Double titles for Butler in Kiwi grom series
Billabong Grom Series Event #3
Presented by Oceanbridge
Surfing New Zealand
Piha Beach New Zealand
10 - 11 March 2013
Butler outclasses Opponents When It Counts
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 March, 2013 : - - Mount Maunganui surfer Kehu Butler finished the 2013 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge with two series titles after the final of the three event series was wrapped up at Piha Beach. Butler, who claimed the Under 16 Boys Division series title on the first day of the event, went on to clinch the double with the Under 14 Boys title to upset previous front runner Tane Bowden (WGM).
The final day started out with small conditions on the full tide but as the morning progressed the swell continued to build to a solid 1.5m with light winds slowly going sea breeze. In a switch of fortune for Butler, it was the first time this year he has not won the Under 16 Boys Division, Tane Bowden taking the win today. However it was Tane Bowden, who won the first two events in the Under 14 Boys Division that gave the final event to Butler after an uncharacteristic loss in the semifinals.
"I was thinking about winning both divisions on Friday but I didn't really know how I was going to do it, with Tane already winning two events in the 14s" said Kehu who admitted that being in Australia last week watching the best surfers in the world got him fired up to do whatever he could to win this weekend.
The Piha event win by Bowden in the Under 16 Boys Division came one day after his twelfth birthday and he is the youngest surfer to win the division since the series started in 2005. "It is the first one I have ever won in the 16s, it is great" said Bowden of his belated birthday present.
Bowden scored 12.50 in the final to beat Taylor Hutchison (Rag) who secured his best ever result in the Billabong Grom Series. Hutchison held the lead for much of the final after getting off to a good start before Bowden came back late. Series winner Kehu Butler placed third in the final ahead of Isaac Kettle (Tara) in fourth who has featured in all three finals of the series.
Claudia Fraser (Piha) was stoked to officially claim the overall series for the Under 16 Girls despite placing second to Kea Smith (Mnt) in the final.
"It is great to finally win something" said Fraser. "I didn't mind the size, it is my home break and I know it pretty well, I wasn't too scared" added Fraser of the solid surf the girls were fronted with. Fraser will join Smith at the New Zealand Selection Camp tomorrow before the team is named in just over one weeks time.
In the final of the Under 16 Girls it was Smith who claimed her first win in the division. With big sets rolling around the corner from the south, the girls had to battle some solid conditions. Smith was the first to fire with a two turn combo on a solid wave that netted her an 8.0 point ride.
Fraser fought back with 5.83 and 4.5 point rides to take the lead back. However it was Smith that had one last chance to get back in the lead and on her last wave she scored a 3.83 point ride which was enough for the win. Fraser finished in second place ahead of double finalist Elin Tawharu (Mnt) in third and Maaia Reid - Bennett (Mnt) in fourth.
"At the start of our final it was massive, I was freaking out so much but I had one good one and only needed that last wave and I was so happy when I got it" said Smith.
Kehu Butler (Mnt) claimed his first win of the series in the Under 14 Boys Division. As the surf began to build, Butler made the most of the lefts on the Piha Bar. He finished with a 14.83 point heat total and the win was exactly what was required to claim the overall series win from Tane Bowden (WGM) after his early exit. Jonas Tawharu (Mnt) claimed his first finals berth after being a stand out surfer all weekend and made a great fist of the final placing second scoring 10.77. Local Piha surfer Shane Kraus, also surfing in his first final of summer placed third ahead of Daniel Farr (Tara) in fourth.
The youngest of the finalists in the Under 14 Girls, Elin Tawharu (Mnt), surfed to an amazing win. The twelve-year-old from Mount Maunganui had looked sharp all weekend, especially on her backhand where she performed some tight hacks in the pocket. In the final Tawharu scored 10.83 to beat Zhana Hutchieson (Tara) in second place.
Third and fourth place getters Maaia Reid - Bennett (Mnt) and Kea Smith both had a chance of winning the overall series going into the event in second equal. After front runner Raiha Ensor (Mnt) was eliminated in the first round, both surfers had to win the final but consequently came up short. That meant Ensor, despite her seventh placing this weekend, claimed the overall title.
