Quinn Takes the Billabong Pro Whangamata
Gisborne surfer Maz Quinn took a convincing victory at the Billabong Pro completed at Whangamata today (Monday 1st February). The win elevates him from 13th to first on the Export Gold Series ratings after two of five events for the season.
The surf remained messy for the final day of the event with a 1.5m swell and moderate easterly winds affecting surface conditions. However the surfing was nothing short of outstanding in all three finals contested throughout the day with the Women's Division impressing the many spectators that braved the weather and watched from the sand dunes.
Quinn scored 15.0 in his final leaving his opponents requiring excellent scoring rides to come close to snatching a last minute win.
"I am pretty stoked, I mean the conditions were pretty tough to compete in out there" said Maz post heat. "It was a bit of a lucky dip and you just had to be in the right place at the right time and fortunately I was" added Quinn.
Quinn was riding a small 5'10" surfboard that he had not ridden in surf of this size but after scoring a pair of 7.50 point rides it was clear that the board was suited to the conditions.
The third event of the Export Gold Series takes place at Raglan on the 26th - 28th of February and Quinn hopes to get in heaps of water time between now and then as well as turning up at Raglan a few days prior to the event to practice after recording a "crap" result at the event in 2009.
Placing second today was Raglan surfer Leon Santorik. Santorik opened with a 7.25 point ride and looked like he was in the hunt for his first Export Gold Series victory. However as the 25-minute-final drew to a close, Santorik was left with a low second scoring ride of 5.35.
Local surfer Gauranga Ormond secured his second consecutive third placing of the season at the Billabong Pro today and maintains his third place ranking overall on the Export Gold Series. Ormond used his local knowledge to full effect throughout the event and looked very sharp in the semifinals but could not continue on in the final heat of the day. Ormond placed third ahead of Chris Malone (Gis) in fourth. Malone now sits in second place on the Export Gold Series ratings.
Earlier in the day Quinn and Malone defeated Jay Quinn (Gis) and Tim O'Connor (Mnt) in the first semifinal while in the second semifinal Ormond and Santorik defeated Tane Wallis (Piha) and Luke Cederman (Rag).
Jessica Santorik took out the Open Women's Division of the Billabong Pro to remain undefeated on the Export Gold Series this summer. Santorik took out the first event of the series and now holds a significant lead over her opponents.
Today Santorik posted 14.0 points out of a possible 20 in the final in another dominant performance that saw her lead from start to finish. Santorik defeated Christchurch surfer Daisy Thomas, Alexis Poulter (Rag) and Jayda Martin - Fitzharris (Gis) who finished second through fourth respectively.
"I lucked into a couple at the beginning of the heat and not much after that but I got my two waves. This comp has been the biggest for the girls, a lot of them have come back to the competitive arena and that has boosted the level of surfing" said Santorik on the field of surfers that she overcame this weekend.
Gisborne's Johnny Hicks won his first event in over a year after taking out the Under 20 Men's Division. As with Quinn and Santorik, Hicks got off to a good start and led for much of the heat. Hicks posted a 13.35 point heat total which included a 6.85 and 6.50.
"I didn't get a good result at the worlds" said Hicks. "I wanted to do a lot better at that event but I guess having been at that event all last week it got me into a good competitive mode and that helped me focus this weekend".
The Under 20 final was the closest of the day with Hicks acknowledging the performance of Sean Peggs who scored a 7.05 point ride late in the final coming up just short of the score required to take the win.
Sean Peggs (Tairua) was in good form in the early heats and posted the highest single wave score of the final but could not back it up with a good second scoring ride and had to settle for second ahead of Ryan Hawker (Piha) in third and Blake Myers (WGM) in fourth.
The Pacific Blue Highest Heat Score Award remained in Quinn's hands on the final day with no surfers surpassing his 17.00 point heat total amassed in the quarterfinals on day two. Quinn wins a return airfare to any destination along the East Coast of Australia or in the Pacific courtesy of Pacific Blue.
The Billabong Pro is the second of five events on the 2009/10 Export Gold Series. The Export Gold Series wraps up at Piha on the 23rd - 24th of April with the Export Gold Super 16.
Billabong Pro Open Men's Semifinals
Maz Quinn (Gis), 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 2, Jay Quinn (Gis), 3, Tim O'Connor (Mnt), 4
Gauranga Ormond (Whmata), 1, Leon Santorik (Rag), 2, Tane Wallis (Piha), 3, Luke Cederman (Rag), 4
Maz Quinn (Gis), 1, Leon Santorik (Rag), 2, Gauranga Ormond (Whmata), 3, Chris Malone (Gis), 4
Billabong Pro Open Women's Semifinals
Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 1, Daisy Thomas (ChCh), 2, Kelly Clarkson (Rag), 3, Laura Rishworth (Mnt), 4
Alexis Poulter (Rag), 1, Jessica Santorik (Rag), 2, Rosa Thompson (Auck), 3, Ella Williams (Whmata), 4
Jessica Santorik (Rag), 1, Daisy Thomas (ChCh), 2, Alexis Poulter (Rag), 3, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 4
Under 20 Men's Semifinals
Sean Peggs (Tairua), 1, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 2, Ben Poulter (Rag), 3, Braedon Williams (Whmata), 4
Blake Myers (Whmata), 1, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 2, JC Susan (Mnt), 3, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 4
Johnny Hicks (Gis), 1, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 2, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 3, Blake Myers (Whmata), 4
Source: Surfing New Zealand
>> SURF NEWS INDEX <<