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The Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge has been a cornerstone of summer surfing for New Zealand’s finest young surfers over an entire generation.  This weekend (26 – 27 January), when the series kicks off at Mount Maunganui for the 2019 season, the fun, rivalries, and enjoyment will be yet again etched into a new crop of young grommets.

The first of three events take place at Tay Street from Saturday morning with the series carrying on to Whangamata and Piha in February.

The traditional Bay of Plenty start plays host to over one hundred groms that will take part over the two days, surfing in the event and having fun outside the competition both in and out of the surf.

Four recently crowned national age group champions return to the arena looking to carry early season momentum from the West Coast where the National Championships were held to the East Coast this weekend.

Hometown hero Tom Butland (Tara) rampaged his way to a win in the Under 16 Boys Division at the National Championships held in Taranaki, capping off an impressive week-long campaign by becoming the youngest ever finalist in the Open Men’s Division as well, placing fourth overall.

Butland is joined by Raglan’s Caleb Cutmore as the winner of the Under 18 Boys Division, Navryn Malone (Rag), winner of the Under 14 Boys Division and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara), winner of the Under 16 Girls Division.

The Under 18 and 16 Boys and Girls Divisions are brimming full of hot talent vying for national representation.  However, it is the Under 14 Divisions that see the biggest number of surfers participating, many taking part in the series for the first time.  Mount Maunganui with its easy access to the beach for many students means that a third of the draw is full of local talent.

Local surfers such as Tao Mouldey and Cooper Roberts will transition from the Primary School Champs events through to the Billabong Grom Series this weekend while the Brock sisters (Anna and Sophia) along with India Corcoran already have a couple of years of Grom Series events under their belts and they will want to climb up the series rankings.

The 2019 edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge is split into three divisions for boys and girls ranging from Under 14 through to Under 18 in two-year increments.

Raglan’s Point Boardriders will go into the junior season as defending club champions and will be favoured to be atop the points table at the end of this season with their strong contingent of junior surfers.

The surf is expected to build overnight Friday into the 1.0m range with onshore winds on Saturday and a fading swell and offshore winds on Sunday.

Participants will all receive a Billabong Grom Series t-shirt upon entering the series as well as being in with a chance to receive piles of giveaways and prizes for podium-finishing surfers.

It is the fourteenth year that Billabong has sponsored the series in partnership with Oceanbridge who has been a proud long-time supporter of surfing in New Zealand.

The action takes place at Tay Street, Mount Maunganui from 8am until late afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday.

Please see below for the winners of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge in 2018.

Under 18 Boys – Jared Gebert (Ohope)
Under 16 Boys – Kora Cooper (Rag)
Under 14 Boys – Jayden Willoughby (Rag)
Under 18 Girls – Kea Smith (Mnt)
Under 16 Girls – Brie Bennett (Mnt)
Under 14 Girls – Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara)

Entry into the two remaining Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge events can be completed here:

Event 2 – 9 – 10 February, Whangamata
Event 3 – 23 – 24 February, Piha Beach, Auckland

Further Information
For further information on the 2019 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

Event Hotline
The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506.  This will be updated daily at approximately 7am with venue, divisions contested and conditions for the day.

Partners
Generous support from Billabong, presenting sponsors Oceanbridge, Kustom, Von Zipper and Amazon Surf has made this series possible.

Thanks to Bay Boardriders for hosting the event.

Follow the event
Follow the action via social media @billabong on Instagram and @surfingnz across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.  Follow the series hashtag – #BillabongGromSeries.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:

Sport NZ
SunSmart
Water Safety NZ

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