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Whangamata grom contest rallies through opening day

Paul Moretti © Jackson Bright



Billabong Grom Series Event 2
presented by Oceanbridge 

Surfing New Zealand
Whangamata, New Zealand
14 February 2015

Successful Returns For Moretti and Taylor Make Who Make Finals

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 February, 2015 - It was a successful return to the competitive arena for Paul Moretti (Mimiwhangata) and Josh Taylor (Mnt) who progressed through to the final of the Under 20 Men’s Division on day one of the second event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge held at Whangamata today (Saturday 14th February).

The surf peaked during the morning with a solid two metre swell that had all the young surfers on edge discussing exactly how they would get out through the line-up.  However the size was to the older surfers advantage including Moretti and Taylor who completed some big powerful turns.  

The big surf conditions coupled with an onshore wind made it an easy decision for organisers to hold off the Under 14 Divisions until Sunday. Moretti surfed through two rounds for two wins and amassed the highest score of the Under 20 Boys Division, 14.33 out of a possible 20 points in his semifinal.

“It’s definitely been a while since I have been in a surfing event but it is good to be back out here and making the most of a good swell like we have today” said Paul Moretti after exiting the water from his semifinal match up.  

“The big surf is good for us older lads and I am stoked to be here and to make the final tomorrow.”

Moretti has made numerous finals throughout his junior days but wins have been scarce since 2007 when he won back-to-back grom events. Josh Taylor has a similar record to Moretti having made multiple finals but he has had limited success once he has made the finals and will be looking to turn this around tomorrow.

“This is my first comp for the summer because I have been working” said Josh Taylor.  “I had this weekend off and could see there was a good swell coming so I was keen to enter” he added.  

Taylor is looking forward to the final day of the event and a finals match up against Moretti as well as Harrison Whiteside (Chch) and current ratings leader Dune Kennings (WGM) who both progressed through the first semifinal heat.  

Raiha Ensor (Mnt) continued her winning ways in the Under 20 Girls Division winning through to the final of the division by attacking the full tide closeout sections.  Ensor will contest the final against the Sansom sisters, Gabriella, who she beat in the semifinals and Bianca.  Piha surfer Claudia Fraser fills the fourth and final place after finishing second to Bianca in the semifinals.

Late in the afternoon it was the Kehu Butler (Mnt) and Daniel Farr (Tara) duo that blasted their way through to the semifinals of the Under 17 Boys Division.  Butler led out with an impressive 9.33 point ride in his heat and a 17.17 point heat total.  Farr followed suit with an impressive heat win scoring 12.0 points.  The two surfers will meet each other in the semifinals.  

The Under 17 Girls Division was set to wrap up the day early in the evening after a massive ten hour day of surfing.

Ben Kennings

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