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Billabong Pro & big surf to hit Whangamata New Zealand


Matt Scorringe : photo NZ Surfing Magazine

Billabong Pro

Surfing New Zealand
Whangamata New ZealandLine 2
26 - 27 January 2008

Billabong Pro Means Big Swell, Best Surfers

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 January, 2008 : - - The Quinn’s have snatched wins in the first two events of the Corona Crown Series this year but New Zealand’s top surfers get another chance at a title this weekend when the Billabong Pro comes to Whangamata. 

The three day event is set to be held in big conditions with a low pressure system coming down from the tropics hot on the heals of tropical cyclone Funa which crossed the country earlier this week.  The Billabong Pro holds the highest possible six star rating meaning over $15,000 in cash prizes and valuable points on offer to competitors.

Runner up at last weekend’s National Champs and local Whangamata surfer Matt Scorringe has hit a rich vein of form and could go one better this weekend with his aerial approach honed on his hometown waves. “Yeah the result last weekend was a huge boost but now I got the second placing I want to go one better!” commented Scorringe. 

“The comp is in my backyard too and I have a good idea of how the wave breaks.  If a good section comes towards me I know exactly what I will be doing” Scorringe further iterated relating to his aerial repertoire. The hometown advantage often works in some guys favour but with it comes the added pressure of having many friends and family watching you as well as the local media and that can hang expectation over your head. 

However Scorringe suggests that he has learnt to deal with that expectation unlike the past “Yeah it used to weigh on my shoulders a bit but I don’t give a damn now” commented Scorringe further suggesting that good results will be determined by “whoever gets the best waves”.

Scorringe who currently sits at number two on the Corona Crown Series ratings will have his work cut out for him this weekend with the event drawing together the best surfers from around the country.  The Gisborne trio of the Quinn brothers Maz and Jay along with Bobby Hansen re always a force to be reckoned with and the big swells should provide the perfect platform for exceptional surfing. 

Jay Quinn travelled around the country with Scorringe in the lead up to his national title last week.  They trained and surfed together and had discussed a possible one-two finish at the event.  The Billabong Pro is the last national event for Quinn before he heads back to Australia for the year and another good result would set him up for the start of the World Qualifying Series.

The Raglan contingent of Zennor Wernham, Luke Cederman, Leon Santorik and Luke Hughes will hope to find waves with some type of form that resembles the Raglan point breaks although forecasts suggest waves of that quality may be hard to come by. 

The Mount surfers such as Sam Willis, Nick White and Mark Dovey will have been getting more than their fair share of practice in beach break conditions with the recent run of swell on the East Coast and that could see them produce good results.

Fellow Mount surfer Matt Hewitt is flying back from Australia after having been competing on the Australasian Pro Junior Tour for the past two weeks.  This morning (Wednesday) Hewitt was eliminated from the event currently being held at Burleigh Heads placing 73rd.  This weekend Hewitt will contest both the Open Men’s and Junior Men’s divisions and come up against new Junior National Champion Sean Peggs (Tairua). 

Peggs was on fire on his way to winning the title and along with fellow finalists Buck Woods (Gis) Johnny Hicks (Gis) and Alex Dive (Mnt) they will make Hewitt’s reintroduction to New Zealand waters challenging.  The junior surfers also have added incentive to perform this weekend with national selection less than a month away.

Daisy Thomas (Chch) currently leads the Corona Crown Series ratings and she will hope to extend this lead in the weekend.  Rated second on the Corona Crown Series, Jessica Santorik (Rag) placed fifth at the National Champs and will want to improve on this result to keep in close contact with Thomas. 

New National Champ Angie Koops (Kaik) remains in the country until she returns to university in Australia in February.  Koops was a standout at the National Champs and will want to prove that her result last week was not a one off. 

The schedule for the weekend not only includes three days of the best New Zealand surfers hitting the Whangamata waves but also the famous Corona after party at the Palms Tavern on Saturday night.  Sunday night sees the introduction of the Von Zipper Bikini Quest at the Embassy with $1000 up for grabs as well as a New Zealand Surfing Magazine calendar shoot.


WHAT:  The 2008 Billabong Pro is the third of six events on the Corona Crown Series for 2007/08.
WHEN:  Saturday 26th – Monday 28th of January 2008.
WHERE: Whangamata Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula.  The event will be hosted by Whangamata Boardriders.
WHO:  100 of the best surfers around New Zealand including Maz and Jay Quinn, Bobby Hansen and Matt Scorringe.

FORMAT:  Standard event format with four man heats and 50% progression in all three divisions.  Finals will be staged on Monday the 28th of January conditions permitting.

STATUS:  The Billabong Pro is rated Six Star on the Corona Crown Series and sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand.  The top males and females after five events get to compete in the Corona Super 16 at Piha – a two day invitational event for the top surfers in New Zealand that this year includes a clubs challenge as well as a north versus south shoot out.

For more information on the event please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email  Media releases will be distributed at the end of each days surfing.  High resolution action images will be available to media free of charge courtesy of New Zealand Surfing Magazine.

The event is proudly sponsored by Billabong, Corona, Kustom, Von Zipper, Coke, MTV, and Panasonic. Surfing New Zealand are proudly partnered by Corona, Hyundai, SPARC & Smokefree.



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Ben Kennings

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