Roberts Takes Rip Curl Pro Manu Bay
Young Gisborne surfer Morehu Roberts broke through the national ranks for the biggest win of his career today (Sunday 28th February) taking out the Open Men's Division at the Rip Curl Pro - event three of the Export Gold Series held at Manu Bay, Raglan.
On call, the surf increased for the final day of the event with perfect 1.5m waves running down Manu Bay under a light sea breeze wind.
Roberts, who many consider as the most naturally talented surfer in New Zealand, fought off fellow Gisborne surfer Jay Quinn in the 25 minute head-to-head final scoring 15.50 to Quinn's 14.80.
"Quinn is one of my idols so I am pretty stoked to take him down, its bad to say but I am so stoked, there is not much more that I can say about beating him".
The final got off to a slow start with both surfers falling on waves before a big lull in proceedings for ten minutes that put the two surfers under an enormous amount of pressure.
The last half of the final was all action as the two surfers made up for lost time going wave for wave - the lead changing after every wave.
It was the vertical approach that Roberts took to his final wave in the last minute that gave him the edge over Quinn. The wave netted him an 8.50 - the highest of the final.
"Yeah I am stoked aye, from the waves to the competitors, you can't complain about anything" said Roberts post final.
This was Roberts' first appearance in a national final for four years and he admitted to taking a different approach that clearly helped him this weekend.
"I chilled myself out a lot more, told myself to breath and not go all out at the beginning and just stay calm and it worked" said Roberts. "Besides the waves were good too, I have been grovelling in Gissy for the last few weeks so I was super psyched to get here and surf good waves".
Roberts now gets the chance to compete against many of the worlds best surfers at the Rip Curl Padang Cup later this year. The event is held on the best day of a month-long waiting period at one of the best surf destinations in Indonesia guaranteeing high quality waves - a formula that will suit Roberts.
Unfortunately Quinn missed out on the win today but the second placing will see him jump several rankings on the Export Gold Series where he currently sits in 16th place after contesting only one of two events to date this season.
Earlier in the day Quinn took down local surfer Luke Cederman in the first semifinal. Roberts posted the events only perfect ten point ride in his defeat of Chris Malone in the second semifinal.
Jessica Santorik (Rag) continued her exceptional run of form not only at the Rip Curl Pro where she is three times defending champion but also throughout New Zealand. She is currently undefeated on the Export Gold Series for 2009/10 with a near unassailable lead.
In today's final Santorik had to come from behind after finding herself trailing Rosa Thompson (Auck) who opened her account with an 8.50 - the highest in the final. Santorik left her run until her last two waves posting consecutive 8.10 point rides.
"Yeah, far out I am so stoked. I am so tired after that final, I was just lucky to get those good waves at the end" commented Santorik. "I wanted to get the middle size waves but ended but getting the bigger waves that usually go fat. Today they walled up nicely for me out there" added Santorik. "It is awesome to be undefeated this year, I hadn't even given it that much thought to be honest, WQS here I come" commented Santorik after being reminded of her summer of dominance.
Santorik is heading to Australia next week to compete at her first ASP WQS event. She will take in two events at Merewether and Margaret River south of Perth before heading back to New Zealand.
Placing second in the final was Rosa Thompson who was the stand out surfer all weekend. Unfortunately she could not back up her excellent 8.50 point ride in the final but she still managed to gain a career best result and move into second place on the Export Gold Series behind runaway leader Santorik.
Laura Rishworth (Mnt) finished in third place today scoring 14.40 with Mischa Davis (Piha) in fourth scoring 13.00.
Paco Divers (Sandy Bay) took to Manu Bay on his backhand going vertical on turn after turn to post 17.90 out of a possible 20 and win the Under 20 Men's Division final. His massive score gave him an easy victory with his opponents requiring near perfect scores to catch him.
"It was good fun, there were some pretty good waves, the light sea breeze made it easy to go for broke out there and it helped my surfing out a lot in the final" said Divers. " I won the final event of 2009 but haven't gone so well this summer. I think this win will get me back on track which is good" added Divers who jumped from seventh to third on the ratings after today.
Placing second was Alex Dive (Mnt) scoring 15.25, a mere 0.10 ahead of Sean Peggs (Tairua) in third. Dive was clinical completing big turns right down the point but did not match the aggression of Divers in the final. Peggs was in the same position on his forehand performing some big floaters and re-entries but coming up short. Peggs retains his ranking of second behind Johnny Hicks (Gis) who leads the Under 20 Men's Division after two events.
