Rip Curl Pro
Presented by Jagermeister
Surfing New Zealand
Manu Bay, Raglan New Zealand
14 - 16 March 2014
Richard Christie Breaks 'Win' Drought Under Threat of Cyclone
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 March, 2014 - Richard Christie has broken a five year drought winning the Rip Curl Pro presented by Jagermeister held at Manu Bay, Raglan. Under dark skies, gale offshore winds and sideways rain thanks to Cyclone Lusi, Christie surfed his way to a win in the Open Men’s Division in the 1.0m – 1.5m waves that built throughout the day.
Christie surfed to a 12.34 point heat total in the final, a modest score for the day but indicative of the challenging conditions as Cyclone Lusi ripped through the Waikato with gusts of 40 knots buffeting the waves. Christie came in from the final unaware that he had won the event.
“I had no idea I won, I was splashing the water in frustration at the end there, I just didn’t know what was happening because of the wind, you couldn’t hear the scores” said a surprised Christie.
“I saw guys getting good waves and I got blown off the back of one real good wave too. I can’t believe it, I haven’t won a comp in five years” said Christie who last won a national event in 2008 at Mount Maunganui.
Christie not only wins a healthy $3,000 in prize money but he wins a trip to Bali and an invitation to compete in the Rip Curl Padang Cup which plays host to some of the best surfers in the world at one of the best waves in the world. “I love Padang, I was in Bali for four months last year so to be able to go back and surf Padang, one of the most perfect waves in the world with only four guys out will be amazing, I can’t wait” said Christie, still in disbelief at his win today.
Placing second in the closely fought final was Matt Hewitt (Mnt) who finished with an 11.50 point heat total. Hewitt was left chasing a 6.51 point ride for the win which would have also broken a drought of sorts, the young surfer not having won a domestic surfing event since his breakthrough win at the 2009 National Championships.
Hewitt held off a late fight from Bobby Hansen (Gis) who was within striking distance of the win requiring a 6.78 point ride but on his last wave came up short scoring 5.33 points out of a possible 10 points. By way of his third placing today, Hansen jumps from third to first on the New Zealand Pro Series ratings.
Double finalist and weekend stand out Elliot Paerata – Reid finished the final in fourth place after surfing his sixth heat of the day. Earlier in the day Christie and Hansen defeated Johnny Hicks (Gis) and Billy Stairmand (Rag) in the first semifinal while Paerata – Reid and Hewitt defeated Maz Quinn (Gis) and Tim O’Connor (Mnt).
A third consecutive win on the New Zealand Pro Series has seen Whangamata surfer Grace Spiers open up a massive lead on the ratings after her victory in the Open Women’s Division today. Spiers first won the National Championships at Gisborne in January before winning the second event at Whangamata in February and now todays win at the Rip Curl Pro.
“Those were some of the most difficult conditions to compete in, you could hardly walk down the rocks let alone surf, on the waves it was hard to stay low and you couldn’t even hit the top of the wave, bit different for the boys who have a bit more weight but definitely hard for us girls” said Spiers.
“Winning three events in a row is pretty amazing. I guess I have been relaxed about competing all summer and it has been good fun. I figure I have had less pressure on me, or put less pressure on myself and it has worked” added Spiers.
Placing second in the final was Jasmine Smith (Gis) who fought her way into runner up over Jessica Santorik (Rag) who finished in third place but held down second for much of the final. Placing fourth in the final was Claudia Fraser (Piha), the youngest surfer in the final.
Elliot Paerata – Reid was a dominant force the entire final day of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Jagermesiter. In the Under 20 Men’s Division he opened up with two nine point rides in the first half of the 25 minute final to leave his opponents stranded and requiring two scoring rides to catch him. His 18.17 point heat total was the highest of the day.
“I have had a real good day as far as scores go. It was good to get two nines so early, from then I was just cruising” said Paerata - Reid. “I actually thought it was a 20 minute final but then had to race back out to sit on Ben in case he got another good one because he was the only surfer that could catch me” he added.
Paerata – Reid is part of the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team who head to Ecuador for the ISA World Junior Championship next month. He has spent the majority of this year in Australia training and competing in preparation for the event. “I am feeling really good leading into the worlds, the wave there in Ecuador is left hand point break too so this is good practice” Paerata – Reid said.
Placing second in the final was Tane Wallis (Piha) who finished with a 15.23 point heat total despite still being combo’ed for the win. Wallis retained his number one ranking on the New Zealand Grom Series rankings as a result of his runner up finish.
Placing third was Ben Poulter (Rag) who was the only surfer not in a combination situation after posting an 8.27 midway through the final. However he was left requiring a near perfect 9.91 point ride. Fellow local Taylor Hutchison placed fourth in the final contesting his first final in the Under 20 Men’s age category.
The Rip Curl Pro presented by Jagermeister includes the now legendary gathering happening tonight at the YOT Club thanks to Jagermeister and Stoke Beer.
See below for final results from the Rip Curl Pro presented by Jagermeister completed at Manu Bay Raglan today (Saturday 15th March).
Open Men’s Division Semifinals
Heat 1 Bobby Hansen (Gis), 13.23, 1, Richard Christie (Mahia), 12.8, 2, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 12.13, 3, Billy Stairmand (Rag) , 11.2, 4
Heat 2 Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 14.8,1, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 14.77, 2, Maz Quinn (Gis), 12.53, 3, Tim O'Connor (Mnt), 10.93, 4
Open Men’s Division Final
Richard Christie (Mahia), 12.33, 1, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (Mnt), 11.50, 2, Bobby Hansen (Gis) 11.10, 3, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 8.27, 4
Open Women’s Semifinals
Heat 1 Grace Spiers (Whmata), 11.5, 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 9.17, 2, Gabriella Sansom (Auck), 4.83, 3, Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 4.2, 4
Heat 2 Jasmine Smith (Gis), 12.1, 1, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 8.57, 2, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 8.43, 3, Abby Falwasser-Logan (Gis), 5.77, 4
Open Women’s Final
Grace Spiers (Whmata), 9.97, 1, Jasmine Smith (Gis), 9.40, 2, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 8.93, 3, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 8.23, 4
Under 20 Men’s Division Finals
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 14.43, 1, Tane Wallis (Piha), 15.23, 2, Ben Poulter (Rag), 18.17, 3, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 7.93, 4