The lure of pumping Kaikoura waves saw the start of the Kaikoura Grom Comp kick off with a frenzy of heats all day long yesterday (Saturday 6th April) as the massive field of surfers were slowly whittled away.
The solid 1.5m swell pulsed all day and with the strong offshore winds pushing the limits of many of the young competitors as they glared back to shore for directions and on to the snow-capped ranges.
The solid, predominantly right-hand peaks were the perfect platform for the top seeds to cruise through their early heats and into the semifinals.
Current New Zealand Grom Series leader Caleb Cutmore (Rag) managed to surf one round in the Under 18 Boys Division but is looking forward to the final day and more time in the water after his first-up win.
“It has been real fun, such a good wave, super peaky and quite easy to surf so, yeah I am stoked I have been able to get a couple of waves and I am looking forward to more out here tomorrow” said Cutmore who ventured down south with his Dad who was on a work trip. “I also get to catch up with my older brother down here and hang out so that has been good” he added.
Cutmore will be joined in the semifinals by Myka Black (Chch), Taylor O’Leary (Mur) and Tom Butland (Tara) who all won their heats.
The Under 16 Boys Division kicked off the day and Butland was again in action, the ratings looking sharp through his three heats contested as did Tom Robinson (Whngrei) and Finn Vette (Gis). All three surfers made easy work of their heats and advanced to the semifinals along with Myka Black who again advanced.
Christchurch surfer Ava Henderson dominated the girls divisions with 14.3 point heat total in the Under 18 Girls Division helping her win her heat as well as having a solid outing in the Under 16 Girls Division. Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) showed some exceptional form with her own 13.67 point heat total. The two surfers are poised to meet each other in the final of the division.
Mount Maunganui surfer Anna Brock will look to meet Henderson and Gouldsbury in the final of the Under 16 Girls Division but her focus will also be on the Under 14 Girls Division where she showed some phenomenal grit to take on the big waves advancing through to the final where she will be joined by Leia Millar (Piha), Amiele Wink (Chch) and Misha Peyroux (Dun).
Piha’s Bill Byers led the way in the Under 14 Boys Division, the solid waves no trouble for the young surfer from Auckland’s West Coast. Byers advanced to the semifinals alongside Campbell Heasley (Chch), Nixon Reardon (Dun), Thomas Boothroyd (Nel), Jake Owen (Dun) and Jack McKenzie (Chch).
The Under 12 Boys and Girls Divisions were contested further up the beach with the young surfers trying to hide from large swell. Winner of the last event of the series Chloe Groube (Pau) looked strong advancing through to the final as did Leia Millar (Piha).
In the Under 12 Boys Division, South Island Grom Series front runner and local surfer Sonny Lyons won his match up as did PJ Klein – Ovink (Auck), Ryder Townsend (Chch) and Hawkes Bay’s Dale Cromhout who surfed to the highest heat score of the round – 12.47 out of 20.
The night surfing, bonfire and fireworks were cancelled due to the inclement weather and strong winds. Action kicks off at 8am on Sunday with twenty heats remaining to complete the event. Prize giving will be held at the Strawberry Tree in Kaikoura on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the surfing.
The Kaikoura Grom Comp marks the halfway point of the series for most surfers with events already having been contested in Taranaki, Mount Maunganui, Whangamata, Piha and Christchurch. Events still remain for Raglan, Christchurch, Dunedin and Hawkes Bay.
For further information on the 2019 Kaikoura Grom Comp please contact Mark O’Malley on 021 2075177.
High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge.
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.
The 2019 edition of the Kaikoura Grom Comp would not be possible without the support of Kaikoura Surf Groms, Jade Kiwi, the Strawberry Tree, Kaikoura Boardriders, McCrory Plumbing, Kaikoura Bakery, Hirepool and Exit Surf.
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