals
Heat 1

Alex Dive (Mnt), 14.07, 1, Sean Kettle (Tara), 10.6, 2, Adam Grimson (Gis), 7.93, 3, Ella Williams (Whmata), 7.83, 4
Heat 2
JC Susan (Mnt), 8.57, 1, Jackson Lynch (Aust), 8.1, 2, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 7.8, 3, Sid West (Gt Barrier), 7.3, 4
Heat 3
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 14.9, 1, Nat Hughes (Rag), 13.2, 2, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 12.6, 3, Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 12.4, 4
Heat 4
Ben Poulter (Rag), 11.4, 1, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 11.03, 2, Josh Taylor (Tau), 6.9, 3, Tane Wallis (Piha), 5.5, 4

Under 20 Men’s Semifinals
Heat 1

Sean Kettle (Tara), 12.17, 1, Alex Dive (Mnt), 11.83, 2, JC Susan (Mnt), 9.03, 3, Jackson Lynch (Aust), 8.13, 4
Heat 2
Johnny Hicks (Gis), 15.83, 1, Ben Poulter (Rag), 13.33, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 10.83, 3, Nat Hughes (Rag), 9.37, 4

Under 20 Men’s Final
Alex Dive (Mnt), 8.3, 1, Sean Kettle (Tara), 7.6, 2, Ben Poulter (Rag), 6.27, 3, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 5.33, 4

Open Women’s Semifinals
Heat 1

Jessica Santorik (Rag), 12.03, 1, Jasmine Debeer (Gis), 2.17, 4, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 9.9, 3, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 10.9, 2
Heat 2
Ella Williams (Whmata), 11.83, 1, Mischa Davis (Auck), 9.33, 2, Rosa Thompson (Auck), 6.33, 3
Heat 3
Alexis Poulter (Rag), 10, 1, Thandi Tipene (Tara), 7.93, 2, Marguerite Vujich (Napier), 1, 3
Heat 4
Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 12.67, 1, Nicola Colson-Koster (Auck), 10.1, 2, Robyn Turnbull (Mangawhai), 2.67, 3

Open Women’s Semifinal
Heat 1

Jessica Santorik (Rag), 8.77, 1, Alexis Poulter (Rag), 5.8, 2, Mischa Davis (Auck), 3.33, 3, Nicola Colson-Koster (Auck), 1.9, 4
Heat 2
Ella Williams (Whmata), 12.5, 1, Thandi Tipene (Tara), 8.17, 2, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 7.43, 3, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 7.17, 4

Open Women’s Final
Jessica Santorik (Rag), 11.53, 1, Alexis Poulter (Rag), 9.83, 2, Ella Williams (Whmata), 6.6, 3, Thandi Tipene (Tara), 5.2, 4

GromSearch Girls Final
Ella Williams (Whmata), 10.67, 1, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 9.83, 2, Gabriela Sansom (Muri), 8.43, 3, Bianca Sansom (Muri), 6.1, 4

GromSearch Boys Final
Sean Kettle (Tara), 15.43, 1, Adam Grimson (Gis), 14, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 13.43, 3, Elliot Paerata-Reid (Piha), 7.3, 4


Top Ranked Surfers Mark Up Against Each Other Early At The Rip Curl Pro

The two top ranked surfers on the New Zealand Pro Series marked up against each other in their first appearance at the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley held at Manu Bay, Raglan today (Friday 16th March) with Bobby Hansen (Gis) getting the early advantage over Tim O’Connor (Mnt), both surfers moving through to the Quarterfinals.

After differing forecasts leading into the event, New Zealand’s top surfers enjoyed a clean 1.0m swell at Manu Bay that pulsed throughout the day keeping everyone happy. The size was enough to see a massive day of surfing take place with three rounds of the Open Men’s Division and a round of the Under 20 Men’s Division completed.

