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Hicks & Poulter claim Rip Curl GromSearch New Zealand



Blake Myers : photo NZ Surfing Magazine

Rip Curl GromSearch Taranaki

Taranaki's Back Beach New Zealand
26 - 27 April 2008

Hicks & Poulter claim Rip Curl GromSearch New Zealand

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 April, 2008 : - - Gisborne’s Johnny Hicks accomplished exactly what he wanted to this weekend at the first event of the Rip Curl GromSearch at Taranaki’s Back Beach.  Hicks walked away victorious in the under 16 boys division claiming a place in the Rip Curl GromSearch national final to be held early next year.

Hicks was unstoppable on the final day of the event.  If it appeared that he had some help from up above then that may have been the case as he explained after his win. “I just asked my granddad to send the good waves my way in the final and he did” commented Hicks referring to his granddad that passed away last week.

Hicks posted a total heat score of 14.6 in the final to outpoint local surfer Mark Pathemore.  “He was using his local knowledge to get those good lefthanders and it worked well for him.  I made sure that I stuck close by because I knew he would be on to the good ones” commented Hicks.

Hicks unleashed some powerful forehand turns in the final sending spray skyward.  His fast surfing stood out from the others and the judges awarded him appropriately. Pathemore was a late entrant in the event but marched his way through a big field of surfers dominating his semifinal to win before placing runner up in the final.  Pathemore scored 11.37 in the final, short of Hicks performance but still a brilliant result.

Third place belonged to Blake Myers (WGM).  Myers hunted the same lefthanders that served Hicks and Pathemore well but there were not enough to go around and he ended up with a 10.43 point heat total in the final.  Double finalist Tane Wallis (Piha) placed fourth in the final.  After getting a good early start he couldn’t match the explosiveness of his older counterparts.

Alexis Poulter (Rag) won her fifth event of the year in the under 16 girls division.  Poulter didn’t have it her own way though forced to execute a come-from-behind win.  Only surfing three waves in the final, Poulter scored a 5.37 on her last of those to combine with her first wave for a 10.70 point heat total compared with Rosa Thompson’s (Auck) 10.33 heat total. 

Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) could not match her earlier performance in the under 14 girls division and placed third in the final with Ella Williams (WGM) in fourth. Poulter claims the first place in the national final for the Rip Curl GromSearch final.  This year she placed second in the final and will no doubt have her eyes on the top spot this time around.

Ben Poulter (Rag) snatched victory in the under 14 boys scoring a 7.70 in the dying seconds of the final to match his sisters last minute performance.  Poulter patiently waited for the waves in the final while his three opponents built on their scores. 

After scoring a 6.5 on his first wave he posted a 6.17 which was not enough for the win but his last wave crushed the hopes of Tane Wallis (Piha) who must have thought the win was his when he scored his own 7.0 point ride late in the heat.  Wallis ultimately ended his run in second place ahead of Patxi Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) in third and Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) in fourth.

Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis) secured her first ever win in the under 14 division at Rip Curl GromSearch events when she won the under 14 girls division.  Martin – Fitzharris scored a great 7.50 point ride in the final to put the pressure on her opponents.  Late in the heat she extended her lead surfing to a 5.33 on her last wave. 

Top seed Ella Williams (WGM) placed second in the final after opening with a 6.50 point ride but was unable to find a good second wave.  Christchurch’s Alethea Lock finished in third place to continue her great run of results this year while Gabriella McCarthy – Marriott (Gis) placed fourth.

Dune Kennings (WGM) found his winning form again to win the under 12 boys division.  Kennings scored 12.57 in the final to win out over Raglan’s Sam Poulter in second.  First time finalists Manu Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay) and Korbin Hutchings (Gis) had a successful weekend to finish in third and fourth respectively.

Gabriella Sansom (Auck) claimed her fourth straight win over her twin sister Bianca in the under 12 girls division.  Gabriella nailed the final with a huge backhand re-entry midway through the final to score 8.33 out of a possible 10 points.  Bianca had to settle for second place again ahead of Milly Crewe (Mur) in third and Hannah Kohn (Gis) in fourth.

Full results from the Rip Curl GromSearch

Under 16 Boys Finals
Johnny Hicks (Gis), 1, Mark Pathemore (Tara), 2, Blake Myers (WGM), 3, Tane Wallis (Piha), 4

Under 16 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1 Tane Wallis (Piha), 1, Blake Myers (WGM), 2, Alex Dive (Mnt), 3, James Tume (Wgtn), 4
Heat 2 Johnny Hicks (Gis), 1, Mark Pathemore (Tara), 2, Ben Poulter (Rag), 3, Cody McCusker (Chch), 4

Under 14 Boys Finals
Ben Poulter (Rag), 1, Tane Wallis (Piha), 2, Patxi Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 3, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 4

