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Local groms heated at Fitzroy Beach event

Britt Kindred © Col/Surfing NZ




Rip Curl GromSearch

Surfing New Zealand
Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth 
26 - 27 April 2014

Good Early Conditions See Groms Stake Their Claim For A Trip To Indo

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 26 April, 2014 - Good early morning conditions at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth today allowed the top groms from around the country to stake a claim for a trip to Indonesia that is up for grabs at the Rip Curl GromSearch this weekend.

The Under 17 Boys and Girls Divisions were contested early in the day to make the best use of the full tide and lighter southwest winds.  The 1.0m waves gave the event’s top surfers like Korbin Hutchings (Gis) the perfect platform to shine.

Hutchings top scored for the day with 16.33 points out of a possible 20 in his second round match up.  Hutchings, who was a late entry into the event, is based in Australia but is back in New Zealand for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Australasia Pro Junior event starting on Tuesday.  He decided to enter the event with the aim of representing New Zealand at the international final to be held at Lakey Peak, Sumbawa.

In his two heats this morning, Hutchings went for broke landing several big airs as well as finding a few of the longer peeling waves.  He now progresses through to the quarterfinals where he will meet up with local stand out Isaac Kettle and Under 16 Boys National Champion Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) who are both yet to contest a heat at the event.

The Fraser – McKenzie brothers of Mount Maunganui were also late entrants but survived two rounds to move through to the quarterfinals of the Under 17 Boys Division.  They were joined by Christchurch surfers Sam Sands and Nick Tuhikarama, two of the 16 Christchurch surfers that have ventured north for the Rip Curl GromSearch.

The Kiwi girls’ performances were eclipsed by Australian surfer Paris Whittaker in the first round of the Under 17 Girls Division.  Whittaker posted a 12.0 point heat total after scoring an excellent 8.0 point ride early in her heat.  Whittaker now meets the other Australian in the event, Lani Moorhouse in the semifinals.  The two Aussies will surf against current number one and two of the New Zealand Grom Series, Jasmine Smith (Gis) and Raiha Ensor (Mnt) in a highly anticipated match up.

Smith herself posted a 12.0 point heat total completing a couple of big turns in the short beach break conditions.

Other stand outs in the Under 17 Girls Division included Abby Falwasser – Logan (Gis), Kea Smith (Mnt) and Claudia Fraser (Piha).

The final eight surfers of the Under 14 Boys Division were confirmed after the surfers took on some challenging low tide conditions.  The top seeds all dominated their heats with Lee Ririnui (Mnt) and Dylan Preston (WGM) top scoring with 13.0 point heat totals closely followed by Jared Gerbert (Ohope) and Shane Kraus (Piha).

The addition of the Under 12 Division for both boys and girls saw 36 miniature surfers hitting it out against surfers in their own age group for the first time this season.  

Young Christchurch surfer Jai Oakley lived up to expectations winning through to the semifinals late in the day progressing alongside Oli Meadows (Waiheke).  Local Oakura surfers and current National Primary School Champion Tom Butland also won through his quarterfinal heat with Ryder Pennington (Waitara) placing second despite incurring an interference in his heat.

In the Under 12 Girls Division it was Georgia Wederell (Chch) and Ariana Shewry (Oakura) that looked promising in their performances as they moved through to the semifinals to be contested on Sunday. 

The Rip Curl GromSearch is being held at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth on the 26th – 27th April and is part of the New Zealand Home Loans NZ Surf Festival.  The winners* of the Under 17 Boys and Girls Divisions win an entry to compete in the international GromSearch final to be held at Lakey Peak, Sumbawa in less than one months’ time.

Action on Sunday will take place from 8:00am with all finals being contested from 1:00pm at Fitzroy Beach.  The surf in expected to remain in the 1.0m range with a northlerly front moving across the country late in the afternoon.

Ben Kennings

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