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Top seeds thrive In clean Whangamata conditions

Kora Cooper. Image courtesy of PhotoCPL.



Top seeds excelled in the clean waves of Whangamata at the second event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held on Saturday.

Event one winner Kora Cooper from Raglan posted two nine-point-rides to open his campaign relishing the chance to surf in the 1.0m waves with glassy surface conditions. 

Kora’s backhand attack notched up the highest score of the day and set the platform for his opponents to also rack up some big scores whilst advancing through to the quarterfinals.

Jayden Willoughby’s performance was narrowly behind Kora with posting a 17.33 point heat total to win his heat advancing alongside Ben Moretti (Ahipara).  Tom Robinson (Whgnrei), Finn Vette (Gis), Jack Hinton (Mnt) and Josef Jungwirth (Rag) all followed suit with big first round scores.  The six surfers start to match up in the quarterfinals where more explosive surfing is set to excite the crowds.

Piha’s Liv Haysom impressed in the Under 18 Girls Division surfing to a 14.1 point heat total advancing through to the finals alongside event one winner Brie Bennett (Rag) who finished in second with a 7.53 heat score. 

Taranaki surfer Ariana Shewry pushed through the second semifinal notching up 11.0 points out of a possible 20.  Ariana advanced with Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara).


Leia Millar.  Image courtesy of PhotoCPL.
It was another Piha surfer in Leia Millar who dominated the Under 16 Girls Division surfing to a 13.33 point heat total to open her account.  Anna Brock (Mnt) clinched a close win over Ava Henderson (Chch) in their match up with both surfers advancing.

Taranaki’s Skylar McFetridge and Ariana Schafer progressed through their heats making their first appearance in the Billabong Grom Series while winner of the first event, Asia Braithwaite (Gis) also moved through in hope of making it to another final.

The Under 16 Boys Division saw several big match ups as the young surfers moved through the preliminary rounds.  Will Hardie (Piha) put together a clean heat to post a 14.3 point heat win.  Tao Mouldey (Mnt), Tai Erceg – Gray (Whngrei) and Jack McKenzie (Chch) also made easy work of their early heats with comprehensive wins.

Late in the day, both divisions of the Under 14 contested their first rounds capping off a 45-heat day maximising the fading swell and daylight well into the evening.

The surf is expected to decrease significantly overnight with small waves on offer for the final day today.  Action started at 8am in the morning with finals due to commence at approximately 1pm.

This weekend marks the second of three events in the series which started at Mount Maunganui two weeks ago and finishes at Piha, Auckland at the end of February.

Please see below for result from day one of the second event of the Billabong Grom Series pres by Oceanbridge held at Whangamata Saturday February 13.

The full draw can be viewed here.

Under 18 Boys Round of 28
Heat 1

Kobey Gregory (Hbay), 7.27, 1, Jean Viljoen (Mnt), 6.9, 2, Tobias Murfitt (H Bay), 4.67, 3, Lennox McBride (Mnt), 4.56, 4
Heat 2
Ben Moretti (Ahipara), 13.7, 1, Cameron Broad (HBay), 6.57, 2, Jarvis Camenzind (Rag), 3.4, 3, Cory Frost (Rag), 2.13, 4

Under 18 Boys Division Round of 24
Heat 1

Kora Cooper (Rag), 18.1, 1, Ari D'Anvers (Whngrei), 11.76, 2, Luca Rendle (Hbay), 7.8, 3, Jean Viljoen (Mnt), 6.13, 4
Heat 2
Jack Hinton (Mnt), 13.66, 1, Isaac Klein - Ovink (Mnt), 9.2, 2, Joshua Wynne-Lewis (HB), 7.4, 3, Max de Groot (HBay), 5.9, 4
Heat 3
Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 13.27, 1, Jacob Saunders (Mnt), 12.04, 2, Jackson Peak (Auck), 10.8, 3, Kobey Gregory (Hbay), 6.57, 4
Heat 4
Jayden Willoughby (Rag), 17.33, 1, Ben Moretti (Ahipara), 11.07, 2, Te Kauwhata Kauwhata (Whngtrei), 10.87, 3, Valentin Gadras (Rag), 7.1, 4
Heat 5
Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 13.64, 1, Thomas Charlesworth (Whngrei), 10.9, 2, Jai Wallis (Piha), 9.17, 3, Harper McBride (Mnt), 7.03, 4
Heat 6
Finn Vette (Gis), 14.83, 1, Connor Van Der Pol (Mnt), 8.5, 2, Cameron Broad (HBay), 4.47, 3, Charlie Webb (Auck), 2.53, 4

