The New Zealand competitive season climaxes this coming weekend with the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona being held at Raglan from Friday (4th May).
The country’s top surfers will be in action on the country’s ultimate wave as they vie for the biggest domestic prize purse and vital points toward the New Zealand Surf Series rankings.
The large line up surfers includes defending champions, numerous past winners and form surfers from the most recent event held last weekend in a heavy hitting line up.
Raglan surfer Luke Cederman won his first-ever national event last weekend in a complete performance that many thought was well overdue. While Cederman was somewhat surprised by his performance last weekend, and will go into the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona as even more of an event favourite, it is unlikely to change his laidback approach that translates to anything but in his powerful style.
Cederman will enter the water against many of last weekend’s competitors as well as a throng of powerful additions to the 64 man draw. They include surfers such as Elliot Paerata – Reid (Piha) and Daniel Farr (Tara) who are both back from competing at international events.
Paerata – Reid has previously finished second at the event took Ricardo Christie (Gis) to the ropes at the National Championships earlier in the year finishing second again. It was another runner up finish for the Piha surfer at the South Island Championships held during March. While Christie will be absent from the event this weekend, Paerata – Reid will be out for domestic glory and chance to get back to the top of the New Zealand Surf Series rankings.
Defending champion Billy Stairmand (Rag) will also be searching for a repeat win at his home break after a blistering performance in 2017. An uncharacteristic fourth place finish less than a week ago will be in the back of his mind and something that he will want to erase.
Ella Williams (WGM), another surfer on a brief return home between international campaigns, will be surfing toward a threepeat in the Open Women’s Division. Williams has not competed in New Zealand this year but the lure of Raglan’s perfect points and a big prize purse sees her enter the fold against a young field of female surfers.
17-year-old Great Barrier Island surfer Aimee Brown claimed the women’s title last weekend and a good result this weekend will cement her as a real threat to the country’s best surfers.
Rankings leader Raiha Ensor (Mnt) will be one of the young squad of surfers that will be out with a point to prove as well the likes of Saffi Vette (Gis) and Ariana Shewry (Tara) who are both back from competing in Australia in the Australasian Pro Junior events.
The field of Kiwi surfers will be complemented by a dozen international juniors that are in the country for the first time. The junior surfers from Australia, Indonesia, Portugal, France, USA and Brazil will be sure to add international flare to the line-up.
The Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona will be using the ‘four man priority’ system for the first time. The Raglan points often conjure up some intense paddle battles when surfers try and gain ascendency over their opponents but the use of the priority system will bring a different element to the event.
Action will take place between 8am – 4pm on each day. The swell is expected to ease Saturday before potentially building again on Sunday.
The Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona also includes the all-time Saturday night gathering at the YOT Club.
The event is the fifth event on the New Zealand Surf Series for males and fourth for females.
Please see below for current ratings on the New Zealand Surf Series plus the previous winners of the event.
Open Men’s Division
1, Zen Wallis (Piha)
2, Levi Stewart (Waihi Bch)
3, Elliott Brown (Dun)
4, Conor McLennan (Chch)
5, Taylor Hutchison (Rag)
6, Elliot Paerata Reid (Piha)
7, Paul Moretti (Nrthlnd)
8, Shane Kraus (Piha)
9, Billy Stairmand (Rag)
10, Ricardo Christie (Mahia)
Open Women’s Division
1, Raiha Ensor (Mnt)
2, Tegen Bishop (Chch)
3, Aimee Brown (GB)
4, Gabriella Sansom (Auck)
5, Bianca Sansom (Auck)
6, Georgia Wederell (Chch)
7, Brie Bennett (Rag)
8, Britt Kindred (Mur)
9, Billie Scott (Whangarei)
10, Estella Hungerford (Chch)
Open Men’s Division
2017, Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2016, Maz Quinn (Gis)
2015, Maz Quinn (Gis)
2014, Ricardo Christie (Gis)
2013, Sean Peggs (Tai)
2012, Bobby Hansen (Gis)
2011, Billy Stairmand (Rag)
2010, Morehu Roberts (Rag)
Open Women’s Division
2017, Ella Williams (WGM)
2016, Ella Williams (WGM)
2015, Ella Williams (WGM)
2014, Grace Spiers (WGM)
2013, Wini Paul (Sandy Bay)
2012, Jessica Santorik (Rag)
2011, Grace Spiers (WGM)
2010, Jessica Santorik (Rag)
Complete event write ups, results, surfer ratings and images from the event can be viewed at Surfing New Zealand.
For more information on the Rip Curl Pro presented by Corona please contact Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please contact Rip Curl Marketing Manager Leon Parkin on 021386473 or email email@example.com.
Web clips and newsfeeds will be distributed free of charge from the event. Please contact Ben Kennings for further details.
High resolution images will be available to media upon request. Images will be distributed free of charge.
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The Surfing New Zealand event hotline is 0211134506. This will be updated daily at with venues, divisions contested and conditions.
Generous support from Rip Curl, Corona, Radio Hauraki, Point Boardriders and Surfing New Zealand has made this event possible.
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