Poulter Back To His Winning Ways
Organisers of event two of the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge breathed a sigh of relief this morning when greeted with clean 1.0m waves for the finals. With the previous day showing signs of a fastly depleting swell, it was smiles all round when competitors arrived to find very contestable left and right-hand breaking waves on Whangamata's beach.
In the Under 16 Boys Final Ben Poulter (RAG) stomped his authority by snagging a high scoring 7.0 point ride in the opening moments of the heat. Poulter linked powerful off the top moves with speed and flow thus leaving his opponents to play catch up for the remainder of the 20 minute final.
Adam Grimson (Gis) finished second with some polished surfing but was unable to find a high scoring left to take the lead from Poulter. Mimiwhangata's Paul Moretti was left scratching to find a decent ride in a wave starved heat and placed third. 13-year-old Korbin Hutchings (Gis) surfed beyond his years to make the Under 16 final and placed a creditable fourth with some impressive moves especially in his earlier semifinal.
Local girl Ella Williams (WGM) proved to be the form female competitor of the event. Williams impressed all with fast committed turns to dominate the 20 minute Under 16 Girls Final and hold a 4.0 point lead over nearest rival Alethea Lock (ChCh). USA's Bree Kleintop finished third with dual finalist Gabriela Sansom (Auck) in fourth.
Heat of the day went to another local surfer Dune Kennings (WGM) who amassed an event high scoring heat of 17.25 point out of a possible 20. Kennings used local knowledge to start strong with a 7.75 ride and looked unbeatable early, he then backed his first ride up with the events highest scoring ride a 9.5 out of a possible 10. His fellow finalists were left needing a combination of scores to surpass Kennings.
"I'm so stoked", said Kennings, "I haven't won a final in so long, and to win in front of my family and friends makes all the better."
Korbin Hutchings (Gis), who impressed many throughout the two day event placed second with Elliot Paerata-Reid (Piha) third and Under 14 Division Mount Maunganui event winner Jordan Griffin in fourth.
The Under 14 Girls final unfortunately saw a lull in sets but that didn't stop winner Gabriela Sansom (Auck) from taking an early lead with the heats highest scoring wave a 6.50. Sansom then backed that up with a low scoring 2.00 point ride to edge out nearest rival Hannah Kohn (Gis) who fished second with 7.25 out of a possible 20. Third place went to dual finalist Milly Crewe (Muri) and Dayna Story (Gis) finished fourth.
Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay) was in impressive form in the Under 12 Boys Final. From the outset the young Northland surfer showed dominant form with two high scoring forehand rides. He then added insult to injury by posting the events second highest scoring ride, a massive 9.25, with a 16.50 heat total his fellow finalists were left to fight it out for the minor placings. Kehu Butler (Arataki) surfed strongly all event and justly deserved second place. Taine Craig Ranga (Waihi Bch) and Tane Bowden also turned heads in their earlier heats and place third and fourth respectively.
The Under 12 Girls final saw Milly Crewe (Muri) find the best waves on offer in the 20 minute final and soundly beat her nearest rivals by 6.0 points. Local girl Sarah Wilson (Whmata) finished second ahead of Lily Spiers (Whmata) and Muriwai's Brit Kindred.
Event organisers were aptly happy to finish the event with perfect little waves for their second stop on the Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge. The final event of the series will be held at Piha in a few weeks time.Under 16 Boys Final
Ben Poulter (Rag) 1, Adam Grimson (Gis) 2, Paul Moreiti (Mimiwhangata) 3, Korbin Hutchings (Gis) 4Under 16 Boys Semi Finals
SEMI 1 - Adam Grimson (Gis) 1, Ben Poulter (rag) 2, Peri Matenga (Mnt) 3, Elliot Paerata-Reid (Piha) 4
SEMI 2 - Korbin Hutchings (Gis) 1, Paul Moreiti (Mimiwhangata) 2, Kahu Craig-Ranga (Waihi Bch) 3, Jordan Griffin (Mnt) 4
Ella Williams (Whmata) 1, Alethea Lock (ChCh) 2, Bree Kleintop (USA) 3, Gabriela Sansom (Auck) 4Under 14 Boys Final
Dune Kennings (Whmata) 1, Korbin Hutchings (Gis) 2, Elliot Perata-Reid (Piha) 3, Jordan Griffin (Mnt) 4Under 14 Girls Final
Gabriela Sansom (Auck) 1, Hannah Kohn (Gis) 2, Milly Crewe (Muri) 3, Dayna Story (Gis) 4Under 12 Boys Final
Manu Scott-Arrieta (Sandy Bay) 1, Kehu Butler (Arataki) 2, Taine Craig Ranga 3, Tane Bowden (Whmata) 4Under 12 Girls Final
Milly Crewe (Muri) 1, Sarah Wilson (Whmata) 2, Lily Spiers (Whmata) 3, Britt Kindred (Muri) 4
Make sure you get to witness some of these events this summer. There will be some great surfing and plenty of fun activities to partake in. Keep your eyes peeled for the final Billabong Grom Series below:
Billabong Grom Series Event Three - 13th - 14th March Piha Beach, Auckland
Highlights courtesy Chris Kirkham / nzgreenroom.com
Source: Surfing New Zealand
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