Under 14 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1 Tane Wallis (Piha), 1, Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 2, Fintan Cram (WGM), 3, Jules Craft (Gis), 4
Heat 2 Ben Poulter (Rag), 1, Patxi Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 2, Dune Kennings (WGM), 3, Kahu Craig Te Ranga (Waihi Beach), 4

Under 14 Boys Quarterfinals
Heat 1 Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 1, Fintan Cram (WGM), 2, Peri Matenga (Mnt), 3, Taylor Louie (Piha), 4
Heat 2 Tane Wallis (Piha), 1, Jules Craft (Gis), 2, Waretini Wano (Piha), 3, Levi Stewart (Waihi Beach), 4,
Heat 3 Ben Poulter (Rag), 1, Dune Kennings (WGM), 2, Josh Kettle (Tara), 3, Adam Grimson (Gis), 4
Heat 4 Kahu Craig Te Ranga (Waihi Beach), 1, Patxi Scott – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 2, Brad Pitcher (WGM), 3, Mackenzie Chritie (Mnt), 4

Under 12 Boys Finals
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 1, Sam Poulter (Rag), 2, Manu Scot – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 3, Korbin Hutchings (Gis), 4

Under 12 Boys Semifinals
Heat 1 Manu Scot – Arrieta (Sandy Bay), 1, Sam Poulter (Rag), 2, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 3
Heat 2 Dune Kennings (Whmata), 1, Korbin Hutchings (Gis), 2, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 3

Under 12 Boys Round 1
Heat 1 Sam Poulter (Rag), 1, Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 2, Lachie Malcolm (Chch), 3
Heat 2 Dune Kennings (Whmata), 1, Manu Scott-Arietta (Sandy Bay), 2, Leo Copley (Auck), 3
Heat 3 Korbin Hutchings (Gis), 1, Quin Matenga (Mnt), 2, Jack Virtue (Gis), 3

Under 16 Girls Finals
Alexis Poulter (Rag), 1, Rosa Thompson (Auck), 2, Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis), 3, Ella Williams (WGM),

Under 16 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1 Rosa Thompson (Auck), 1, Jayda Martin – Fitzharris (Gis), 2, Alethea Lock (Chch), 3, Chloe Shutt (Gis), 4
Heat 2 Alexis Poulter (Rag), 1, Ella Williams (WGM), 2, Hayley Baxter (Kaik), 3, Gabreilla McCarthy – Marriott (Gis), 4

Under 14 Girls Finals
Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 1, Ella Williams (Whmata), 2, Alethea Lock (Chch), 3, Gabriella McCarthy-Marriott (Gis), 4

Under 14 Girls Semifinals
Heat 1 Alethea Lock (Chch), 1, Gabriella McCarthy-Marriott (Gis), 2, Eloise Stevens (Tara), 3, Emma Croton, 4
Heat 2 Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 1, Ella Williams (Whmata), 2, Alexandra Potter, 3, Chloe Shutt (Gis), 3

Under 14 Girls Round 1
Heat 1 Alethea Lock (Chch), 1, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 2, Ella Spiers (WGM), 3, Lucy Brankin (Tara), 4
Heat 2 Ella Williams (Whmata), 1, Emma Croton, 2, Lydia Walsh (Tara), 3
Heat 3 Gabriella McCarthy-Marriott (Gis), 1, Alexandra Potter, 2, Milly Crewe (Mur), 3
Heat 4 Chloe Shutt (Gis), 1, Eloise Stevens (Tara), 2, Annie Dynhoven (Tara), 3, Hannah Kohn (Gis), 4

Under 12 Girls Final
Gabriela Sansom (Auck), 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 2, Milly Crewe (Muri), 3, Hannah Kohn (Gis), 4 

Under 12 Girls Round 1
Heat 1 Gabriela Sansom (Auck), 1, Milly Crewe (Muri), 2, Demi Hewitt (Mnt), 3, Gabriella McDonnell (Mur), 4
Heat 2 Bianca Sansom (Auck), 1, Hannah Kohn (Gis), 2, Ariel Hughes (Rag), 3, Claudia Fraser (Piha), 4

Upcoming Events

Rip Curl GromSearch 2: Gisborne – 19th – 20th July
Rip Curl GromSearch 3: Dunedin – 4th – 5th October
Rip Curl GromSearch 4: Piha – 6th – 7th December

Background information

The Rip Curl GromSearch is the longest running grommet series in New Zealand. The series comprises four events in 2008.  Events are scheduled in each of the school holidays and are dotted around New Zealand.  Rip Curl GromSearch events focus on participation in the sport of surfing and are held worldwide.  The events offer an excellent opportunity for youngsters to meet other surfers and compete against each other many for the first time in their lives.

The 2008 Rip Curl GromSearch is sponsored by Rip Curl and New Zealand Surfing Magazine. Surfing New Zealand are proudly partnered by Corona, Vodafone, Hyundai, SPARC & Smokefree.




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