Hansen surfed to a 16.90 point heat total in his heat finding the good set waves and going vertical on hid backhand. Tim O’Connor was close second scoring 16.13 with the two surfers eliminating Ben Poulter (Rag) and Ryan Hawker (Piha).

“Yeah, we met up pretty early, it is good, I love surfing against Bobby” said number one ranked O’Connor. “It is good for the rivalry, it will be a good race to the finish, so hopefully the best surfer wins” he added.

O’Connor has been based at Raglan for over four months surfing the famous lefthand point breaks and was stoked to see how good it was today claiming it was “kinda as good as it gets.”

The local surfers stormed through the third round led by Luke Hughes who knows the break better than anyone. His sharp surfing and big vertical backhand hooks were unrivalled as he went on to win his heat with a 14.07 point heat score.

Likewise Mike Banks surfed three heats today to move through to the quarterfinals posting one of the highest single wave scores of the day – 9.45 out of a possible 10 points. Other locals to move through were luke Cederman, Larry Fisher and Chris Malone.

One of the standout waves of the day went to Sandy Bay surfer Paco Divers who posted a near perfect 9.67 point ride on his first wave of the heat. Unfortunately the remainder of the 20 minutes did not go his way and in search of a small five point ride, Divers ran out of time and was eliminated from the event.

Gisborne surfer Johnny Hicks continued his good run of form moving though to the quarterfinals of the event with a 15.93 point winning heat total. Hicks has only returned from Australia this week after placing fifth at an ASP Australasia Pro Junior event at Newcastle. Prior to that result he was the form surfer at the last stop of the New Zealand Pro Series held at his home break of Gisborne winning the Under 20 Division which he was due to contest early this evening.

Conditions are expected to hold for much of Saturday which may allow for the event to be completed in the first two scheduled days.

The Kiwi Surf/Hughes Surfboards ‘Boost For Cash’ will take place on Saturday. This will be an expression session in which New Zealand’s best aerialists will use jet ski assistance to perform one big move to walk away with $500. See how you too, can win a brand new Hughes surfboard by picking your preferred winner of the expression session.

The Rip Curl Pro will include the Saturday night gathering at the YOT Club thanks to Stoke Beer and Jagermeister as well as the highly popular Sunday Session again at the YOT Club after the finals have been contested.

The Rip Curl Pro is a six star rated event with $12,500 in prizes on offer.

See below for results from day one of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley.

Open Men’s Round 1
Heat 1
Nat Hughes (Rag), 12.83, 1, Nick Ngau Chun (Piha), 8.17, 2, Mac Christie (Mnt), 6.2, 3, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 4.7, 4
Heat 2
Mike Banks (Rag), 15, 1, Nick Hardie (Rag), 10.5, 2, Dillon Tarrant (Rag), 7.25, 3
Heat 3
William Cooper (Tau), 10.17, 1, JC Susan (Mnt), 8.67, 2, Ella Williams (Whmata), 6.67, 3, Vinicius De Oliveira Leite (Auck), 4.33, 4
Heat 4
Bachelor Tipene (Tara), 12.33, 1, Zennor Wernham (Rag), 9.33, 2, Peri Matenga (Mt), 3.4, 3
Heat 5
Todd Doyle (Mnt), 10.2, 1, Sean Kettle (Tara), 8.77, 2, Travis McCoy (Mnt), 6, 3, Josh Kettle (Tara), 4.67, 4
Heat 6
Sid West (Gt Barrier), 9.5, 1, Simon Deken (Tara), 9.17, 2, Corey Asplin (Rag), 6.8, 3, Rowan Aish (Muriwai), 6.07, 4
Heat 7
Luke Cederman (Rag), 15.67, 1, Josh Taylor (Mnt), 7.87, 2, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 6.13, 3, Aaron Wilton-Jones (Mnt), 3.73, 4
Heat 8
Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 11.4, 1, Morehu Roberts (Rag), 11.2, 2, Rian Byod (Auck), 5.77, 3, Patxi Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 5.73, 4

