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Billabong Pro Whangamata returns for 2014 Kiwi Pro Series

2012 champ Bobby Hansen © Cory/NZ Surfing Magazine





Billabong Pro Whangamata

New Zealand Pro Series
Whangamata, New Zealand
7 - 9 February 2014

Billabong Pro makes a comeback with Heats for Hundies

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 December, 2013 -- After a year’s absence in 2013, the Billabong Pro is making a comeback with a twist coined ‘Heats for Hundies.’  From Heat 1, Round 1 of both the Open Men and Women’s Divisions, the winner of each heat all the way through to the final will walk away with a crisp red note.

The incentive is aimed at New Zealand’s best surfers lifting their performance levels and attacking each heat for a win more so than just progression through to the next round.  All surfers will start from Round 1 with surfers able to pull in up to $400 before even contesting the final.

“Everyone will be trying to win each and every heat, it will make the heats harder I reckon because all the guys will be trying that much more to win each heat and take the money.  I am looking forward to giving it a good go too” said Mount Maunganui’s Buck Woods who is also stoked to see the comp back in action after a year’s absence.

“It is always one of the most fun events to go to, everyone enjoys going to Whanga for the weekend and we usually get fun waves” added Woods.

Woods will be joined by New Zealand’s best surfers including Maz Quinn, Matt Hewitt, Sean Peggs and Alex Dive.

International campaigners Richard Christie and Billy Stairmand who placed 81st and 87th respectively on the ASP World Qualifying Series in 2013 may miss the event with the Australian Open scheduled to start on Monday 10th February.

Gisborne’s Bobby Hansen is the Open Men’s Division defending champion.

Local Whangamata favourite and new ASP World Junior Champion Ella Williams will miss her home town event after a clash with international commitments in Australia.  Williams won the 2012 Billabong Pro and is disappointed she will not be home for this event.

“I really wanted to compete at home this summer so it is a real unfortunate clash.  However I know I have to chase the international events and the Australian Open is a big event on the Australasian Pro Junior Series that I cannot afford to miss” said Williams.

Williams’ absence will open the door for a number of other surfers including 2012 National Champion Mischa Davis, local surfer Grace Spiers and Raglan surfers Alexis Poulter and Jessica Santorik.

The Billabong Pro event which caters for Open Men and Open Women will be ran in conjunction with the second event of the Billabong Grom Series that is to be held on the 8-9 February. 

Having the events held together will give New Zealand’s young surfers a chance to mingle with the best in New Zealand and aspire to reach the elite level of our top international surfers. 

This is a feature that has been missing from many events with the NZ Pro Series events and series such as the Billabong Grom Series separating the groms from those surfers in the Open Division.

The Billabong Pro is a four star event and will be event two of five on the New Zealand Pro Series which will kick off with the National Championships in Gisborne on the 12-18 January as well as seeing events contested at Raglan, Dunedin and Hawkes Bay.

Open Men’s
2008 – Maz Quinn (Gis)
2009 – Bobby Hansen (Gis)
2010 – Maz Quinn (Gis)
2011 – Richard Christie (Mah)
2012 – Bobby Hasen (Gis)

Open Women’s
2008 – Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2009 – Laura Rishworth (Mnt)
2010 – Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2011 – Sarah Mason (Gis)
2012 – Ella Williams (WGM)

2008 – Ryan Hawker (Piha)
2009 – Keone Campbell (Tara)
2010 – Johnny Hicks (Gis)
2011 – JC Susan (Mnt)
2012 – Sean Kettle (Tara)

Entry fees into the event have been reduced to $50 for the Open Men and Open Women’s Division and entry can be completed from the start of January at Surfing New Zealand under events.

Ben Kennings

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