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Kehu Butler & Ella Williams claim Kiwi titles in Hawkes Bay

Kehu Butler © Col /




Backdoor BayBash

NZ Pro Series (3 star), NZ Grom Series (4 star)
Waimarama Beach or Te Awanga, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
31 October - 1 November 2015

Butler Claims First Title, Joins Williams as Double Division Champions

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 November, 2015 - Mount Maunganui surfer Kehu Butler claimed the first Open Men’s Division title of his career at Waimarama Beach, Hawkes Bay today winning the Backdoor BayBash.  He also claimed the title in the Under 20 Boys Division to join Ella Williams (WGM) who also completed the double in the Open Women’s and Under 20 Girls Divisions.

Day two of the event saw a vast improvement in conditions with a building 1.0m swell throughout the day and light onshore winds. Fifteen year old Butler posted a 13.73 point total in a final where all four surfers were from the junior ranks.

Butler took until the 15 minute mark before he could surpass fellow Bay of Plenty surfer Callum Chuter who had opted to surf a bank to the south and had extended a healthy lead over his competitors.  Chuter ended up with the 12.87 point heat total finishing runner up ahead of Taylor Hutchison (Rag) in third and Harrison Whiteside (Chch) in fourth.

Gisborne’s Maz Quinn did not enter the event this weekend but already had an unassailable lead in the Open Men’s Division of the New Zealand Pro Series.

Ella Williams © Col/Surf2Surf

Williams followed a similar path to Butler, taking a while to warm up in the final of the Pen Women’s Division before hitting the lead in the latter half of the heat.  Williams finished with a 14.0 point heat total to defeat runner up Bianca Sansom (Auck) on 11.93 points.  Britt Kindred (Mur) placed third in the final ahead of first time finalist Billie Scott (Whangarei) in fourth.

Despite not making the finals of the event, Auckland surfer Gabriella Sansom did enough to retain her number one ranking and claim her first New Zealand Pro Series win.

The Under 20 Boys Final produced an identical result to the Open Men’s Final with Butler this time posting a 15.67 point heat total to Chuter’s 12.87 points with Hutchison finishing in third and Whiteside finishing in fourth.

Hutchison by way of his third placing did enough to jump five places on the year-end rankings and top the Under 20 Division for 2015. In the Under 20 Women’s Division it was Williams that bested Sansom who again finished runner up ahead of young Kai Woolf (Gis) in third and Claudia Fraser (Piha) in fourth.

Fraser’s fourth placing was enough to see her match Raiha Ensor (Mnt) on the year-end points tally with the two girls sharing the number one ranking.

Daniel Farr (Tara) dominated the Under 17 Boys Division claiming the final event victory and extending his overall lead on the rankings to finish well clear in first place.  Farr posted a 12.67 point heat total in the final to beat Jack Wilson (Chch) who posted a career best result.  Zac Curle (Waihi Beach) finished in third place ahead of Harry Macintosh (Waiheke Island) in fourth.

Raiha Ensor (Mnt) led the Under 17 Girls Division Final from start to finish.  Ensor finished with a 10.17 point heat total to defeat Britt Kindred in second, Kai Woolf (Gis) in third and Saffi Vette (Gis) in fourth.  Kindred by way of her runner up finish jumped to number one on the rankings for the year ahead of Elin Tawharu (Mnt) and Milly Crewe (Mur).  

Dylan Preston (WGM) snatched a victory from Tom Butland (Tara) who dominated the Under 14 Boys Final.  Requiring a good scoring wave with 30 seconds remaining, Preston went to work on a lefthander completing several big turns to earn an 8.17 and the win.  The wave pushed Butland back to second with Finn Johnson (Gis) in third and Thomas Carter (Waihi Beach) in fourth.

Open Men’s Final
Kehu Butler (Mnt), 13.73, 1, Callum Chuter (Mnt), 12.87, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11.7, 3, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 10.63, 4

Under 20 Men’s Final
Kehu Butler (Arataki), 15.67, 1, Callum Chuter (Tau), 13.43, 2, Taylor Hutchison (Rag), 11.03, 3, Harrison Whiteside (ChCh), 10.73, 4

Under 17 Boys Final
Daniel Farr (Tara), 12.67, 1, Jack Wilson (ChCh), 11.53, 2, Zac Curle (Katikati), 8.10, 3, Harry Macintosh (Auck), 7.0, 4

Under 14 Boys Final
Dylan Preston (Whmata), 12.83, 1, Tom Butland Tara), 11.67, 2, Finn Johnson (Gis), 10.67, 3, Thomas Carter (Waihi Bch), 9.07, 4

Open Women Finals
Ella Williams (Whmata), 14.0, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 11.93, 2, Britt Kindred (Mur), 9.47, 3, Billie Scott (Whangarei), 4.67, 4

Under 20 Girls Final
Ella Williams (Whmata), 11.03, 1, Bianca Sansom (Auck), 10.47, 2, Kai Woolf (Gis), 8.73, 3, Claudia Fraser (Auck), 5.20, 4

Under 17 Girls Final
Raiha Ensor (Mnt), 10.17, 1, Britt Kindred (Muri), 9.33, 2, Kai Woolf (Gis), 8.70, 3, Saffi Vette (Gis), 6.83, 4

Harrison Whiteside, Backdoor BayBash NZ Pro Series (3 star), NZ Grom Series (4 star)
Ben Kennings

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