Open Men’s Round 2
Heat 1
Nick Hardie (Rag), 10.33, 1, Tim Thompson (Auck), 9.6, 2, Nat Hughes (Rag), 8.1, 3, Deane Hishon (Rag), 7.37, 4
Heat 2
Mike Banks (Rag), 12.7, 1, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 11.9, 2, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 7.6, 3, Nick Ngau Chun (Piha), 6.33, 4
Heat 3
Sean Peggs (Tairua), 14.07, 1, Ben Poulter (Rag), 12.43, 2, Zennor Wernham (Rag), 12.2, 3, William Cooper (Tau), 7.4, 4
Heat 4
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 15.83, 1, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 12.33, 2, JC Susan (Mnt), 10.77, 3, Bachelor Tipene (Tara), 9.1, 4
Heat 5
Simon Deken (Tara), 12.7, 1, Matt Hewitt (Mnt), 11.8, 2, Todd Doyle (Mnt), 11.5, 3, Matt Hishon (Rag), 8.33, 4
Heat 6
Alex Dive (Mnt), 18.23, 1, Sid West (Gt Barrier), 13.17, 2, Sean Kettle (Tara), 12.73, 3, Waretini Wano (Piha), 7.2, 4
Heat 7
Luke Cederman (Rag), 15.4, 1, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 14.03, 2, Morehu Roberts (Rag), 12.53, 3, Rick Lasch (Piha), 10.77, 4
Heat 8
Tyler Anderson (Tara), 15, 1, Buck Woods (Gis), 14.7, 2, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 14.7, 3, Josh Taylor (Mnt), 8.83, 4

Open Men’s Round 3
Heat 1

Johnny Hicks (Gis), 15.93, 1, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 14.2, 2, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 11.17, 3, Nick Hardie (Rag), 7.83, 4
Heat 2
Mike Banks (Rag), 16.3, 1, Zen Wallis (Piha), 9.37, 2, Adam Grimson (Gis), 9.37, 3, Tim Thompson (Auck), 6.4, 4
Heat 3
Luke Hughes (Rag), 14.07, 1, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 12.73, 2, Keone Campbell (Tara), 12.27, 3, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 11.73, 4
Heat 4
Bobby Hansen (Gis), 16.9, 1, Tim O’Connor (Mnt), 16.13, 2, Ben Poulter (Rag), 13.3, 3, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 13.1, 4
Heat 5
Larry Fisher (Rag), 12.67, 1, Maz Quinn (Gis), 10, 2, Sid West (Gt Barrier), 7.93, 3, Simon Deken (Tara), 4.57, 4
Heat 6
Alex Dive (Mnt), 14, 1, Matt Hewitt (Mnt), 12.07, 2, Tane Wallis (Piha), 8.87, 3, Leon Santorik (Rag), 8.07, 4
Heat 7
Luke Cederman (Rag), 13.5 , 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 9.37, 2, Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 8.87, 3, Buck Woods (Gis), 8.77, 4
Heat 8
Blair Stewart (Gis), 13.47, 1, Matt Scorringe (Whmata), 12.37, 2, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 10.77, 3, Tyler Anderson (Tara), 9.4, 4


Season Ending Rip Curl Pro Shaping Up For Raglan

The final event of the New Zealand Pro Series for summer is heading to Raglan this weekend (16-18 March) with the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley willing some good conditions to prevail for the season finale.

The Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley will play host to New Zealand’s best surfers and with the waves at Manu Bay being such a draw card, the field of surfers is expected to be the finest to compete this summer.

Not only will the surfers be competing for the big prize purse, the winner of the Open Men’s Division wins a trip to Indonesia and the chance to compete in the Rip Curl Padang Cup, an exclusive invitational event that plays host to some of the best surfers in the world.

