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Corona Pro at Mount Maunganui commences on Friday



Maz Quinn : photo NZ Surfing Magazine

Corona Crown Series #3

Surfing New Zealand
Mount Maunganui New Zealand
13 - 15 February 2009

Star Studded Line Up For Corona Pro

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 February, 2009 : - - New Zealand’s best surfers line up to contest the Corona Pro at Mount Maunganui commencing Friday.  The three day event has attracted the best surfers in New Zealand including current Corona Crown Series ratings leader Maz Quinn (Gis), new National Champion and home town favourite Matt Hewitt as well as New Zealand’s highest ranked surfer on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) Bobby Hansen (Gis).

The Corona Pro takes place from the 13th – 15th of February and is the third of six events on the Corona Crown Series for 2008/09. Despite an ordinary performance at the Hyundai National Champs presented by Quiksilver, Maz Quinn still leads the ratings and goes into the Corona Pro as the number one seed.

Quinn placed second at the first event of the year and ninth at the Nationals which is not the ultimate start to the year considering he won three of the six events on last years Corona Crown Series.  However this weekend could mark the event that he turns things around.

“Well it doesn’t sound as though conditions will be epic but it would be good to get a win under my belt and extend my lead on the ratings” commented Quinn.

“A win is a win even though this event is only a four star.  The winner of the series will need to do well in the key six star rated events as well” added Quinn on the overall goal of finishing number one on the Corona Crown Series.  The last three events of the series are rated higher meaning more points and prize money on offer.

Of the talent laden field Quinn noted the small conditions will suit the small guys under 60kg but that he has some good ‘grovel boards’ so is keen to see how things pan out. Young local giant killer Matt Hewitt is back at home after opting out of his international commitments in Australia to contest the Corona Pro this weekend.

“It is definitely good to be competing back at home ‘cos you know your own break better than anywhere else.  Plus you have your home comforts and you don’t have to hang at the beach in the sun all day which can be taxing on the body” commented Hewitt.

Hewitt’s run of form since winning his national title in January has continued.  Last week Hewitt surfed to 17th place in an event on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series, his best result to date.  The series caters for surfers under the age of 20 and at 17 years of age, Hewitt is starting to make inroads into what many regard as the toughest proving ground in the world.

Known as a very proficient small wave surfer, Hewitt echoed Quinn in regards to who should excel in these conditions “Yeah it will suit the young local boys.  You will have to be light footed and have good wave selection because there aren’t many waves coming through at the moment”. Hewitt is only back in the country until Monday when he flies out to Hawaii for two weeks training on the North Shore of Oahu.

Bobby Hansen, winner of the O’Neill Sequence Surf Shop Pro the first event on the Corona Crown Series is also back in New Zealand after missing the National Champs.  Hansen is New Zealand’s top ranked male surfer on the WQS at 79th and is already gearing up for another massive year travelling the world trying to qualify for the ASP World Tour.

Other surfers to look out for this weekend will be the likes of Richard Christie (Gis) who won the event in 2008, local surfers Nick White and Tim O’Connor and Gauranga Ormond (WGM).

Jessica Santorik (Rag) will lead the Women into the event as the number one seed.  Santorik won the first event of the Corona Crown Series and was also runner up to Daisy Thomas (Chch) at the Nationals.  By winning the title, Thomas reversed the results of the first event.

Santorik and Thomas will do battle again this weekend and attempt to fend off a bunch of fellow combatants including 2008 Corona Crown Series and defending event champ Mischa Davis (Piha), Jayda Martin Fitzharris (Gis) and local surfer Laura Rishworth (Mnt).

The Junior Division takes on a new look in 2009 with the age bracket being lifted to Under 20.  The change in age was made to coincide with the ASP and also to bridge the gap between the previous Under 18 Boys Division and the Open Men where many surfers were lost to competition due to the large age gap.

The change has seen a bunch of excited teenagers rush to get their entry in and contest the division.  The likes of Tim O’Connor (Mnt) and Paco Divers (Sandy Bay) are two surfers that will take advantage of the new age bracket.

Small swell is again predicted for this weekend as the East Coast unseasonably ‘dry spell’ of quality surf continues.  The Billabong Pro was to be staged at Whangamata at the end of January but had to be postponed due to lack of surf and this weekend’s forecast is only slightly better.

There is a low pressure system moving across the country on Thursday.  There is a front associated with this system and it will be accompanied by strong northerly winds.  Although the wind is short lived, forecasts predict a small increase in swell for Friday – the first day of the event.

There is a further south east swell forecast to build on the Sunday and while that direction is not ideal for Mount Maunganui, it is anticipated that the swell will build.

See below for the top surfers on the 2008/09 Corona Crown Series ratings after two of six events.    

Open Men’s
1, Maz Quinn (Gis)
2, Gauranga Ormond (Whmata)
3, Matt Hewitt (Mnt)
4, Luke Cederman (Rag)
5, Chris Malone (Gis)
6, Blair Stewart (Gis)
7, Tim O'Connor (Mnt)
8, Leon Santorik (Rag)
9, Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
10, Keone Campbell (Tara)
11, Ryan Hawker (Piha)
12, Dan Scott (Whmata)
13, Bobby Hansen (Gis)
13, Kierin Van Der Helder (Rag)
15, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay)
16, Jay Quinn (Gis)

Open Women’s
1, Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2, India Wray- Murane (Muri)
3, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis)
4, Laura Rishworth (Mnt)
5, Daisy Thomas (ChCh)
6, Alexis Poulter (Rag)
7, Ella Williams (Whmata)
8, Rosa Thompson (Auck)
9, Thandi Durham (Tara)
10, Nicola Colson-Koster (Auck)


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