Aussie Drew Everest steals the show at NZ Billabong Pro
The Billabong Pro
SNZ Lion Red Pro Surfing Tour
29 - 31 January 2005
AUSTRALIAN EVEREST STEALS THE SHOW AT THE BILLABONG PRO
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 31 January 2005: - - The sole Australian competing at the Billabong Pro held in Whangamata over the long weekend stole the show and walked away with the first place getters $3000 cheque. The Billabong Pro was the second event of four in the Lion Red Pro Surfing Tour and was staged over the long weekend in 2.0-3.0m swells on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Everest surfed six times throughout the weekend to make it to the finals and was a standout in every heat. Come finals time he relished the perfect lefthanders of the Whangamata Bar. Everest got off to a flyer scoring a heat high 9.0 which included a series of big gouges and floaters all the way to the inside of the break. With an excellent score under his belt Everest played the waiting game while the remaining three surfers in the final endeavored to play catch up.
Justin Souter (Mnt) put up the best fight scoring a 7.5 and 7.0 to take the lead for much of the final. However, it seemed that if the ocean cooperated Souter would see the win drift away in the Australian’s favour. With only minutes remaining, Souter still held the lead with Everest requiring a 5.5. Everest opted to paddle down the point away from the surfers out the back and with less than a minute to go snuck into a medium size wave that reeled down the point. Re-entry after re-entry Everest clocked up the points until the crowd resided to the fact that the one Australian in the event would exit the water the winner.
Everest’s polished performance over the weekend was complemented by an equally appreciative act on land as he dedicated his win to his late grandma and thanked the surfing community for being so hospitable. Everest went on to add “You Kiwis have got it ‘sussed here’, this is one of the best events that I have been to and I have been so stoked to be part of this series and I also look forward to the remaining two contests in the series while I am here in New Zealand”. Everest does claim part of New Zealand after being born here but he has spent the majority of his life in West Australia and also the Gold Coast during the summer months.
Souter finished in second after being pipped at the post but will be happy with the result which comes on the back of a third at the National Championships. His two excellent results this year see him take the lead on the Lion Red Pro Surfing Tour and an almost certain spot in the invitational Lion Red Super 16 to be held on the 26th of February at Piha Beach, Auckland.
Blair Stewart (Gis) placed third in the final after not being able to find the better quality waves. Larry Fisher (Piha) rounded out the top four after many surfers thought he may go on to win the event being the only goofy footer (right foot forward) in the final.
Earlier, Stewart and Souter eliminated Ben Kennings (WGM) and Daniel Kereopa (Rag) in semifinal one. Everest and Fisher eliminated Adam Klink (Mnt) and Bobby Hansen (Gis) in semi final two.
In the Open Women’s, current National Champion Jessica Santorik (Rag) backed up her number one tag by winning back to back contests with this weekends win at the Billabong Pro. Santorik only surfed two waves in the final but that was all she needed for the win scoring 13.25. Santorik lead from the outset scoring 7.0 on her first wave backing that up with a 6.25. Santorik looked at home on the long lefthanders which didn’t come as a surprise coming from the lefthanders of Raglan. Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) came second after making a late comeback scoring a 5.5 as her last and best wave. Local girl Pipi Sopp was one of two locals to make the finals but could only manage third place while Kara Stevenson placed fourth in the final only managing one good ride of 4.0 in the final.
The Under 18 Junior Men’s final was an all Raglan affair come the final hooter with Kierin Van Der Helder getting a well deserved win over good friend Morehu Roberts. Van Der Helder surfed brilliantly all weekend and his fast forehand approach to the long waves made him stand out from all of the other junior competitors. It wasn’t until late in the final that Van Der Helder sealed the win surfing a wave the length of the point to score 7.75 after a series of ‘lip smashes’. Roberts placed second scoring 12.10 which included a well surfed 7.0 wave midway through the final. Local surfer Gauranga Ormond also surfed a solid final scoring 10.90 using his knowledge of the break to find some excellent waves that he surfed the length of the point. Hawkes Bay surfer Joseph Gethen placed fourth after surfing two good rides early in the final.
The lion Red Pro Surfing Tour now moves to Raglan on the 18th- 20th of February for the Rip Curl Pro. The top 16 surfers on the ratings after the Raglan event will be invited to surf off for the 2005 series win at the Lion Red Super 16 event.
Below are the results from day three of the Billabong Pro.
BILLABONG OPEN MEN SEMIFINALS
Blair Stewart, Gis, 1, Justin Souter, Bop, 2, Ben Kennings, WGM, 3, Daniel Kereopa, Rag, 4
Drew Everest, W-Aust, 1, Larry Fisher, Piha, 2, Adam Klink, Mnt, 3, Bobby Hansen, Gis, 4
BILLABONG OPEN MEN FINALS
Drew Everest, W-Aust, 1, Justin Souter, Bop, 2, Blair Stewart, Gis, 3, Larry Fisher, Piha, 4
BILLABONG OPEN WOMEN QUARTERFINALS
Kara Stevenson, Rag, 1, Jessica Santorik, Rag, 2, Franscoise Lewis, Akl, 3, Monique Hedges, Wgtn, 4
Daisy Thomas, Can, 1, Paige Hareb, Tara, 2, Clare Thomson, Gis, 3, Kelly Clarkeson, Rag, 4
Pipi Sopp, WGM, 1, Wini Paul, Sandy Bay, 2, Pae Pou, Sthland, 3, Leilani Morgan, Can, 4
BILLABONG OPEN WOMEN SEMIFINALS
Jessica Santorik, Rag, 1, Kara Stevenson, Rag, 2, Paige Hareb, Tara, 3
Pipi Sopp, WGM, 1, Wini Paul, Sandy Bay, 2, Daisy Thomas, Can, 3
BILLABONG OPEN WOMEN SEMIFINALS
Jessica Santorik, Rag, 1, Wini Paul, Sandy Bay, 2, Pipi Sopp, WGM, 3, Kara Stevenson, Rag, 4
BILLABONG JUNIOR MEN (U/18) SEMIFINALS
Morehu Roberts, Rag, 1, Joseph Gethen, Te Awanga, 2, Hugo Phillips, Auck, 3
Kierin Van Der Helder, Rag, 1, Gauranga Ormond, WGM, 2, Luke Hughes, Rag, 3
BILLABONG JUNIOR MEN (U/18) FINALS
Kieran Van Der Helder, Rag, 1, Morehu Roberts, Rag, 2, Gauranga Ormond, WGM, 3, Joseph Gethen, Te Awanga, 4
For more information on the event please contact Ben Kennings on 0274 787369 or Scott Casey – 021 728234. Alternatively email Surfing New Zealand - email@example.com. High resolution images of tomorrow’s action at the Billabong Pro will be available upon request and distributed.
The 2005 Billabong Pro is sponsored by Billabong, Von Zipper and Lion Red.
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For more information on the event please contact Ben Kennings on 0274 787369 or Scott Casey – 021 728234. Alternatively email Surfing New Zealand - firstname.lastname@example.org . The 2005 Billabong Pro is sponsored by Billabong, Von Zipper and Lion Red.
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