The Padang Cup has a month long waiting period and is held at Bali’s fabled Padang Padang, a wave which needs a massive swell to bring out its true colours.

Morehu Roberts (Gis) is the only New Zealand surfer to have competed in the event after winning the 2010 Rip Curl Pro at Manu Bay. That year the Padang Cup was cancelled due to lack of waves but Roberts got a second chance to compete at the event in 2011 unfortunately exiting in the first round.

Current ratings leader Tim O’Connor (Mnt) won the most recent event of the New Zealand Pro Series held at Gisborne leap frogging Bobby Hansen (Gis) for the number one ranking. Both surfers are expected to put up a strong challenge at Raglan to claim the Series title. O’Connor has based himself at Raglan all summer and may well have the upper hand.

Competition will come from all directions though with Maz Quinn (Gis) back in the fold after missing two of the three events so far this summer. Raglan’s own Luke Cederman has returned to New Zealand and is a likely starter in the event. If he gets on a roll, he could be lethal with his powerful forehand attack. Likewise Leon Santorik on his backhand will be eager to successfully compete in the waves he grew up surfing.

It will be touch and go whether several of New Zealand’s top surfers will be able to compete at the event with the likes of Billy Stairmand (Rag), Jay Quinn (Gis), Richard Christie (Gis) and Matt Hewitt (BOP) all competing at an international event in Australia this week.

The Open Women’s Division has a new look about it with four of the top five ranked surfers being under the age of 20. Only current New Zealand Champion and second ranked Thandi Tipene (Tara), 25, is giving the young girls a run for their money. 17-year-old Ella Williams (WGM) leads the way for the girls after winning the last two events. Again it may be a local surfer that pushes through for a big result and that could easily come from Jessica Santorik (Rag) or Alexis Poulter (Rag) given their local knowledge of the Raglan line up.

The Under 20 Men’s Division could see any number of surfers take out the title but front runners Sean Kettle (Tara) and Tane Wallis (Piha) are the two that have got the jump on the rest of the field. Kettle will use his raw talent to impress on his backhand while the more measured Wallis will know exactly what he has to do to push for his first win of the year after placing second and third respectively at the first two events.

With several of the top Under 20 surfers in New Zealand having missed some of the events this year, the likes of Johnny Hicks (Gis), Alex Dive (Mnt) and Ben Poulter (Rag) will be out to upset proceedings and grab an event win before returning to international duties in Australia and beyond at the end of the month.

The Rip Curl Pro also plays host to the Rip Curl GromSearch final. The final is for the top four boys and girls from the 2011 New Zealand Grommet Series ratings. The winners of each division get a trip to Australia to compete at the international final which is held as part of the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro ASP World Tour event. Finalists to contest each division are Dune Kennings (WGM), Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), Adam Grimson (Gis) and Sean Kettle (Tara) for the boys and Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis), Ella Williams (WGM), Hannah Kohn (Gis) and Dayna Story (Gis) for the girls.

On top of this, Kiwi Surf Magazine and Hughes Surfboards have teamed up this year to bring the Kiwi Surf/Hughes Surfboards ‘Boost For Cash.’ This will be an expression session in which New Zealand’s best aerialists will use jet ski assistance to perform one big move to walk away with $500. See how you too, can win a brand new Hughes surfboard by picking your preferred winner of the expression session.

The Rip Curl Pro will include the Saturday night gathering at the YOT Club thanks to Stoke Beer and Jagermeister as well as the highly popular Sunday Session again at the YOT Club after the finals have been contested.

The Rip Curl Pro is a six star rated event with $12,500 in prizes on offer.

See below for the top surfers on the New Zealand Pro Series after three of four events. For full ratings go to the Surfing New Zealand website.

