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Empty Raglan lures Taylor Knox to NZ

Taylor Knox © ASP/Scholtz

Rip Curl Pro
Presented By Nature Valley

Surfing New Zealand 6-Star event
Manu Bay, Raglan New Zealand
15 - 17 March 2013

Ex World Tour Surfer Taylor Knox to Feature at Rip Curl Pro

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 March, 2013 : - - Ex-Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour surfer Taylor Knox (USA) is set to feature at the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley being held in a weeks time. The event is being held at Manu Bay, Raglan on the 15th - 17th of March with the American surfer visiting New Zealand for the first time.

The Rip Curl Pro is a six star event on the New Zealand Pro Series with $12,500 in cash up for grabs. The winner of the event takes home a large portion of the prize money but just as importantly, a trip to Bali, Indonesia and invitation into the prestigious Rip Curl Padang Cup. The event also includes the New Zealand Surfing Magazine Peoples Choice Awards with the surfer gaining the highest number of online votes for their image winning a trip to Hawaii.

Knox is world renowned for his powerful on rail surfing that served him well during his 22 years on tour. Knox rose through the ranks to be rated fourth in the world in 2001 and has had five top ten finishes throughout his career. He has one World Tour victory to his name, secured in Brazil in 1996.

Should Knox enter the water in an official capacity, he could find himself pitched against New Zealand's only other male surfer to reach the ASP World Tour - Maz Quinn (Gis). Quinn is currently on the Gold Coast taking in the first event of the 2013 ASP World Tour but will return next week for the Rip Curl Pro.

Quinn placed fourth in the Rip Curl Pro final in 2012 and is searching for his first win at national level in three years. During his time on tour he never met Knox in a heat.

2012 Rip Curl Pro champion Bobby Hansen (Gis) will return to Raglan next weekend looking for a title defence. Hansen claimed the 2012 event in convincing fashion and in doing so also won the New Zealand Pro Series and the invitation to the Padang Cup in Bali.

"That was definitely a cool prize to win, competing in that event is an amazing experience, you couldn't hope to win something better" said Hansen who is hoping for some good waves next weekend in what will be his first competitive outing of the year.

A clash with an international event in Western Australia means that three-time event champion (2008, 2009, 2011) and local Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand will be absent next weekend along with National Champion Jay Quinn (Gis) and Richard Christie (Gis) who are all confirmed to compete at the Margaret River Pro.

Local Raglan surfer Jessica Santorik will be out to defend her title in the Women's Division. Santorik has won the event three times in the past (2007, 2009, 20012) showing her forehand dominance at her home break.

Santorik will be looking to bounce back from a first round exit at the National Championships where she had the unfortunate circumstance of coming up against eventual champion Mischa Davis (Piha) and runner up Ella Williams (WGM). Williams will be looking to go two places better than her performance at Raglan in 2012 where she placed third to Santorik and fellow Raglan surfer Alexis Poulter.

The Under 20 Boys Division will be packed with young talent as the new generation of groms come through the ranks. They will be led by the likes of Tane Wallis (Piha) and Ben Poulter (Rag) with a swag of younger guys hot on their heels and looking to claim an all-important title.

The New Zealand Rip Curl GromSearch will be part of the event with four of the top Under 16 surfers from both boys and girls division battling it out for a chance to represent New Zealand at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia in April.

The boys line up includes Elliot Paerata - Reid (Piha), McKenzie Bowden (WGM), Jordan Griffin (Mnt) and Caleb Braithwaite (Whakatane). The girls line up includes Jasmine Smith (Gis), Gabriela Sansom (Auck), Bianca Sansom (Auck) and Claudia Fraser (Piha).

The Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley will include the Saturday night gathering at the YOT Club thanks to Stoke Beer and Jagermeister. See below for past five years of event champions at the Rip Curl Pro presented by Nature Valley.

Open Men
2008 - Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2009 - Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2010 - Morehu Roberts (Gis)
2011 - Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2012 - Bobby Hansen (Gis)

Under 20 Men
2008 - Alex Dive (Mnt)
2009 - Billy Stairmand (Rag)"
2010 - Paco Divers (Sandy Bay)
2011 - Zen Wallis (Piha)
2012 - Alex Dive (Mnt)

Open Women
2008 - Paige Hareb (Tara)
2009 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2010 - Alexis Poulter (Rag)
2011 - Grace Spiers (WGM)
2012 - Jessica Santorik (Rag)

Complete event write ups, results, surfer ratings and images from the event can be viewed at Surfing New Zealand.

www.surfingnz.co.nz

Source: Surfing New Zealand

Author: Ben Kennings

Tags: Rip Curl, Taylor Knox, New Zealand

Team: Surfersvillage

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