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Mount surfer makes easy work of first heats

Kehu Butler. Image courtesy of Cory / NZ Surfing Magazine.

The hunt for the King and Queen of the Point was temporarily halted on Friday as small surf persisted for much of the day at Raglan, giving the best surfers in New Zealand a day off in anticipation of the building swell over the weekend.

The small conditions saw the three-day King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver kick off with the junior divisions in a big day of surfing contested in small 0.5m – 1.0m swell with light onshore winds.

Mount Maunganui surfer Kehu Butler got to warm up for the men’s rounds today by surfing in the Under 20 Boys Division on Friday and he made easy work of his first heats.

“Waves were pretty fun out there, small conditions but when you got a good one it was super rippable, I come from the Mount so it was rippable for us anyway,” says Butler.

Butler posted a 17.10 point heat total – the highest of the day in his heat which he knows bodes well for when he commences his campaign in the Men’s Division on Friday.

“I will take these heats as warm ups for today, kinda get a gauge of Manu Bay a little bit more with only a few people out, it’s just good to be back in competition and it should be a good day tomorrow with the waves coming up and everything, it will be fun."

Joining Butler in the semifinals will be Tom Butland (Tara), Kora Cooper (Rag) and Luke Griffin (Mnt).  The first semifinal will feature Caleb Cutmore (Rag), Josef Jungwirth (Rag), Luis Southerwood (Whaka) and Cassidy Mann (Auck).

Christchurch surfer Ava Henderson dominated in her two heats for the day as well, advancing to the semifinals of the Under 20 Girls Division and Under 16 Girls Division.

Henderson posted an 11.93 point heat total in her Under 20s heat with some critical vertical backhand surfing. 

Henderson will face off against another early standout in Saffi Vette (Gis) as well as Georgia Wederell (Mnt) and local surfer Brie Bennett (Rag). 

The second semifinal sees Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) face off against Kai Woolf (Rag), Gabi Paul (Piha) and Aimee Brown (Grt Barrier).

The race for the overall series win in the Under 16 Boys Division remains alive with all three front runners advancing through to the semifinals. 

Kora Cooper and Jayden Willoughby of Raglan advanced as did the goofy footed Finn Vette (Gis).  If any of the three surfers can win the event, they will win the overall series.

Henderson and Gouldsbury will contest the same semifinal of the Under 16 Girls Division with Liv Haysom (Piha), the third surfer in the title race. 

The three surfers face off against several young up and comers that will be looking for an upset progression through to the final.

Saturday will see the introduction of New Zealand’s top surfers with Billy Stairmand (Rag), Ricardo Christie (Gis), Paige Hareb (Tara) and Ella Williams (WGM) all entering the water on Saturday. Junior divisions will continue with the semifinal rounds too.

The King and Queen of the Point boasts $15,000 in prize money as the richest event of the year and with maximum national ranking points on offer.

The King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver will take three full days of surfing to complete with all finals being held on Sunday.

Please see below for results from day one of the King and Queen of the Point presented by Backdoor and Quiksilver held at Manu Bay, Raglan on Friday. 

Full results can be viewed here.

Heat 1
Luis Southerwood, 11.7, 1, Cassidy Mann (Auck), 9.67, 2, Jackson Peak (Auck), 9.1, 3, Reuben Lyons (Kaik), 6.8, 4
Heat 2
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 15.2, 1, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 13.3, 2, Jack Lee (Whaka), 11.5, 3, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 8.6, 4
Heat 3
Tom Butland (Tara), 10.1, 1, Kora Cooper (Rag), 9.73, 2, Navryn Malone (Rag), 8.7, 3, Finn Vette (Gis), 8.63, 4
Heat 4
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 17.1, 1, Luke Griffin (Mnt), 12.2, 2, Jack Hinton (Mnt), 9.27, 3, Taylor O'Leary (Mur), 4.5, 4

Under 20 Women’s Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Brie Bennett (Rag), 10.9, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 5.7, 2, Pia Rogers (WGM), 4.13, 3, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 3.63, 4
Heat 2
Ava Henderson (Chch), 11.9, 1, Kai Woolf (Rag), 10.3, 2, Anna Brock (Mnt), 7.56, 3, Chloe Groube (Pau), 5.57, 4
Heat 3
Gabrielle Paul (Piha), 11.5, 1, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 6.67, 2, Leia Millar (Piha), 5.93, 3, Ariana Shewry (Oakura), 4.84, 4
Heat 4
Aimee Brown (GB), 11.9, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 10.3, 2, Zhana Hutchieson (Tara), 7.56, 3, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 5.57, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Navryn Malone (Rag), 11.4, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 9.17, 2, Dale Cromhout (Hbay), 9.04, 3, Braedon Webster (Ohope), 5.3, 4
Heat 2
Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 15.1, 1, Bill Byers (Piha), 10, 2, Jai Wallis (Piha), 8.83, 3, Taj Dal Bosco (WGM), 6, 4
Heat 3
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 11.8, 1, Indica Corcoran (Mnt), 9.73, 2, Kalani Louis (Tara), 9.2, 3, Luke Rogers (Dun), 6.2, 4
Heat 4
Kora Cooper (Rag), 14.3, 1, Finn Vette (Gis), 10.3, 2, Jack Tyro (Chch), 6.94, 3, Luke Dymond (Mnt), 4.67, 4

Under 16 Girls Division Quarterfinals
Heat 1
Ava Henderson (Chch), 10.1, 1, Lola Groube (Pau), 6.87, 2, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 6.5, 3, Alani Morse (Orewa), 4.9, 4
Heat 2
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 10.4, 1, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 4.32, 2, Isabella Milne (WGM), 2.77, 3
Heat 3
Liv Haysom (Piha), 10.3, 1, Pia Rogers (WGM), 7.36, 2, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 4.43, 3, Lily Everett (Rag), 1.93, 4
Heat 4
Maya Mateja (Rag), 7.7, 1, Chloe Groube (Pau), 7.2, 2, Leia Millar (Piha), 5.7, 3, Anna Brock (Mnt), 1.8, 4

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