Open Men’s Division
1, Tim O’Connor (Mnt)
2, Bobby Hansen (Gis)
3, Larry Fisher (Rag)
4, Chris Malone (Gis)
5, Zen Wallis (Piha)
6, Billy Stairmand (Rag)
7, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
8, Ben Kennings (Whmata)
9, Mike Banks (Rag)
10, Matt Scorringe (Whmata)

Open Women’s Division
1, Ella Williams (Whmata)
2, Thandi Tipene (Tara)
3, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis)
4, Grace Spiers (Whmata)
5, Jasmine Smith (Gis)

Under 20 Men’s Division
1, Sean Kettle (Tara)
2, Tane Wallis (Piha)
3, Dune Kennings (Whmata)
4, Waretini Wano (Piha)
5, Adam Grimson (Gis)


Double Bowden Brilliance At The Piha Billabong Grom Series Event

The Bowden brothers, McKenzie and Tane of Whangamata have broken through the grommet ranks to claim their maiden national level events at the final competition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Piha today.

The oldest of the brothers McKenzie won the Under 16 Boys while his younger brother Tane won the Under 12 Boys.

The surf continued to drop for the final day of the event with marginal 0.5m waves which changed dramatically throughout the day due to the huge tides.

McKenzie got a good start to the final but it was a 6.67 point ride with two minutes remaining that elevated from third to first before the ocean went flat for the final two minutes.

“I am pretty excited, it is my first ever win, I am real happy” said a dripping wet Bowden.

“I only needed a five point ride on that last wave, I tried to get two turns out of it and on that last one I pushed it more than usual to get the score, I was lucky to get the wave really.”

While being surrounded by cheers of congratulations, McKenzie was still quick to commend his younger brother who also won his division. “It is sick that we both won for the first time at the same event, it is going to be a cool ride home.”

The two brothers combined to win the Sony Breakthrough Performance of the Event Award for their double victory.

Runner up in the Under 16 Boys Division today was Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) who looked like he had the heat under control. However as the clock wound down the victory was snatched away by Bowden who finished with 11.60 to Paerata – Reid’s 10.17.

Paerata – Reid did however clinch the series with his runner up placing after winning the first two events of the series. He will now travel to Australia along with the four other winners of the series and compete in the Billabong Occy Grom Comp to be held in July on the Gold Coast.

“I was coming fourth for a lot of the final so I am pretty stoked that I won the series in the end, really stoked to win actually” said a relieved Paerata – Reid.

Placing third in the final was Dune Kennings (WGM) who held the early lead but fell on several big air reverses. Fourth in the final was Whakatane surfer Caleb Braithwaite surfing in his first final of the series.

Dayna Story (Gis) claimed her first win of the year in the Under 16 Girls Division. Story has placed in every final this year and today she finally made it to the top of the podium. “It feels real good to win a comp, I have had an average year so to win this one, I am real happy.”

Story opted to sit wide of her competitors at the start of the heat and the strategy paid off as she rode the best wave of the final, a 5.33 point ride for a series of backhand turns.

“I was a bit worried about how small it was, but when the waves came through there were good ones to be caught” added Story who admitted to seeing someone in the final prior going out down in the corner and changing her strategy before going out.”

Bianca Sansom (Albany) fought hard in the final but did not find the right waves to notch up the big scores. Sansom finished in second while local girl Claudia Fraser caught the best wave of the final but came unstuck on her second turn and had to settle for third place ahead of series winner Jasmine Smith (Gis) who placed fourth.

Smith had the series wrapped up before the final and sat out the back waiting for the best waves but they continued to avoid her throughout the final until she was left hunting down scraps and playing catch up.

Double finalist Kehu Butler (Mnt) surfed to a win in the Under 14 Boys Division after early being unable to make it three from three in the Under 12 Boys. Butler had to surf from behind scoring consecutive rides of 6.10 and 6.43 points on his last two waves. Butler won series as a result of his performance today after a close three way race all weekend. Taine Craig – Ranga (Waihi Beach) secured his best result of the season placing second in the final scoring a 5.67 on a late wave to move ahead of Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) in third place and Isaac Kettle (Tara) in fourth.

Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis) claimed back to back wins in the Under 14 Girls Division. Falwaser – Logan used her aggressive forehand attack to get the lead in the final then got a good lefthander to finish with a 9.77 point total. Double finalist Elin Tawahru (Mnt) came out of nowhere to place second in the final thanks to her final 4.97 point ride jumping ahead of series winner Milly Crewe (Mur) who finished third in the final.

Crewe had already secured the series win prior to the final but incurred an interference call early in the piece which hampered her chances of a higher placing. Muriwai surfer Britt Kindred placed fourth in the final.

Tane Bowden (WGM) claimed his maiden victory at a national level winning the Under 12 Boys Division. Bowden led the final from start to finish after a 5.0 point ride early in the final. Bowden placed runner up at the first two events of the series but today he finally got his win over Kehu Butler (Mnt) who had to accept runner up.

Butler did however win the series overall and claim the trip to Australia to compete in the Occy Grom Comp. Lee Ririnui (Mnt) placed third for the second consecutive event finishing one place ahead of fellow Mount Maunganui surfer William Barnes (Mnt) in fourth.

Elin Tawharu (Mnt) left nothing to chance in the Under 12 Girls winning the final event of the series and in doing so winning the overall series. Tawharu won the final two events of the series and today it was a cleanly surfed 7.33 point ride midway through the final that set her apart from her opponents. Local surfer Gabriella Paul placed second in the final to repeat her result from the Whangamata leg. Kea Smith (Mnt) placed third in the final while first time finalist Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara) placed fourth in the final.

Set out below are the final series winners and results from the final Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Piha Beach today (Sunday 11th March).

Under 16 Boys – Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha)
Under 14 Boys – Kehu Butler (Mnt)
Under 12 Boys – Kehu Butler (Mnt)
Under 16 Girls – Jasmine Smith (Gis)
Under 14 Girls – Milly Crewe (Mur)
Under 12 Girls – Elin Tawharu (Mnt)

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 11.17, 1, Caleb Braithwaite (Whtane), 4.17, 2, Daniel Farr (Tara), 4.07, 3, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri), 3.37, 4
Heat 2
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 9.17, 1, McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 6.27, 2, Matt Hansen (Mnt), 5.03, 3, Max Marshall (Chch) , 4.83, 4

Under 16 Boys Final
McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 11.60, 1, Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 10.17, 2, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 9.83, 3, Caleb Braithwaite (Whtane), 3.03, 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Mnt), 10.33, 1, Taine Craig Ranga (Waihi Bch), 7.7, 2, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 5.7, 3, Daniel Farr (Tara), 5.43, 4
Heat 2
Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 10, 1, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 8.53, 2, Xavier Campbell (Dun), 6.77, 3, Harry Macintosh (Waiheke Is), 5.77, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 12.53, 1, Taine Craig Ranga (Waihi Bch), 9.33, 2, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 7.93, 3, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 7.27, 4

Under 12 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1

Kehu Butler (Arataki), 13, 1, William Barnes (Mt), 5.87, 2, Shane Kraus (Piha), 5.43, 3
Heat 2
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.23, 1, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 6.67, 2, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 5.47, 3

Under 12 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 8.93, 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki), 8.57, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 5.97, 3, William Barnes (Mt), 3.4, 4

Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Jasmine Smith (Gis), 9.17, 1, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 7.63, 2, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 6.3, 3, Milly Crewe (Auck), 3.2, 4
Heat 2
Bianca Sansom (Auck), 7.57, 1, Dayna Story (Gis), 6.43, 2, Britt Kindred (Muri), 4.1, 3, Nam Northcott (Tara), 3.07, 4

Under 16 Girls Final
Dayna Story (Gis), 8.10, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 6.47, 2, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 6.47, 3, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 5.37, 4

