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New Zealand's Backdoor BayBash names champions

Matt Hewitt in action during the Backdoor BayBash.  Image courtesy of Matthew Beames.
Matt Hewitt: Image courtesy of Matthew Beames/Surfing New Zealand




Backdoor BayBash

NZ Pro Series and NZ Grom Series rated event
Waimarama Beach or Te Awanga, Hawkes Bay New Zealand
29 - 30 October, 2016

Hewitt and Kindred Win at Hawkes Bay

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 October, 2016 - Matt Hewitt (Mnt) and Britt Kindred (Mur) have claimed the final event of the New Zealand Pro Series at Hawkes Bay winning their respective Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions at the Backdoor BayBash.
The final day of the event was relocated from Waimarama Beach to the right hand point break of Te Awanga after the day dawned with clean lines of up to 1.0m running down the point.  The swell faded throughout the day but conditions were clean and the point break options offered up some excellent scoring opportunities.
Hewitt finished the final with an 18.13 point heat total to claim the title but it was a slow start for the New Zealand representative that had him worried early in the final.
“She was a bit of a slow start today, I only got my first wave with 12 minutes to go in the final but when you actually got the waves they were good” said Hewitt.  “I am stoked to win the Backdoor BayBash, it has been a long time since I have won anything so that makes the trip down all the more better” he added making specific mention of how cool the small city is and also the fun waves that were on offer for much of the day.
It was runner up surfer Chris Malone (Rag) that kicked off the final with an 8.83 point ride and early lead but his patience game left him requiring a big score at the end of the heat after Hewitt built on his slow start.
Waihi Beach surfer Levi Stewart finished the final in third place and was a form surfer for much of the weekend before waves deserted him in the final.  Ben Kennings (WGM) finished the final in fourth.
The Open Women’s Division final was more of a head-to-head battle with Kindred fighting for the title against Raiha Ensor (Mnt).  Kindred eventually got the nod with a 15.03 point heat total over Ensor’s 14.53.  
“I had a rough start in the Under 20 Girls Division this weekend but that fired me up to do better in the Open Women’s Division, so it was good in the long run and it made me determined to win the Open Women’s Division final” said Kindred.
“I am happy with the win, it is my second of the year after winning the South Island Champs.  Last year I got a lot of runner up finishes so it is good to convert them in to wins this year” added Kindred who  was more than happy to experience a righthand point break for a competition compared to the numerous lefthanders experienced around the New Zealand coastline.
Finishing third in the final was Billie Scott (Whangarei) ahead of triple finalist Saffi Vette (Gis) in fourth.
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) surfed to a perfect ten point ride to clinch the Under 20 Boys Division.  After a move further up the point, Tawharu swung on one of the best waves of the day and unleashed a seamless five turn combination on his backhand to get the perfect score.  Tawharu finished with a 16.0 point heat total.  Tawharu eclipsed Taylor Hutchison (Rag) in second, Callum Chuter (Mnt) in third and Andrew Fraser – Mackenzie (Mnt) in fourth.

Kai Woolf (Gis) had a victorious return to New Zealand waters after spending the entire winter in her South African homeland but returning to claim the Under 20 Girls Division.  Woolf posted a 12.90 point total in the final to beat her good friend Saffi Vette (Gis) in second, Georgia Wederell (Mnt) in third and Billie Scott (Whangarei) in fourth.
Piha’s Shane Kraus claimed his first national win of the year in the Under 17 Boys Division.  The smooth surfer latched on to the two best waves in the final with waves quickly getting gobbled up by the incoming tide.  Kraus finished runner up at one event held in home waters this year but was pleased to top the podium this weekend after posting 12.77 points out of a possible 20 in the final.  Kraus defeated New Zealand representatives Jared Gebert (Ohope) and Lee Ririnui (Mnt) who finished in second and third respectively with Whakatane surfer Jack Lee in fourth.

Raiha Ensor Claimed one of two finals she contested in the Under 17 Girls Division.  Ensor was far too strong for her opponents posting 12.83 out of a possible 20 points for the win.  Kai Woolf (Gis) placed second in the final ahead of Saffi Vette (Gis) in third and Gabi Paul (Piha) in fourth.

Kora Cooper (Rag) transferred his point break skills from the Raglan lefts to the Te Awanga rights with perfection winning the Under 14 Boys Division.  It is the second NZ Grom Series win in a row for the young surfer after he claimed the same division at the Backdoor GromBash at Raglan in May.  Getting the edge on a count back was Oakura surfer Tom Butland who finished in second ahead of Tom Robinson (Whangarei) in third and Josef Jungwirth (Rag) in fourth.


Open Men’s Division Final
Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 18.13, 1, Chris Malone (Rag), 14.63, 2, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 10.9, 3, Ben Kennings (Whmata), 10.5, 4

Under 20 Boys Division Final
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 16.0, 1, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 10.13, 2, Callum Chuter (Tau), 8.3, 3, Andrew Fraser - MacKenzie (Tau), 8.17, 4

Under 17 Boys Division Final
Jack Lee (Whaka), 12.77, 1, Jared Gebert (Ohope), 10.73, 2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt), 6.57, 3, Shane Kraus (Piha), 5.73, 4

Under 14 Boys Division Final
Kora Cooper (Rag), 9.6, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 8.47, 2, Tom Robinson (Whngrei), 8.47, 3, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 6.03, 4

Open Women’s Division Final
Britt Kindred (Mur), 15.03, 1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 14.53, 2, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 9.3, 3, Saffi Vette (Gis), 8.8, 4

Under 20 Girls Division Final
Kai Woolf (Gis), 12.9, 1, Saffi Vette (Gis), 6.8, 2, Georgia Wederell (Mnt), 5.5, 3, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 2.8, 4

Under 17 Girls Division Final
Raiha Ensor (Mnt),12.83, 1, Kai Woolf (Gis), 8.43, 2, Saffi Vette (Gis), 7.7, 3, Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 3.93, 4

Ben Kennings

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