Rip Curl Pro ditches Raglan for Ruapuke
Rip Curl Pro
Presented By Nature Valley
Surfing New Zealand 6-Star event
Manu Bay, Raglan New Zealand
15 - 17 March 2013
Relocation to Ruapuke Proves Fruitful
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 March, 2013 : - - A relocation 30 minutes south of Raglan to Ruapuke Beach saw the Women and Under 20 Men's Divisions contested on day one of the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley. The surf built throughout the day until the swell reached a solid 1.0m with light sea breeze winds from early afternoon.
2012 National Champion Thandi Durham - Tipene (Tara) set the tone for the first round opening up with a 7.83 on her first ride within seconds of the starting hooter. Durham - Tipene went on to dominate her heat finishing with a 14.0 point heat total. "I watched the surf closely prior to my heat and sussed out a little spot to sit and I got that one wave within the first five seconds so my plan worked well" said Durham Tipene.
"It felt really good to surf my forehand in a heat. I enjoy my forehand the most and the recent events have been on my backhand like at Piha for the Nationals. In saying that, I am keen for some good waves on the points as long as it is over head-high on Sunday."
Ella Williams (WGM) looked equally as impressive as she picked off several long running right-handers in her heat to notch up a 12.5 point heat total and easy heat win. Williams has recently returned from competing Australia where she placed ninth in an Australasian Pro Junior event at Newcastle, New South Wales so has had plenty of competition practice leading into the event.
Like Durham - Tipene, Williams kept a close eye on the ever changing conditions with the tide having a big impact on where the waves were breaking. Williams will be happy for the event to move back to the primary venue of Manu Bay where she will be on her forehand contesting the semifinals of the event.
A return to competition for Sandy Bay surfer Wini Paul proved worthwhile with the natural footer surfing her way into the semifinals despite, by her own admission, having an "average" heat. "I love Ruapuke and love I Raglan so it is good to be back here surfing. I didn't have the best of heats but there were a few waves and I won my heat surprisingly. Hopefully I can keep going and take it all the way on Sunday" said Paul.
Other surfers to progress through to the semifinals included Alexis Poulter (Rag), Mischa Davis (Piha), Jessica Santorik (Rag) and the Sansom twins Gabriela and Bianca of Auckland.
Late in the day the semifinals of the Under 20 Men's Division finished up the day contesting their third round of heats. The long day of surfing didn't affect Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha) who stormed into the final posting a 13.13 point heat total.
"Yeah I am a bit tired but you have to be able to surf three heats in a day and I had three good heats so I am happy" said Paerata - Reid. "It is good to surf the beachies but you come to Raglan to surf the points so I hope the surf picks up and we can get back to Manu Bay" said Paerata - Reid.
Winner of the second semifinal was Dune Kennings (WGM) who began to find his feet in his third heat of the day scoring 13.73 in his semifinal match up. "I was pretty slow in the quarterfinal and only just made it through so I had to make sure I got off to a better start in the semi and that set me up to build on my scores throughout the heat" said Kennings.
Paerata - Reid progressed alongside Sean Kettle (Tara) while it was Mackenzie Christie (Mnt) who progressed in second alongside Kennings. All four surfers will compete in the Open Men's Division tomorrow (Saturday). "Hopefully I will get put up against some big names tomorrow and try and cause an upset" said a confident Kennings.
The Open Men's Division was not contested on day one with a favourable swell forecasted for day two when the event is likely to take place at Ruapuke for a second day running. The Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley includes the Saturday night gathering at the YOT Club thanks to Stoke Beer and Jagermeister.
Under 20 Men's Semifinals
Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha), 13.13, 1,
Sean Kettle (Tara), 12.5, 2,
Tane Wallis (Piha), 12.5, 3,
Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch), 7.97, 4
Dune Kennings (Whmata), 13.73, 1,
Mackenzie Christie (Tau), 11.5, 2,
McKenzie Bowden (Whmata), 8.73, 3,
Jordan Griffin (Mnt), 6.5, 4
Source: Surfing New Zealand
Author: Ben Kennings
Tags: Rip Curl, New Zealand, Raglan