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Milly Crewe (Muri), 4.83, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 4.8, 2, Jenny Rockwell (Auck), 2.2, 3
Heat 2
Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 8.47, 1, Britt Kindred (Muri), 6.73, 2, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 6.1, 3

Under 14 Girls Final
Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 9.77, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 7.70, 2, Milly Crewe (Muri), 5.67, 3, Britt Kindred (Muri), 4.40, 4

Under 12 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1

Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 8.83, 1, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 4.43, 2, Lucy Pownall (Piha), 2.83, 3
Heat 2
Kea Smith (Tau), 9.17, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 4.77, 2, Holly Marson-Wood (Piha), 2.93, 3

Under 12 Girls Final
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 11.33, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 6.67, 2, Kea Smith (Tau), 5.23, 3, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 4.43, 4


Back To The Beach For the Groms

It was back to the beach for the groms on the first day of the final Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge event being held at Piha today (Saturday 10th March). The small clean swell forced a move north of Lion Rock with the set up located down the beach for a fun day of action in and out of the water.

Despite the less than 1.0m conditions, the groms were throwing tail all day notching up big scores. Dune Kennings (WGM) was one of the top performers of the day winning his early morning heat in the Under 16 Boys Division scoring 14.67 out of 20 points.

Kennings is holding on to slim hopes of winning the series after Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) won the first two events extending a big gap between himself and his opponents.

“It is going to be hard (to win), I have to win the event and he will have to come fourth at best so it is a big ask but we will see tomorrow” said Kennings of his chances well aware how a trip to Australia that is on the line can improve your surfing.

“I haven’t quite secured a win in the Billabong Grom events this summer and I really want to win one. If I catch the biggest and best waves then I will be able to do that.”

Ratings leader Paerata – Reid also won his heat scoring 13.90 points in a solid performance. Paerata – Reid’s fellow New Zealand Junior Surfing Team members Jordan Griffin (BOP) and Harrison Whiteside (Chch) found themselves in the same first round heat. A good tussle ensued with Griffin getting the nod over Whiteside in a low scoring battle.

Other surfers that impressed included Taylor Hutchison (Rag), McKenzie Bowden (WGM) and Bryn Marshall (Ohope).

Kehu Butler lifted the level of his surfing yet again in the Under 12 Boys Division. In his heat, Butler pulled off a big air reverse on the shore dump, emerging from the whitewash with an emphatic claim.

“I was trying them this morning and I wasn’t really making them but I went out in my heat and thought I might as well try the move again” said an almost surprised Butler.

“I was pretty stoked ‘cos I have never really done one in a comp before. It has given me heaps of confidence for tomorrow” Butler added as he looks toward securing a trip to Australia to compete against some of the best young surfers in the world.

Butler’s air reverse scored a near perfect 9.67 point ride which combined with his second scoring ride for a 16.5 point heat total.

Also starring in the Under 12 Boys were Tane Bowden (WGM) and Jared Gerbert (Ohope) who both won their heats to move through to the semifinals where they will meet each other in an attempt to move through to the finals.

The younger two girls divisions, Under 14s and Under 12s had fun over the full tide surfing some screamers that also had the waters-edge crowd in applause. Young local girl Gabriella Paul ripped it up to win her heat in the Under 12s and move through to the semifinals. Paul scored 12.43 points in her heat, the highest of the round with Mount Maunganui’s Kea Smith close behind scoring 12.33 points to win her heat. Coincidentally, the two surfers will meet each other in the second semifinal to be contested on Sunday morning.

Number one ranked Under 14 Girls surfer Milly Crewe (Mur) charged forward in her heat with an easy win to advance her chances of winning the division and trip to Australia. Other winners in the round included fellow Muriwai surfer Britt Kindred and Gisborne’s Abby Falwasser – Logan.

The conditions are expected to remain small on Sunday with the wind swinging to the north. Action will start at 8:00am again with all finals being completed by 2:00pm. Prize giving will be held at the beach after the finals.