Tane Bowden (WGM) left his opponents chasing the minor placings in the Under 12 Boys Division. Bowden raced away to victory posting a 13.50 point heat total with his youthful power surfing. Bowden had the series wrapped up prior to the final but made sure he claimed his third win in three events in the division. Mount Maunganui's William van der Beek managed to sneak ahead of the pack to snatch a runner up placing, his best result of the summer. Oli Meadows (Waiheke Is) placed third in his first ever final and Caleb Cutmore (Ham), also surfing his first final, placed fourth.
After three years of competing in the Under 12 Girls Division, the tiny Iritana Butler (Mnt) finally won her first event and in doing so jumped to victory in the overall standings. Butler got one screamer of a wave that scored 8.17. The scored jolted her out into the lead over Grace Pevats (Ocean Beach) who finished in second place. Wairarapa surfer Georgia Humphreys finished the final in third place.
The Sony Playstation for Performance of the Weekend went to Shane Kraus (Piha) who made it through to his first final in the Under 14 Boys Division, surfed with a smooth style all weekend and used his local knowledge of the break to pick out the best waves in every heat.
Set out below are the results from the final day of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge completed at Piha Beach today (Sunday 10th February).
Under 16 Boys Finals
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 12.50, 1,
Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 9.20, 2
Isaac Kettle (Tara), 4.97, 3,
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 4.53, 4,
Under 14 Boys Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 14.83, 1,
Jonas Tawharu (Mnt), 10.77, 2,
Shane Kraus (Piha), 6.97, 3,
Daniel Farr (Tara), 5.83,
Under 12 Boys Final
Tane Bowden (Whmata), 13.5, 1,
William van der Beek (Mnt), 7.4, 2,
Oli Meadows (Waiheke), 5.27, 3,
Caleb Cutmore (Ham), 2.63, 4
Under 16 Girls Final
Kea Smith (Arataki), 11.83, 1,
Claudia Fraser (Auck), 10.33, 2,
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 2.33, 3,
Maaia Reid - Bennett (Mnt), 1.17, 4
Under 14 Girls Final
Elin Tawharu (Mnt), 10.83, 1,
Zhana Hutchieson (Waitara), 8.67, 2,
Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki), 5.87, 3,
Kea Smith (Mnt), 5.73, 4
Under 12 Girls Final
Iritana Butler (Arataki), 13.80, 1,
Grace Pevats (Whrei), 11.57, 2,
Georgia Humphreys (Wairarapa), 7.77, 3,
Gabrielle Paul (Auck), 0, 4
Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge Rankings
Under 16 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Isaac Kettle (Tara)
3, Te Rapai Barbarich Love
4, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh)
5, Callum Chuter (Tau)
Under 14 Boys Top 5
1, Kehu Butler (Arataki)
2, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
3, Daniel Farr (Tara)
4, Jonas Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Shane Kraus (Piha)
Under 12 Boys Top 5
1, Tane Bowden (Whmata)
2, William van der Beek (Tau)
3, James Ririnui (Mnt)
4, Oli Meadows (Waiheke)
5, Caleb Cutmore (Ham)
Under 16 Girls Top 5
1, Claudia Fraser (Auck)
2, Kea Smith (Arataki)
3, Jasmine Smith (Gis)
4, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
5, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
Under 14 Girls Top 5
1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
2, Maaia Reid-Bennett (Arataki)
3, Elin Tawharu (Mnt)
4, Kea Smith (Mnt)
5, Tiana Breeze - de Mooj (Mnt)
Under 12 Girls Top 5
1, Iritana Butler (Arataki)
2, Grace Pevats (Whrei)
3, Teina Smith (Tau)
4, Georgia Humphreys (Wairarapa)
5, Saffi Vette (Gis)
Source: Surfing New Zealand
Author: Ben Kennings
Tags: Billabong Grom Series, New Zealand, Groms