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Rip Curl Pro Off to Flyer at Raglan

Mount Maunganui's Raiha Ensor. Image courtesy of Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine

New Zealand’s top surfing talent produced some outstanding performances on day one of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona which commenced on Saturday April 13 at Manu Bay Raglan.

A clean 1.5m swell wrapped around the famous point breaks of Raglan with perfect offshore south east winds for much of the day.


New Zealand representative Raiha Ensor (Mount Maunganui) dominated the Open Women’s Division as she advanced through to the final twelve females in the event.  The 2018 National Champion surfed to a 15.2 point heat total in her first round heat to advance alongside South Island junior Estella Hungerford (Chch).

Ensor is lining up a big final day of surfing at the event as she looks to dethrone four time defending champion Ella Williams (WGM). 

Williams also advanced through her match up today with an impressive 14.33 point heat total that was enough to edge her past an excellent performance from local surfer Jessica Santorik who scored 14.17 points.

Others to win their heats included young 17-year-old Kai Woolf (Rag), Piha’s Claudia Fraser and Saffi Vette (Gis).

Late in the afternoon, defending Men’s Champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) reminded the field that they were surfing on his doorstep with the top performance of the day as he went on to post 18.67 out of a possible 20 points.

Stairmand’s backhand surfing is second to none at the Raglan point breaks and his performance on day one proved exactly that.

Billy Stairmand.  Image courtesy of Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine
Another Raglan local in Taylor Hutchison pushed his claim for a finals berth with a 16.27 point heat total to advance to the quarterfinals.  The number one seed finds himself in a big battle early on day two of the event when he faces off against Gisborne legend Maz Quinn, Piha’s Dune Kennings and 15-year-old future star Jayden Willoughby (Rag).

Great Barrier Island surfer Sid West was another standout as the sun went down across the West Coast tonight as he surfed to a 16.37 point heat total to advance alongside Taranaki surfer Daniel Farr.

One of the few goofy foot surfers to excel on day one was Caleb Cutmore (Rag).  He was the only goofy to advance to the quarterfinals from the five round two heats heats contested in the afternoon.  There are only four other goofy surfers remaining in the second round with a chance of joining Cutmore including 2018 runner up Luke Cederman (Rag), Jarred Hancox (Tara), Caleb Cutmore (Mnt) and Tom Norton (Whngrei).

The second round of the Open Men’s Division will resume at 7:50am on Sunday morning to determine the quarterfinalists before the Open Women’s Quarterfinals will commence.  

The Rip Curl GromSearch finals will take place this weekend as well where four young males and females vie for a chance to represent New Zealand at the international final.  Local grom Kora Cooper will lead the way in the Boys Division and he will be up against Myka Black (Chch), Tom Robinson (Whgnrei) and Jack Lee (Whaka).  In the Girls Division, it is another local surfer in Brie Bennett that faces off against Estella Hungerford (Chch), Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and Hannah King (Gis).

The Rip Curl Pro is the first of four straight legs of the National Series with rankings set to change considerably over the next month after the series frequents Dunedin, Christchurch and then returns to Raglan.  See below for the remaining four events of the series.

Emerson’s South Island Championships, Dunedin – 19 – 21 April
Exit Surf Men’s Canterbury Championships, Christchurch (mobile) – 26-28 April
Backdoor Oceanbridge Manu Bay Pro, Raglan – 3-5 May
Backdoor BayBash, location TBC – 16-17 November

The Rip Curl Pro will be broadcast live via Sky Sport 2 on Sunday from 10:30am – 3:00pm.  A replay of the broadcast will be shown on the same channel from 9pm Sunday night.

For the first time in domestic surfing, the TAB is offering odds on the event.  Check out your favourite surfers here with heat odds being offered from the quarterfinals of the Men’s and Semifinals of the Women’s - https://www.tab.co.nz/sports/category/266/all-surfing/matches

The updated draw can be viewed here - http://www.surfingnz.co.nz/event-enter-calendar/

Results from day one of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona held at Manu Bay, Raglan on Saturday 13 April 2019:

Heat 1
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 10.43, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 10.17, 2, Levi O'Connor (Kaik), 10.1, 3, Ryan Magill (Aus), 5.23, 4
Heat 2
Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.07, 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 7.1, 2, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 7.04, 3, Nick Dunne (Tara), 4.74, 4
Heat 3
Maz Quinn (Gis), 14.54, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 12.84, 2, Geoff Hutchison (Rag), 9.94, 3, Sam Courtney (Chch), 8.3, 4
Heat 4
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 14.66, 1, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 11.97, 2, Oli Adams (GB), 10.9, 3, Luis Southerwood , 10, 4
Heat 5
Zen Wallis (Piha), 10.5, 1, Aloysius Lane (Wgtn), 7.03, 2, Bill Byers (Piha), 4.43, 3, Ben Storey (Te Awa), 3.47, 4
Heat 6
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 12.4, 1, Nat Hughes (Rag), 8.7, 2, Jono Magson (Chch), 5.57, 3, Jack Rosewarne (Ham), 2.87, 4
Heat 7
Alex Dive (Mnt), 14, 1, Jack McLeod (Dun), 11.87, 2, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 8.3, 3, Simon Deken (Tara), 2.76, 4
Heat 8
Billy Stairmand (Rag), 16.5, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 14, 2, Matthew Chapman (Jersey), 10.3, 3, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 8.67, 4
Heat 9
Sid West (Gt Barrier), 13.6, 1, Callum Chuter (Mnt), 12.97, 2, Elliott Brown (Dun), 11.94, 3, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 5.67, 4
Heat 10
Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 14.5, 1, Ben Poulter (Rag), 11.9, 2, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 9.14, 3, Deane Hishon (Rag), 7.54, 4
Heat 11
Nick White (Mnt), 14, 1, Fraser Falconer (Auck), 13.5, 2, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 13.37, 3, Conor McLennan (Chch), 8.83, 4
Heat 12
Jarred Hancox (Tara), 13.1, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 11.3, 2, Larry Fisher (Rag), 11.03, 3, Corey Asplin (Ham), 10.14, 4
Heat 13
Tom Norton (Whangarei), 10.3, 1, Miles Ratima (Rag), 9.66, 2, Rian Boyd (Auck), 9.54, 3, William Cooper (Mnt), 9.07, 4
Heat 14
Jack Lee (Whaka), 15.6, 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 14.7, 2, Jacob Saunders (Mnt), 7.86, 3, Myka Black (chch), 6.67, 4
Heat 15
Tom Butland (Tara), 11.6, 1, Waretini Wano (Piha), 10.56, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 8.13, 3, Zayne Stringer (Chch), 7.66, 4
Heat 16
Kora Cooper (Rag), 13.97, 1, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 13.5, 2, Josh Thickpenny (Dun), 10.87, 3, Aloes Joseph Laudes (Rag), 3.53, 4

Open Men’s Round 2 (Heats 1-5 only)
Heat 1

Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 16.27, 1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 13.3, 2, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 12.52, 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 10.63, 4
Heat 2
Maz Quinn (Gis), 14.9, 1, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 14.34, 2, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 13.8, 3, Chris Malone (Gis), 9.63, 4
Heat 3
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 14.03, 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 13.3, 2, Zen Wallis (Piha), 12.7, 3, Jack McLeod (Dun), 9.63, 4
Heat 4
Billy Stairmand (Rag) , 18.67, 1, Alex Dive (Mnt), 12.76, 2, Nat Hughes (Rag), 7.4, 3, Aloysius Lane (Wgtn), 6.6, 4
Heat 5
Sid West (Gt Barrier), 16.37, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 13.8, 2, Jay Piper - Healion (Whiti), 10.96, 3, Fraser Falconer (Auck), 9.66, 4

Open Women’s Division
Heat 1

Brie Bennett (Rag), 12.86, 1, Aimee Brown (GB), 12.63, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 9.33, 3, Symantha Sachs (Rag), 5.9, 4
Heat 2
Saffi Vette (Gis), 11, 1, Lily McDonald (Te Aroha), 6.9, 2, Jess Nicolson (Auck), 4.6, 4, Tia Ngarimu (Whiti), 6.76, 3
Heat 3
Ella Williams (Whmata), 14.33, 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 14.17, 2, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 11.73, 3, Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 9.67, 4
Heat 4
Kai Woolf (Rag), 14.83, 1, Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 11, 2, Ava Henderson (Chch), 9.86, 3, Indica Ratima (Rag), 9.6, 4
Heat 5
Claudia Fraser (Piha), 12.76, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 12.74, 2, Grace Spiers (Whmata), 12.5, 3, Georgia Wederell (Chch), 10.57, 4
Heat 6
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 15.2, 1, Estella Hungerfrd (Chch), 10.4, 2, Alexis Poulter (Waihi Bch), 8.7, 3, Liv Haysom (Piha), 5.5, 4

Complete event write-ups, results, surfer ratings and images from the event can be viewed at Surfing New Zealand.

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