Set out below are the results from day one of the final Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Piha Beach today (Saturday 10th March).

Under 16 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Caleb Braithwaite (Whtane), 8.83, 1, Joe Palmer (Kerikeri), 6.37, 2, Isaac Mennie (Auck), 4.17, 3, Blake Haven (Murwai), 3.2, 4
Heat 2
Bryn Marshall (Ohope), 8.97, 1, Ryan Renall (Mangawhai), 8.27, 2, Matt McGreggor (Whngrei), 6.5, 3, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 6.43, 4
Heat 3
Quin Matenga (Mnt), 8, 1, Mitch Kent (Auck), 7.73, 2, Adam Clegg (Tara), 7.4, 3, Joseph Parr (Coro), 3.43, 4
Heat 4
Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha), 13.87, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 10.93, 2, Jack Mills (BOP), 8.9, 3, Riccardo Lucibella (Tara), 6.5, 4
Heat 5
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 14.67, 1, Callum Chuter (Tau), 4.77, 2, Josh Farr (Tara), 4.23, 3, Campbell Ivory (Tairua), 2.83, 4
Heat 6
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11.2, 1, Matt Hansen (Mnt), 9.47, 2, Mahorahora McLeod (Waitara), 7.4, 3, Zane Hicks (Ocean Beach), 2.7, 4
Heat 7
McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 8.2, 1, Max Marshall (Chch) , 7.13, 2, Isaac Kettle (Tara), 7.1, 3, Toa Macdonald (Waitara), 7, 4
Heat 8
Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 8.03, 1, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 7.17, 2, Tom Mason (Auck), 6.7, 3, Blake O’Kane (Papamoa), 4.03, 4

Under 12 Boys Round 1
Heat 1

Jared Gebert (Ohope), 8.67, 1, Shane Kraus (Piha), 8.6, 2, James Ririnui (Mnt), 6.23, 3, Henry Copley (Piha), 4.47, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 16.5, 1, William Barnes (Mt), 6.73, 2, Sam Copley (Piha), 4.97, 3, Taylor O’Leary (Muriwai), 3.87, 4
Heat 3
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 7.53, 1, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 5.63, 2, Kelly Haven (Mur), 5.27, 3, Connor Seaman (Auck), 2.7, 4

Under 14 Boys Round of 28
Heat 1

Reef Matthews (Waitara), 7.8, 1, Kalani Hansen (Ahipara), 7.33, 2, Braedon Louie (Piha), 4.07, 3, Sam Morgan (Auck), 3.4, 4
Heat 2
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 13.43, 1, Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 9, 2, Lewis Mennie (Auck), 3.77, 3, Lloyd Pownall (Auck), 2.33, 4

Under 14 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Britt Kindred (Muri), 7.73, 1, Jenny Rockwell (Auck), 5.97, 2, Tiana Breeze De Mooj (Mnt), 5.5, 3, Asha Skidmore (Piha), 1.8, 4
Heat 2
Milly Crewe (Muri), 7.77, 1, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 6.63, 2, Treyarn Barbarich (Arataki), 2.8, 3, Jana O’Connor (Tara), 0.73, 4
Heat 3
Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 7.1, 1, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 5.8, 2, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 4.97, 3, Kea Smith (Mnt), 4.17, 4

Under 12 Girls Round 1
Heat 1

Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 12.43, 1, Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 8.83, 2, Tiana – Breeze de Mooij (Mnt), 6.83, 3, Liv Redman (Auck), 2.47, 4
Heat 2
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 8.83, 1, Lucy Pownall (Piha), 3.63, 2, Amber Bailey (Auck), 2.7, 3
Heat 3
Kea Smith (Tau), 12.33, 1, Holly Marson-Wood (Piha), 4.23, 2, Iritana Butler (Arataki), 4.07, 3, Kristen Fraser (Piha), 3.37, 4