For immediate release
Major series wins go up for grabs for New Zealand’s top junior surfers this weekend when the third and final event of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge takes place at Piha Beach, Auckland (24 – 25 February).
A switch to the West Coast could see a change in fortunes for a number of surfers after the first two events were held at Mount Maunganui and Whangamata in the last month.
Some divisions have seen standout performers like the Under 20 Boys Division where Northland’s Manu Scott – Arrieta has claimed back-to-back wins, one of two surfers to do so this year alongside Jayden Willougby (Rag). As a result of Scott – Arrieta’s unbeaten streak, he goes into the final event guaranteed of a series win provided he enters the water for his heat.
It is the hotly contested divisions like the Under 16 Boys that have at least five serious contenders for the series win that will pique the interest of everyone present including national selectors.
Raglan’s Kora Cooper holds down the number one position after a pair of runner-up finishes. However, he has four surfers within easy striking distance should he make an error this weekend.
A third runner-up finish would be enough for the title but anything lower will bring Cooper’s competitors into the equation. Winners of the first two events – Finn Vette (Gis) and Josef Jungwirth (Rag) are the biggest challengers along with dual finalists Finn Johnson (Gis) and Tom Robinson (Whngrei) who have also kept title hopes alive. There are at least another half-dozen surfers that can play series spoiler this weekend if they put together top performances.
For the girls, Whangarei surfer Billie Scott has one hand on the series win and a runner-up finish will be enough to retain the top spot. In the Under 18 Girls Division, Kea Smith (Mnt) leads the way and a runner-up finish with see her hold off Great Barrier’s Aimee Brown.
Australian surfer Charlie Phillips is in a two-way battle with Raglan surfer Brie Bennett and the highest placed of the two this weekend will likely take the title in the Under 16 Girls Division. Georgia Wederell (Mnt) currently sits in third and will need a win at the event this weekend and a third or worse for both Phillips and Bennett for her to finish atop the series.
It is the same scenario for the Under 14 Girls Division with Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) and Anna Brock (Mnt) hunting a win and the overall series while local surfer Liv Haysom will be aiming for a season-best performance and other results to go her way to top the Under 14 Girls Division.
A fifth or better for Ohope’s Jared Gebert will be enough for him to claim the Under 18 Boys Division. Gebert’s closest rival is Lee Ririnui (Mnt) who finished with a hard-fought runner-up finish to Gebert at the second event. Ririnui will need a win this weekend to return the favour to Gebert.
Jayden Willoughby (Rag) has been unstoppable this year with a hat-trick of wins in the Under 14 Boys Division, including the National Championships. Anything better than a fourth this weekend will see him hold on to the top spot over Navryn Malone (Gis).
Action will take place at the south end of Piha Beach from 8am – 5pm daily.
Please see below for current Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge standings after two of three events.
Under 20 Boys Division
1, Manu Scott Arrieta (Sandy Bay)
2, Zac Curle (Waihi Bch)
3, Jacob Warnes (Mnt)
4, Eli Voschezang (Auck)
5, Henry Gautrey (Wgtn)
Under 18 Boys Division
1, Jared Gebert (Ohope)
2, Lee Ririnui (Mnt)
3, Tom Norton (Waipu)
4, Luke Griffin (Mnt)
5, Conor McLennan (Chch)
Under 16 Boys Division
1, Kora Cooper (Rag)
2, Josef Jungwirth (Rag)
3, Finn Vette (Gis)
4, Tom Robinson (Whngrei)
4, Finn Johnson (Gis)
Under 14 Boys Division
1, Jayden Willoughby (Rag)
2, Navryn Malone (Rag)
3, Reef Newdick (Mnt)
4, Bill Byers (Piha)
5, Harper Mcbride (Mnt)
Under 20 Girls Division
1, Billie Scott (Whangarei)
2, Lily McDonald (Te Aroha)
3, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
4, Indica Ratima (Rag)
5, Maaia Reid – Bennett (Mnt)
Under 18 Girls Division
1, Kea Smith (Arataki)
2, Aimee Brown (Auck)
3, Tegen Bishop (Chch)
4, Eden Gray (Aus)
5, Tiana – Breeze de Mooj (Mnt)
Under 16 Girls Division
1, Charlie Phillips (Aus)
2, Brie Bennett (Rag)
3, Georgia Wederell (Mnt)
4, Summer Carkeek (Auck)
5, Hannah King (Gis)
Under 14 Girls Division
1, Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara)
2, Anna Brock (Mnt)
3, Liv Haysom (Piha)
4, Daizee Rawls (Gis)
5, Amelie Brady (Mnt)
The 2018 edition of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge is split into four divisions ranging from Under 14 through to Under 20 in two-year increments.
It is the thirteenth year that Billabong has sponsored the series in partnership with Oceanbridge who has been a proud supporter of surfing in New Zealand. This year’s series is also supported by BMW Motorrad.
For further information on the 2018 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively contact Billabong Event Manager Keone Campbell on 0274921138 or email email@example.com.
Or check out all the action on the Billabong New Zealand website.
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.
Generous support from Billabong, presenting sponsors Oceanbridge, Von Zipper, Amazon Surf and BMW Motorrad has made this series possible.
Thanks to Lion Rock Boardriders for hosting the event.
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Follow the action via social media @billabong_newzealand on Instagram and @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Follow the series hashtag – #BillabongGromSeries.
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