New Zealand Team Mates Return to Winners Circle
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 February, 2017 - New Zealand team mates Taylor Hutchison (Rag) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt) have returned to the winners circle in the second event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Piha today, both claiming their respective Under 20’s Division.
The surf never built as quick as expected but the surf increased from 1.0m early in the morning as the tide went out in the afternoon and the sea breeze increased. Hutchison opened up a quick lead in his final with his precision backhand scoring 17.0 points out of 20 in the first ten minutes to combo his opponents.
“I was pretty nervous coming into this event but after the first heat it was a good feeling to get a rhythm back and then to take it out was real good” said Hutchison.
“The first ten minutes of the final was real good but then it got too low and I didn’t get any good scores. I wanted to be patient out there but a good start is always so important” he added of his strategy going in to the final.
Daniel Farr (Tara) fought back after a slow in the Under 20 Boys Final but he never found the right waves to challenge Hutchison and ended up with back-to-back runner up finishes for the series. Callum Chuter (Mnt) finished in third place narrowly edged out by Farr with the winner of the first event, Harrison Whiteside (Chch), backing up with another finals result and fourth place overall.
Mount Maunganui’s Raiha Ensor returned to domestic competition this weekend after a long stint in Australia competing in the Pro Junior and World Qualifying Series events. Today, Ensor looked super strong in her performance posting a 13.40 heat total.
“I haven’t had the best luck in Australia and have hardly made it out of the first round so it is good coming home to familiar events you know and getting through heats and then winning the final is real good too” said Ensor, who heads back to Australia this week to compete in two more Pro Junior events.
Placing second in the final was Raglan surfer Indica Ratima who put in her best competitive performance ever at the event. Milly Crewe (Tara) returned to competition to place third in the final with Claudia Fraser (Piha) in fourth.
Elliot Brown (Dun) was the only surfer to win back-to-back events this weekend taking out a close final in the Under 17 Boys Division with a 15.63 point heat total. Brown went wave-for-wave with Dylan Preston (Mnt) but snuck the win. Preston posted an 8.67 point ride on his first wave but was unable to find the required 6.98 to claim the win after he fell on his final turn of the final to score 6.03. William Van Der Beek (Mnt) went one better than the first round of the series to finish third ahead of local surfer Shane Kraus in fourth.
After a runner-up finish at the first event of the series, Elin Tawharu (Mnt) looked like she was surfing with purpose in the final today and scored 13.33 points out of a possible 20 to take the victory. As a result of the win, she also jumps in to the lead on the rankings. Fellow Mount Maunganui surfer Tiana Breeze de Mooij placed second in the final after strong performances all weekend. Winner of the first event, Saffi Vette (Gis) placed third in the final ahead of first time finalist Aimee Brown (Great Barrier) in fourth.
Whangarei surfer Tom Robinson found himself atop the Under 14 Boys Division after massive final that saw Tom Butland (Tara) incur an interference that cost him the final. Despite the interference Butland fought back out of a combination situation hunting down Robinson’s 13.87 point heat total. Butland posted a near perfect 9.67 but fell on his final wave requiring an 8.42. The Raglan pairing of Josef Jungwirth and Navryn Malone finished in third and fourth respectively.
Oakura surfer Ariana Shewry claimed the Under 14 Girls Division after she came from behind with a 9.33 point ride at the end of the heat. Runner up Brie Bennett (Rag) looked set to keep her undefeated run going with a 13.07 point heat total until Shewry went on a rampage. Finishing in third was Gisborne surfer Hannah King with Anna Brock (Mnt) in fourth.
Under 20 Boys Final
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 17.0, 1, Daniel Farr (Tara), 12.93, 2, Callum Chuter (Mnt), 12.87, 3, Harrison Whiteside (Chch), 10.53, 4
Under 17 Boys Final
Elliot Brown (Dun), 15.63, 1, Dylan Preston (Mnt), 14.73, 2, William Van Der Beek (Mnt), 9.87, 3, Shane Kraus (Piha), 9.83, 4
Under 14 Boys Final
Tom Robinson (Whangarei), 13.87, 1, Tom Butland (Tara), 13.75, 2, Josef Jungwirth (Rag), 12.60, 3, Navryn Malone (Rag), 12.06, 4
Under 20 Girls Final
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 13.4, 1, Indica Ratima (Rag), 10.27, 2, Milly Crewe (Tara), 9.8, 3, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 8.73, 4
Under 14 Girls Finals
Ariana Shewry (Tara), 14.6, 1, Brie Bennett (Rag), 13.1, 2, Hannah King (Gis), 4.43, 3, Anna Brock (Mnt), 2.23, 4