Under 16 Boys Round of 40
Heat 1

Riku Gordon (Mah), 10.70, 1, Luke Dymond (Mnt), 9.20, 2, Eli Livingston (Gis), 8.90, 3, Lucian Martin (Auck), 5.20, 4
Heat 2
William Rawcliff, 6.10, 1, Will Lockhart (Whiti), 5.33, 2, Luke Mitchell (Mnt), 3.83, 3, Otis Baxter (WGM), 3.04, 4
Heat 3
Thomas Crockford (Mnt), 8.00, 1, Flynn McGregor, 7.03, 2, Nate Florence (Tara), 6.20, 3, Tawhia Wellby (Rag), 4.40, 4
Heat 4
Ryder Pennington (Tara), 12.20, 1, Kalani Watts (Tara), 9.20, 2, Hugo Sale (Auck), 7.46, 3, Ollie Greetis (Rag), 6.00, 4

Under 16 Boys Division Round of 32
Heat 1

Tai Murphy (Whaka), 12.27, 1, Spencer Rowson (Tara), 10.67, 2, Riku Gordon (mah), 8.13, 3, Mali Millen (Tai), 6.13, 4
Heat 2
Jack McKenzie (Chch), 13.00, 1, Jack Tyro (Chch), 9.26, 2, Luke Dymond (Mnt), 7.46, 3, Eden Mainwaring (WGM), 7.17, 4
Heat 3
Will Hardie (Piha), 14.3, 1, Beau Woods (Mnt), 8.5, 2, William Rawcliff, 6, 3, Evan Broad (HBay), 4.03, 4
Heat 4
Tai Erceg - Gray (Whngrei), 13.66, 1, Navryn Malone (Rag), 9.84, 2, Will Lockhart (Whiti), 5.80, 3, George Laery (Mnt), 4.64, 4
Heat 5
Tao Mouldey (Mnt), 14.66, 1, Tana Clapham (Rag), 8.87, 2, Noah Camburn (Whaka), 8.57, 3, Thomas Crockford (Mnt), 5.90, 4
Heat 6
Ben Fougere (Piha), 10.93, 1, Izak Hayes (Whngrei), 10.56, 2, Flynn McGregor, 6.27, 3, Levi Waller (Pau), 6.13, 4
Heat 7
Bill Byers (Piha), 10.83, 1, Ryder Pennington (Tara), 10.50, 2, Cooper Ashill (Whngrei), 9.70, 3, Braedon Webster (Ohope), 7.20, 4
Heat 8
Mathias Thompson (Piha), 8.83, 1, Kaden Littlejohn (Kati), 7.14, 2, Leo Hobson (Mur), 6.33, 3, Kalani Watts (Tara), 3.60, 4

Under 18 Girls Division Semifinals
Heat 1

Liv Haysom (Piha), 14.1, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 7.53, 2, Alice Westerkamp (Auck), 5.74, 3
Heat 2
Ariana Shewry (Tara), 11, 1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), 7.1, 2, Lydia Hawes (W.C), 5.84, 3

Under 16 Girls Division Round 1
Heat 1

Leia Millar (Piha), 13.33, 1, Ariana Schafer (Tara), 6.83, 2, Sophia Brock (Mnt), 6.3, 3, Jess Haysom (Piha), 5.23, 4
Heat 2
Anna Brock (Mnt), 10.93, 1, Ava Henderson (Chch), 10.33, 2, Amanda Gouldsbury (Tara), 3.73, 3
Heat 3
Skylar McFetridge (Tara), 8.84, 1, Asia Braithwaite (Gis), 7.63, 2, Pia Rogers (WGM), 5.96, 3, Isla Prinns (Auck), 4.53, 4

The Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge offers three of nine events nationwide where grommets can take part before the final in May which caters for the top 16 boys and eight girls in the Under 18 and 16 Divisions.

The sixteenth edition of the series draws on a long history of fun with all of New Zealand’s current crop of elite surfers having taken part including Richard Christie (Gis), Paige Hareb (Tara), Billy Stairmand (Rag), Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Ella Williams (WGM).

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