Placing fourth in the final was Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata) who secured a career best result elevating him from 13th to seventh on the ratings.
Tane Wallis (Piha) and Alexis Poulter (Rag) were victorious in the Rip Curl GromSearch national finals both winning the chance to compete at the international final held in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro held at Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia over Easter.
Wallis whipped his opponents in the boys final posting 17.35 points out of a possible 20. Wallis, despite surfing with a badly injured knee, attacked every wave he surfed and was aptly rewarded with wave scores of 9.00 and 8.35. Todd Doyle (Mnt) held down the lead early but was pushed back to second where he remained for the remainder of the final. Patxi Scott - Arrieta (Sandy Bay) got off to a slow start but posted consecutive scores of 7.35 and 8.05 on his last two waves to push in to third just behind Doyle. Dune Kennings (WGM) was out muscled in the final finishing in fourth place.
Poulter defended her title today winning a monumental battle against long time rival Rosa Thompson (Auck). Both surfers broke away from the pack early in the final when they posted identical 8.75 point rides. Poulter went on to score another 7.20 point ride compared with a 6.0 for Thompson. It will be the second time Poulter has represented New Zealand at the event. While Thompson will miss her second bite at the cherry despite being in rampaging form. Grace Spiers (WGM) placed third in the final scoring 12.85 compared with Jayda Martin - Fitzharris (Gis) 8.90 in fourth.
The Kiwi Surf Mag Boost For Cash exploded with eight surfers annihilating the line up. Most impressive throughout the 30 minutes included Luke Cederman, Billy Stairmand, Luke Hughes, Leon Santorik and Johnny Hicks. The specialty event will be judged by the public in 2010 with all the footage from today being posted on SURF2SURF.com so that everyone can vote for their favourite manoeuvre. Keep your eyes out for the footage early this week.
Results from the Rip Curl Pro held at Manu Bay, Raglan
Open Men's Division Round of 16
Luke Cederman (Rag), 1, Jay Quinn (Gis), 2, Keone Campbell (Tara), 3, Nick White (Mnt), 4
Maz Quinn (Gis), 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 2, Leon Santorik (Rag), 3, Jarred Hancox (Tara), 4
Morehu Roberts (Gis), 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 2, Billy Stairmand (Rag), 3, Alex Dive (Mnt), 4
Tim O'Connor (Mnt), 1, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 2, Gauranga Ormond (Whmata), 3, Ryan Hawker (Piha), 4
Open Men's Quarterfinals
Luke Cederman (Rag), 1, Luke Hughes (Rag), 2
Jay Quinn (Gis), 1, Maz Quinn (Gis), 2
Morehu Roberts (Gis), 1, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 2
Chris Malone (Gis), 1, Tim O'Connor (Mnt), 2
Open Men's Semifinals
Jay Quinn (Gis), 1, Luke Cederman (Rag), 2
Morehu Roberts (Gis), 1, Chris Malone (Gis), 2
Open Men's Final
Morehu Roberts (Gis), 1, Jay Quinn (Gis), 2
Open Women's Final
Jessica Santorik (Rag), 1, Rosa Thompson (Auck), 2, Laura Rishworth (Mnt), 3, Mischa Davis (Auck), 4
Under 20 Men's Semifinals
Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 1, Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 2, Johnny Hicks (Gis), 3, Blake Myers (Whmata), 4
Alex Dive (Mnt), 1, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 2, JC Susan (Mnt), 3, Tane Wallis (Piha), 4
Under 20 Men's Final
Paco Divers (Sandy Bay), 1, Alex Dive (Mnt), 2, Sean Peggs (Tairua), 3, Joe Moretti (Mimiwhangata), 4
Boys National GromSearch Final
Tane Wallis (Piha), 1, Todd Doyle (Mnt), 2, Patxi Scott Arietta (Sandy Bay), 3, Dune Kennings (Whmata), 4
Girls National GromSearch Final
Alexis Poulter (Rag), 1, Rosa Thompson (Akld), 2, Grace Spiers (Wgm), 3, Jayda Martin-Fitzharris (Gis), 4
2010 marks the tenth anniversary for the Rip Curl Pro held at Raglan's famous Manu Bay. The event was run over three days from the 26th - 28th of February and featured the best surfers New Zealand has to offer.
The Rip Curl Pro is a six star rated event on the Export Gold Series with $12,000 in prize money on offer.
Source: Surfing New Zealand
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